February 21, 2017 The transition from Winter to Spring here in Japan is a very good time to get outdoors and observe nature. All forms of life, from gnats to whales, are being prodded by the changing temperatures, magnetic fields, and other stimuli, to start the next seasonal, biological, or annual cycle in their lives. I, myself was prodded to get out of the house whenever work or weather permitted. These past few weeks, I have been going to local Homan river to observe and photograph the brown dipper, kawagarasu (river crow) in Japanese. Occasionally, I would be treated to the subtle, intoxicating fragrance of plum blossoms, putting a spring in my steps and a grin on my face. In my last attempt to locate the nesting site of the brown dipper, I was thrilled to see a pair of crested kingfishers off in the distance, flying away from me up the river. Later, as I was sitting under some brush, observing a dipper,(in the video below) a crested kingfisher, or yamasemi (mountain cicada) in Japanese, landed on the branch of a tree I was under. I could only manage to get off a few pictures of it’s back before it noticed me and flew away, emitting a loud ke! ke! ke! I hope the pair of crested kingfishers decide to stay in the area. If they do, courtship and and construction or remodeling of an existing nesting hole could begin within a month or two. Perhaps I will be fortunate enough to find and observe the nesting site!