Toimisaki (Cape Toi)

October 23, 2020

Toimisaki Cape in the southeast of Kyushu, is noted for it’s incredible ocean views, lighthouses, and national park, where the endangered and protected wild horses, (Misaki-uma) roam freely.

I chose it for the above reasons, as well as the dark skies. I mainly wanted to photograph the Orionid meteors which were scheduled to peak on the 22nd. Due to partly cloudy skies that day, I went on the night of the 23-24, which turned out to be clear of clouds, but rather windy. I set up the camera on the leeward side of a hill, which blocked out most of the wind.

In the middle of the night, a small group of horses paid me a visit, snorting and neighing on occasion as they continued grazing around me. It was this grazing that kept the hilltops mostly free of bushes and trees, affording fantastic views in all directions. I watched an incredibly bright Venus come up in the East. I left just before sunrise, feeling rejuvenated from the fresh air and salty breeze. The female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the gallery below, is a drawing I entered in the Migratory Bird Contest, (# inktobird) on Instagram.

Click on link below to view the video.


Encounter with a crested kingfisher

October 10, 2020 Last Tuesday was a beautiful morning, so I grabbed the camera and cycled to Tempai Dam lake. A few days before, I had caught a glimpse of a Crested Kingfisher,(Yamasemi) so I was returning in hopes that it was still hanging around. I arrived just as the rising Sun was bathing the clouds in glowing orange. I set up at the same spot where I had photographed the colorful Mandarin Duck, (Oshidori). See December post, 2015.

For the first hour or so, there wasn’t much activity, except for a lone bullfrog, (ushigaeru) just below me warming up in the morning rays. Then, I heard the call of a Crested Kingfisher just before it landed on a limb just up and to my left. I could see it partially through the branches and leaves about ten meters from where I was sitting covered with camo cloth. I had to take the camera off of the tripod to get it in the viewfinder. The shutter clicked as I took the first picture, and the bird immediately looked directly at me. I guess it could see the lens poking out of the camo and perhaps my eyes, which was the only part of me visible. Thinking it would fly away soon, I took a few more pics before it did so, but then it returned and landed on a different branch closer and with less foliage blocking the view. I couldn’t believe my luck! I suppose it was curious about me and the strange shape I presented covered by the camo cloth. It peered at me intently for a while, and then started preening. It didn’t seem to mind my presence anymore, even with the shutter clicking away. Eventually it flew off, so I packed up my stuff, said farewell to the bullfrog, and gave thanks for this fantastic encounter.

Thanks for visiting. Get out and enjoy Mother Nature.