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.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Aso - Kuju National Park, July part 1

We went in search of some special insects, the Blue Bees, but it was too early in the year for them. The park where they are usually seen is in the Aso area and it was our first visit, so we looked around, found some pretty bugs and left for the highland meadows

ウラギンヒョウモンHigh Brown Fritillary on Basil flowers

I have no name for these. Anyone who can help out? The dragonfly has a white tip on the tail, so it could be a White-tailed Skimmer, but it looks too thin. Who can tell me?

Dianthus, カワラナデシコ

It was past 4 pm when we strolled down a path and were surprisingly confronted with a badger, who didn't seem to be too worried about our presence.

Japanese Badger, アナグマ

Citron day-lily, ユウスゲ

The Day-lilies were just opening, turning the fields bright yellow. We waited for the birds to fly in and perch on the tallest flowers, but they seemed to prefer the ones that were not in bloom yet :-(

Japanese Reed Bunting, コジュリン

Zitting Cisticola, セッカ

I wanted to look for orchids, but it was already late and we needed a camping spot for the night.

Banded Darter, ミヤマアカネ

ツリガネニンジン, Adenophora triphylla japonica

Still trying to find a name for this flower

Aso - Kuju National Park, July part 2

After watching the sunrise from Makinoto I climbed up at a slow pace to Kutsukake. Jaap had started earlier and would climb the tops (s!) while I wanted to take the time for flowers and lessen the risk of getting soar joints.

Moth are still active at dawn and some are just as pretty as butterflies

Four-spotted Footman, ヨツボシホンバ

Hosta Sieboldii, コバギボウシ

Chestnut Tiger, アサギマダラ are Migrating butterflies who love these mountains in summer

ホソバシュロソウ, Veratrum maackii

The キアゲハ,  Old world Swallowtail is a very common butterfly in Kyushu, in the mountains as well as in lowlands

Halfway the morning I moved down to Choojabaru, where I'd catch up with Jaap. The red-listed ヒゴタイ, Echinops setifer had come up in tall stalks and was just turning purpleish

ハンカイソウ, Ligularia japonica (called Chinese Dragons in the flower shops)
I had never taken any nice photos of these yellow flower, they didn't appeal to me much. Bees LOVE them and now I am quite happy with these.

And then there are a whole lot of pretty no-namers

A few purple blots in the green field appeared to be アヤメ, Iris of some kind

サワギキョウ, Lobelia sessilifolia

ヒメユリ, Lilium concolor on the right, 
オカトラノオ, Lysimachia clethroides on the left

キリギリス, Grasshoppers Japan has so many species, identification is nearly impossible


ヒメキマダラセセリ, Japanese Dart, Ochlodes ochraceus

And finally one more feeble attempt at my target of these 2 days: A bunting perched on a flower:

ホオアカ, Chestnut-eared Bunting
Probably the best represented and most popular bird on this blog :-)

Sunday, 19 August 2018

A summer without swallows on the blog won't do.

忘れ物: ツバメ、コシアカツバメ、ゴイサギ、アオサギ
Summer is nearly over and so far I haven't posted any swallows. Yet they are such special birds! It's always a delight to see them going about their business right in front of us, in town, near the shops, at school, in the hills. My apologies to the common birds around us!

First Red-rumped Swallow, コシアカツバメ in a small town near the mountains.

Building their long, tunnel shaped nest

Chicks peeping out at the entrance

Next the most widespread species of swallow in the world: Barn Swallow, ツバメ

The youngster below left the nest (also at a crowded shopping area) and are now trying to figure out why Mum and Dad don't come to feed them anymore, though they keep on flying by with yummy looking morsels of food. It won't take long till they figured it out, I think.

At the same time visiting our harbor occasionally: Black-crowned Night Heron, ゴイサギ

Young Grey Herons, アオサギ on their nest in the dam lake. Glad they didn't get washed away during the heavy rains of last month.