Denizens of a Small Mt. Pond

June 25, 2017   The last few mornings found me at the top of Mt. Shiogi , courtesy of a student of mine. He told me there were a few bird photographers at a pond photographing some common kingfishers, (one of my favorite birds) at a pond there. He managed to take a few photos himself with his cellphone. I had been to this pond a few times before. (The last picture in this post is of a tiger keelback I had photographed there a few years ago.)

  Turned out to be a juvenile male that appeared while I was there. In all his attempts, I never once saw him catch a fish, unlike the adults, who are much more adept at it. It appears to be a skill they have to learn, but the parents continue to feed them until they can catch enough fish for themselves.

Music by Faure; Berceuse for violin and piano, opus 16

common kingfisher emerging from surface



A few other creatures who inhabit the small pond up on top of Shioji mountain. A peaceful place to escape  from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

water strider

A water strider or amenbo in Japanese



curious turtle

A curious turtle checks me out



tiger keelback

Tiger keelback or yamakagashi in Japanese. A venomous species, with a few documented deaths here in Japan.





Osprey at the dining table

I had just set up my tripod and camera when this beautiful osprey with a fish in it’s talons landed on a block of concrete right in front of me. A very good place to dine. The raptor could take full advantage of the stable platform to rip off pieces of fish, starting from the head. It didn’t waste anything, eating everything; mouth, gills, bones and all. Bone appetite!?

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THE MILKY WAY (a time lapse)

June 8th, 2017

    The Milky Way, or amanogawa as it is called here in Japan, is now unable to be seen by 80% of Americans and about one third of the world population. This is due to light pollution. Even in Hoshinomura, light pollution from a small city can be seen as a yellow-orange glow on the horizon. For me, it is a sight worth seeing, and one that I never tire of.  I must drive about 50 miles to Hoshinomura to get a relatively clear view of it. That is where this time lapse was taken.

  Few sights are as primal or awe-inspiring  as the core of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and the great expanse of space it floats in. I believe it was from Carl Sagan, the great astronomer and writer, that I learned we are all made up of star matter that is scattered throughout the heavens when huge stars explode in what is known as a supernova.  Perhaps, even more powerful than the pull of the ocean, is the pull of the night skies that beckons us back to our true origin.