This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Sunday, 26 July 2015

More on the Brown Hawk Owls, アオバズク

It's summer holiday. No classes, lots of free time. But no birds of interest nearby. Got to go to the mountains, but... Then better visit the owls again. Got some nice shots that I'm really happy with.

First location. The family has extended by one more chick. Happy babies!

Next place. 2 Anxious parents and 1 chick somewhere off in the coniferes.

Dad                                             Mum
watching the nest.

Back a few days later. The family of 5 now had moved to a more quiet part of the premises.
Bad weather, heavy rain, wind, typhoons around. 2 chicks in the tree with both parents and 1 chick way below near the footpath, where cats, kids and dog-walkers are coming and going. I stayed till darkness to make sure nobody got hurt. When the parents started feeding the lost baby managed to fly up and join the rest. よかった!

Don't often get a chance to take photos like these, on eye level.

Higher up, where it's much safer:

munching on a cicada, father on the left about to get them some more.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Young stuff 1

Images taken during the rainy season, in June / July

Spot-billed Duck, カルガモ

 The lotus field offers the perfect protection, against predators as well as heavy rain

below a pair of Grey-headed Lapwing, ケリ

and their crippled young :-(

Oriental Greenfinch, カワラヒワ



adult male

This Cattle Egret, アマサギ is not a newborn, just a funny face :)

more to follow

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Brown Hawk Owl, アオバズク

Halfway July, when the big festival is over I get ready for the day these owls leave their nest. Only on the very first days we can see them all together. We can watch them interact, study their surroundings with their heads turning 180 degrees, try their wings and have a go at the cicadas. Their curiosity and joy fills me with energy. Much needed now that the days are so hot and muggy!

Mum (left) and her 3 chicks

Below the handsome male parent, watching the scene from the side. Very alert today.

What is Mum doing? Ruffling her feathers like a 'ragebol'

Stretching her wings.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Rice planting festival

It's summer. There are few birds around Fukuoka. Time to go see something else. Like the rice planting festival at the Nobara Hachimangu shrine in Kumamoto pref. 

Locals and their children gather at the shrine, where traditional music is played. Dancers wearing masks and clad in colorful costumes entertain the crowd.

The main part is the ceremonial rice planting, performed by ladies wearing "kasuri" cotton farmers outfits that have been around for 100s of years. They drag their feet through the mud and push the seedlings of rice plants deep in the mud.  

It's a back-breaking task. Thank god for those planting machines that farmers use nowadays.


5th graders pitching in (practicing their English with me on the go)

Inside the shrine,

an artist's impression of the matsuri