Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Half A Million Views Contest

Ladies, Gentlemen and Others, it could happen anytime, now.  That meter up in the corner will turn over and hit the 500,000 mark so, it's about time we had a contest.  It'll be one that's easy to win.

In the past, I had a few contests but, the rules must have been too difficult to follow because everybody kept losing or the counter turned while they were sleeping.  This time, someone is guaranteed to win.

It'll be someone who looks at my photos and doesn't just come here to read, I hope.

THE PRIZE: Any one of my photos chosen by the winners.  It will come right to your house, postage paid.

It doesn't matter where in the world you live, I'll get the photo to you, as long as you have mail service.

There's a madness to my method.  I want a fan of this blog to win, not someone who just fell off a turnip truck or accidentally Googled me today.

A Fan, would be someone who clicked on that Facebook Badge over there and liked my Facebook Page.

Other fans of mine are folks who don't have a Facebook account but, we have each other's email addresses.

There will be two contest winners. Each will receive an A4 size photo, of their choice from:
Ryukyu Life (dot) com.



The Rules:

Guess the date, according to my blog post header, that the view-meter will hit 500,000 views.

Enter by posting in a comment on Ryukyu Life Facebook Page, your guess.

Or, email me with your guess of the date you think the counter will hit 500,000 views.

The winners will be those who were the first to guess the correct date.

In the event no one gets the correct date, the person who is closest to the correct date will win.

Winners will be one from Facebook and the other from my email.

Sounds simple enough, to me.  May the best Lady, Gentleman, or Other WIN !!!





Monday, May 30, 2011

Photos of Dragonboats at Sunset in Okinawa, Japan

Here are two photos taken as the sun was setting on Onna Village Seaport Okinawa, Japan last night.

The Dragonboat races will be held this coming Sunday, in the morning.  So, while all the teams practice at night to get ready for the big event, I figured it would be a good time to shoot some SILHOUETTES.

Working with a newfangled camera that has all the buttons, whistles and bells located in places where I'm not used to finding them means I have to get out and learn how to shoot all over again.

Have a look at these two photos and let me know which one you like best.  You never know.

Maybe, I'll email one to you someday !


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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday's Silly Sign (Photo) May 29, 2011

Travelling from the lower lefthand corner on this Sunday's Silly Sign, here's what we've got for you, up in the YD Forest of Kunigami Okinawa, Japan.

Knowing not everyone has the extra cash to spring for a room in the Dorm, we built this place where you can do like lots of folks hit by hard economic times. Sleep in your car, down there, at the Auto-Champing Area.  That'd be just like CAMPING but, we want you to feel like a CHAMP.

Once you've found a good spot and settled-in, you may want to get out on the nature trails.  There's the Fig Tree Rute (Route) not too far away, by map.  And if that ain't enuf to work the kinks outa yer legs, try the Lakeview Rute.


NOTE TO MY REGULAR READERS HERE:
Typhoon Songda is long-gone. Thank you for all the well wishes.  Power has been restored.  The sun is shining and there isn't a cloud in the brilliant blue skies.  I'm outa here. Gotta find more material for Sunday's Silly Signs.


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Typhoon Songda Spanked Okinawa Last Night (Photos)

The wind blew and a little rain flew sideways, some trees got snapped and uprooted last night.

My house is without power and the junk I was hoping would blow off the roof, blew off the roof.  

Only it landed in my front yard instead of out back. Then, I had to pick it all up.  Dang.

Here's a photo I took around 9:30PM last night from the front door of my (Karaoke) establishment.

The wind was blowing hard, the palm tree in front of the Coca Cola sign was dancing all over the place. 

The street lights and all power went out a few times but, power is still available in the business district of Kin Village.

Just lots of homes are still without power 24 hours after we got spanked by this typhoon. 

I'm sure the electric guys are busy and will have us back to normal, any day, now. 

They can't make us pay for electricity if we ain't using any.  Right ?

Today, after cleaning up the mess around my house, I went for a ride around the island.  Trees were still growing where I like to see them, up in the mountains and along the beaches.  Any that got knocked over were being sawed up and hauled away to clear the highways.  A few trees landed on electrical and telephone wires but, crews were out directing traffic and straightening up the mess.

By the time I took this photo, the typhoon was up in mainland Japan, somewhere but, I wanted to show everyone what the trailing clouds look like.


We got some sunshine and blue skies but, tourists were hiding somewhere else, not at the beaches.


The sun going down along the west coast of Okinawa, Japan put on a pretty good show for me.

And, I met a great bunch of people over in Onna Village. They are having Dragonboat races next Sunday. After being spanked by Typhoon Songda and spending the day straightening things up, these guys got out and paddled boats until after sundown getting ready for next weekend's event.

From what I can tell, the typhoon has been slowing down and shouldn't cause any major damage as it grazes northern Japan before drifting out to sea and becoming nobody, again.

The most recent links I have looked at are TAIWAN NEWS WEATHER FORECAST and JAPAN METEORLOGICAL They seem to know more about the weather around here than some weatherperson living in Powdunk, Idaho. Wouldn't ya think ?





Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Tribute: Ernie Pyle the Writer

Memorial Day brings back memories of beach parties, barbeques, parades, ceremonies, speeches, wreath-laying and flag-waving for our veterans and those who gave their lives in the line of duty.
          A recent visit to Ie Shima Island in Okinawa, Japan reminded me of Ernie Pyle the writer.


There's probably not much I can add to what has already been written about a man who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize as a war correspondent.  I'd say he was a people-person and he could connect with and write about them in a style that has never been duplicated, anywhere, since.

Ernie Pyle followed the foot soldiers, during World War II, all over Europe and Africa. He wrote about the grunts (guys in the trenches) and their daily lives.  Hundreds of newspapers printed his articles and he could have thrown away his typewriter and lived in style after the European Campaign.

But, Ernie went on to cover the Pacific Campaign of the war, too. And he died during the battle of Okinawa.

Memorial Day was designated a National Holiday for remembering those members of the armed forces who died serving their country.  I remember.  I want everyone to remember Ernie Pyle along with them. 

It wasn't just the 77th Infantry Division that lost a buddy 18 April 1945.  Everybody lost a buddy that day.

REFERENCES:

ERNIE PYLE

AMERICA AT WAR


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Friday, May 27, 2011

Wildlife Photo: Coral Scallop (Pedum spondyloidum) Okinawa

This beauty was photographed at Maeda Point in Okinawa, Japan by Shawn Miller on May 8th 2011.

 Some serious psychedelic colors are on display here and you won't catch me taking any wildlife photos like this because I just don't go underwater, unless I drop my camera in there by accident.

Shawn goes underwater to take photos so, I asked him how he took this great shot.

He used a Nikon D90 with an Ikelite underwater housing, a 105mm macro lens, an Ikelite Strobe and Camera Settings of:  f/18   1/100   ISO 200.

Shawn Miller has been a Guest Photographer here before RYUKYU GROUND GECKO 


If you enjoy his nature and wildlife photography as much as I do, have a look at his Flickr Gallery OKINAWA NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY 

More information about CORAL SCALLOP (Pedum spondyloidum)



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Typhoon Songda Will Make My Weekend A Wet One

The weather guys say this Super Typhoon will hit Okinawa, Japan this weekend.  I'm ready, baby!

 This is what super typhoons look like from space. Just in case you're ever up there looking down.

This photo is not Typhoon Songda.  I haven't been able to snatch you a good one, yet. I'm using an old one I borrowed from Encyclopedia Britannica awhile back.  They haven't complained, as far as I can tell.

Knowing lots of people check my blog because they have friends or family living on the islands of Okinawa, I figured I'd better see what I can find to keep you informed.  There are some fairly horrible sources for up to date information on the internet and I know how frustrating it can be when you want to know what's happening as disasters strike around the globe.

We are expecting some winds and rain, a little more than normal.  So, I went up on the roof of my house, where I have a garden, and tied the stuff down that I don't want blowing away.  

And the stuff I want to blow away, I left untied.  Hah !

Americans living over here, who work on the bases, have a long weekend holiday, Memorial Day, I think they call it. Anyway, I just saw a crowd of them stocking up on booze at a package store.

So, I told them, it's probably not a good idea to plan a party anywhere near the beach.

Right now, the weather doesn't look too bad. It's partly sunny/cloudy and partly sprinkling invisible rain.  

Here's the best link I've found, so far THE ACCUWEATHER GUY a self-confessed Expert Senior Meterologist.  

Does that sound like the kind of guy who would lie to you?

From all the research I've done, so far today, I'd have to say he seems to have it figured out better than a lot of the other weather gurus.  Hopefully, he keeps things updated. 

UPDATE: JAPAN METEROLOGICAL AGENCY HAS MAPS AND CURRENT INFORMATION.
CLICK ON THE BUTTONS, REFRESH YOUR COMPUTER AND FIND ALL SORTS OF GOODIES ABOUT TYPHOON SONGDA.  IT'S NOT TOO BAD, SO FAR.  SORTA BORING.

If and when, it ever decides to put on a good show for me, I'll be out there shooting some photos for you.  That's as long as I don't fall asleep waiting !


My new camera, I ordered because Willie Nelson hasn't come through, yet is here and I'm figuring out all the controls, now.  

If that Super Typhoon named Songda decides to blow over Okinawa, I'll see if I can snatch a couple of photos to show you what it looks like from down here on earth.







Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Disaster Relief For Travel Photo Thursday, Getterdun !

Here's a scene from a Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of a DIY Store up in Nago City Okinawa, Japan.

The Eisa Dancers were raising funds to donate to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

What really impresses me is the fact that Okinawa is the poorest Prefecture in all of Japan yet, these folks see someone needs a hand and do whatever it takes to lend their support.

There is even a word in the Okinawan dialect, which describes the spirit they are demonstrating in this photo,  YuimaruThe best way to describe Yuimaru would be everyone, in the community, joins hands and pitches-in to get the job done.  It's a spirit of cooperation that is just unbeatable.

This morning a friend contacted me concerning the relief effort for the people in Joplin, Missouri

When I saw the destruction in the photo it was like seeing the results of Japan's tsunami, all over again.

So, I went and clicked on the link SABINA LOHR  sent and showed those folks in Joplin a little YUIMARU.  


If you get a chance and would take the time to throw some change in the bucket, do like I did, click on the SABINA LOHR BUTTON above and getterdun.  It feels good !













What's Karst ? Photos and Links to Learn Rock Science

I just saw this word recently.  It's in a brochure from Dai Sekirinzan mountains in northern Okinawa, Japan.

When I read that,  I thought "Karst. Hah!  They spelled something wrong and I gottum good"!
It sounds like something you'd hear on the Redneck Channel.  "Hey Bubba.  What'd that karst ya"?

 Well, I took plenty of pictures of these rocks and could hardly wait to get the researching done.

 The mountains in the Okinawa Quasi-National Park are full of these limestone-looking, jagged rocks.

 Some of them have flowers and ferns growing out of them and nice green grass grows around others.
 When you get back in the forest where there isn't so much sunshine, not much grows on them.

 In some spots trees grow between the rocks and stay there until they get blown over or fall over dead.

It's some rugged country.  Some of those rocks are sharp as a knife so, I wouldn't recommend walking around there barefoot or in flip-flops because, I can testify, it'll mangle your feet.

Well, I did my research for you.  Karst is a word that came from GERMANY.  No wonder I never heard of it. 

Now, you know what it looks like.

If you want to learn more about it, all the scientific descriptions are in WIKIPEDIA.

You can study-up on rock science to see if there's any karst where you live.  

That way you'll know where not to go in flip-flops.  Rednecks would say "It won't karst you anything at all" ! 

This will be my submission to TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY .  Thataway if that Canadian gal, Nancy ever decides to come visit Okinawa from her home in Korea, she'll know what to wear..

If you get a chance, have a look at all the TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY entries, she gets some great ones from around the globe.






 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flower Photos: Nasturtium (Tropaeolum) It's a Nose Twister

Here's another flower photo I made the same day I was under the influence of cabin fever and took pictures of the Purple Shamrocks in the rain.  I knew what these guys were because I like them. 

You can eat the leaves and they taste a little spicy. They're great for salads.

The wind was blowing pretty good that day so, I got some of the fern plants to hold things steady for me.

I'm showing you this photo with one leaf munched-up so you'll know what else Nasturium is good for. 

If you plant it at one end of your garden, caterpillars hang out there, leaving other plants alone.

Wikipedia has more information on NASTURTIUM (Tropaeolum)

And this gal named Tracy wrote 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GROW NASTURTIUMS NEAR VEGETABLES.  She'll tell you about gardening, cooking and everything.  What a gal !

Both Tracy and Wikipedia called this flower a nose tweaker or nose twister. 

That's the first time I ever heard that. 

If they think Nasturtium is spicy, I'd like to see their expressions when they bite into a Habanero!

Visit my Homepage for THE PHOTO OF THE DAY


Monday, May 23, 2011

Photography Tip: SD Cards Deal Or, No Deal ?

Today's Photography Tip: When there's a sale on SD Cards is it a good deal or, no deal at all ?

Here are some of the SD Cards I tote around with my cameras.

None of these came with any camera I ever bought.  I think the originals come equipped with enough storage space to hold less than ten of the size photos I like to shoot.

So, unless you got some package deal when you bought a new camera, you need to buy an SD Card that will handle the size and quantity of photos you plan on shooting.

Sometimes, when an SD Card is offered at a sale price, it is a good deal.  So, I'll attempt to explain in non-nerdy terms what you need to know about SD Card performance and let you decide what to buy.

SD stands for Secure Digital.  And I don't think one brand of SD Card is any more secure than another.

GB means Gigabytes.  Just figure a gigabyte is a million bytes and you won't go crazy.

So, in the photo above, using the 2GB Card, I can store 2 million bytes of information.  The 4GB Card will hold twice as many photos.  The 16GB Card will hold 16 million bytes worth of photos.

Back in the days before digital you had people like me stuffing all their photos in shoe boxes.  Think of the 2GB, 4GB and 16GB as shoe sizes.  I could stuff a lot more pictures in a size 16 shoebox than I could in some little kid's size 2 shoebox.  Right?

Now, let a little two year old kid play with those shoeboxes full of photos and dump them out all over the floor.  How much time you have on your hands and how much patience you have getting everything organized and back into the shoeboxes will determine what kind of deal you want on SD Cards.

The speed that an SD Card reads and writes, or transfers digital information, is what you want to know.

The digital camera's computer captures an image. The SD Card reads and writes the information, or transfers the photo from the computer to the card.  When you download the photos to a computer reading and writing, digital-style is going on again.

This is where all SD Cards are not created equal. You want to know the Transfer Speed or Rate.

Look for the Class Number in a big "C" on the card or the packaging it comes in.

A Class 2 SD Card will transfer Two Megabytes a second.
A Class 4 SD Card will transfer Four Megabytes a second.
A Class 6, Six Megabytes and a Class 10, Ten Megabytes a second.

The faster they transfer Megabytes, the more SD Cards will cost you, generally speaking.

The type of shooting you do would determine what kind of card is best for you.

If I was working in studio or landscape photography, I wouldn't be too concerned with a card's speed.

Shooting wildlife and much of the time doing rapid fire in Burst Mode, I need some speed.

People who like to shoot video with their digital cameras need higher speed SD Cards.

Something you'll want to be aware of is the writing speed your camera.  It wouldn't make any sense for you to buy SD Cards rated as Class 10 if the camera only has a writing speed of Four Megabytes per second.  Check your manual or manufacturer's specifications.

There are often bargains available so, know your camera and when you see SD Cards on sale ask yourself, "Deal or No Deal"? 



For more information check these sources:






Photography Tip: Going The Extra Mile for Travel Photos

         There are times you have to really go out of your way in photography to snag a great shot.

At home, you can just sit on the back porch and watch a birdfeeder, have camera and tripod all set up, knowing where the light and shadows will be best for you to capture the perfect picture of a bird. 

Or, you'll know where the sun will set and where to position youself for an award-winning scene.

When you're traveling and want outstanding lighting for your subject, it gets a bit more complicated. 

You are on unfamiliar terrain.  Chasing the light may cause you to have to go that extra mile.

In the photo above, I was driving to Okinawa, Japan's annual Dragonboat races.  This is what the City of Naha looked like on my drive to town.

I was thinking "What freakin' possesses you to do stupid things like this, old man"?


The odds were against anyone getting a great photo at the Dragonboat Festival because there were dark skies and rain, on and off, all day long.  It's rainy season.  What did you expect?

This photo was taken while I was standing, with a few thousand other people, facing towards the west.  Look at that red tower in the upper righthand corner of the frame. 

Knowing that the final Dragonboat Races would be in the late afternoon, I knew, that if the sun ever did shine, all the spectators, cameramen, videocam news channels and the thousands of spectators would all be looking directly into the sun.  Good for them.  Hah !

When the time was right, I sneaked away from the crowds and set my camera up on the seawall directly in front of that red tower.  This shot was taken with my cell phone camera thingy.  I walked a long way and crawled through some hairy situations avoiding security guards and police, just to get there and sit on that wall.  And the lighting was just as crappy as where I'd came from.  However, there wasn't any crowd. 

  At 4:25PM the sun lit up the sky right where I wanted it to be for my Extra Mile Travel Photo. 

Today's Photography Tip is my weekly post for LadyE's TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY.

She has a bigger and bigger crowd of people posting travel photos every week so, drop on by and you can see great travel photos from all over the globe and it won't cost you a dime.  Most of the photographers over there know what going the extra mile means, too.  Check it out and you won't be disappointed.






Sunday, May 22, 2011

Have You Ever Pulled A Willie? Or Is It A Doozy?

No, I'm not talkin about sex, drugs or even rock n roll, here.  They have other channels for that sorta stuff.

If that's what you were thinkin, you took a wrong turn.  Get outa here, quick !

People who appreciate good music know exactly what I'm talking about.  Me and the guy from Texas (Rusty) gabbed our cameras yesterday and pulled a Willie Nelson by gettin ON THE ROAD AGAIN.



We took it literally and went places where we've never been and stayed out in the hot sun most of the day just so we could shoot a sunset from someplace different than anybody else's sunsets in Okinawa, Japan.


We found some cool places to get out of the sun while we were waiting.  And I got plenty of practice with my cell phone camera. I sorta malfunctioned my Pentax and it was given most of the day-off.

    We kept going through holes in caves splashing our way along the coast finding more stuff to shoot.

     My Pentax had to be saved for one last shot at sunset so, I shot Rusty doing stuff with a real camera.

Most of the time, when I wasn't cussing at myself for leaving the PANASONIC DMC-FZ50 at home I was sneaking around trying to get photos of Rusty.  This way, his Mom can see he's not goofing-off too much over here.  He's learning all kinds of camera tricks, foreign languages and a few new cuss words from me.

I can't tell you what I did to my Pentax but, it was a doozy, whatever I did.  Maybe, I'll have to send it back to the factory for a rebuild. That takes too long and the people who see what I do to their cameras might come chasing after me with a bunch of those guys wearing white jackets.

Rusty's Mom knows Willie Nelson.  Maybe, she could call him and ask him to send money for me to buy one of those brand new Pentax K5 cameras.  That's what I'd call pulling a real Willie. 

Or would that be a doozy?


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Sunday's Silly Sign (Photo) May 22, 2011

First, I just realized, the world forgot to end, yesterday.
The doom and gloom prophets blew it, again.  Hah !

Today's silly sign I found in a remote location but, don't want to tell you where in Okinawa, Japan I found it.

These signs really were intended for city people, I think.

Look how big their beer cans are. They must be rich folks if they can afford to throw those things away.

Just walk downtown with an open alcohol container and on Main Street they have an arrow telling you to turn so you can throw the cans in a blind spot. They toss them away like they never heard of the word recycle.

Country folks don't do stuff like that. Did you know, you can build a house with beer cans, if you put your mind to it ?

Once I built a dog house and a mailbox from the same kind of cans.  Whenever a new mailman or newspaper delivery lady got assigned to my neck of the woods they didn't have any trouble finding me because everything was covered with Georgia Coffee cans, the Original Version. They'd paste a label, over the address, saying,"Georgia Coffee House" on everything so the new delivery person could find me easy.  All they had to do then, was look for my fancy decorations.
  I was like redneck celebrity !

Really, I shouldn't make fun of city people. 

When I was young, I'd go there to look for girls.  That's what lots of country boys do, ya know.

Once, this pretty girl in the city was dancing with a fireman's pole and wearing just her underwear.
She knew I was concerned, probably from the look on my face. 

She pulled some money from somewhere down there and said, "Here Sunnyboy, go buy a hamburger". 

So, I did because I figured she must be hungry.

But, when I got back with her hamburger, she was gone.  Well, I'm no dummy. I ate the burger.

To make a long story short, some city folks ain't that smart, if you know what I mean.

That's why the government posts silly signs showing them blind spots for their beer cans. 

My friend has one of these city-people's signs on his country store and I snapped this photo of it to show you but, I think he may have just borrowed it from one of the big towns to impress visitors.

We don't want anybody snooping around, like, G-men so, I promised not to reveal the location. 

You never know. 

Maybe we'll save up all our beer cans and someday, start up our own Silly Sign Business. 

If the government ever decides to quit wasting paper, they could buy metallic signs from us. 

They could rivet them to stuff and they'd last forever,  I bet !






Saturday, May 21, 2011

Flower Photo: Hydrangea in Izumi Okinawa, Japan

What a day it turned out to be!  It started with rain but, we had several hours of sunshine today.

Another big surprise was the Hydrangea Flowers up in Izumi are still blooming. 

I thought for sure the typhoon would have wiped them out.

The hills were crawling with people. You could hardly get a photo without tourists popping into the frame. 

So, I shot a few with people in them. 

Look at that dude, smiling up there. Hah ! 

I almost cropped the girls out of the photo so I could title it "Find Herman" or "One of These Things is not Like the Rest" but, that'd be mean.  Shucks.

There are plenty more photos being processed but, this is it for today. I'm hoping the weather gurus are correct and we'll have sun again tomorrow. 

If I can manage to find a link or map to post for anyone interested in going up to see the Hydrangea of Izumi Okinawa I'll getterdun.  Then, I'm outta here.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.  That's my plan.  SOLAR POWER, baby.  Gotta love it !


Here's a link with directions for anyone on Okinawa who wants to DRIVE UP THERE.






Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flower Photos: Azalea This Ain't No Shrub, It's A Bonsai Tree !

Look what I found yesterday.  This bright-colored bunch of flowers growing on a tree next to a red-tiled roof in Okinawa, Japan.  This beauty isn't a whole 20 seconds walk from my house.

So, when the rain stopped for a few seconds, I grabbed the wife and the camera.  She thinks she knows everything so, I asked her to tell me what that tree was growing all those flowers.  She says it's azaleas.

Well, I told her she must be crazy. Azaleas grow on little bushes. 

I shoot them at the Azalea Festival up in the mountains and Azalea Season was over a long time ago.

Look at the size of that freakin plant.  It's a tree. 

That's me, with the camera, across the street.  I'm not exactly a midget, ya know.


It turns out, the wife really isn't crazy. They have Bonsai Azalea Trees that bloom in the month of May, in Japan.  How did women get so smart about flowers, anyway?  It drives me crazy.

Now, mind you, this is rainy season and I plan on getting some high-quality photos of those azaleas, with a pretty blue sky background, first chance I get. That might take some time.

To really get a great shot I'll have to climb the wall and sneak into the garden where the Laughing Buddha statue sits.  I know the people who own the place but, they don't wake up early enough in the morning to let me in through the gate. 

So, I'll just have to pretend I'm a criminal and climb the fence the old-fashioned way.

Just in case you want to learn more about Azaleas, I found AZALEA SOCIETY OF AMERICA
and, another place, I'll call the THE AZALEA BONSAI TREE CHANNEL because they're the first one's who agreed with me. That Azalea ain't no shrub, it's a Bonsai Tree!


Visit my Homepage for THE PHOTO OF THE DAY


The Ryukyu Inu (Photos) Okinawa's Pedigree Dog

Lots of people have heard of Japan's pedigree dogs like the Akita and Shiba because they're popular up there in the mainland.  Okinawa has it's own pedigree dog, too.  It's the Ryukyu Inu.

Here are some photos of what the Okinawan's call Turra-in.  That's because they have black stripes like a tiger.  The breed was nearly wiped out during World War II and there was a lot of cross-breeding going on when foreigners brought German Shepherds, French Poodles and all kinds of non-native dogs over here.  Mostly because dogs don't need marriage licenses, I guess.

But, back in the 1980's somebody discovered a pack of these dogs up in the mountains we call Yanbaru.  Scientists grabbed a bunch of them and checked them out.  These critters were the real deal.  They didn't have any mixed blood in them and were different in genetic makeup from any other breed.  So, they became a Protected Species. There were only about 800 of them back in the 1980's but, there might be 1,000 or more on the islands these days.

There are a few other colors in the Ryukyu Inu breed.  Some don't have the tiger stripes and are red so, they call them Aka-in ( Red dog) in Okinawan dialect.

I just don't take their pictures.

When I shoot a dog and post a photo online, I want to know what it is first.



Like this guy here.  He's got the head of a Ryukyu Inu and I even talked to his master before I shot the photo.  I know a Turra-in when I see one, for sure.

This is the first time I saw one with white patches of fur.  Think maybe a Poodle got in there?


Reference: Japanese Dogs by Michiko Chiba Copyright 2003 ISBN 4-7700-2875-X









Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Freakin Big Bird and Three Photos to Prove It

This may be the biggest bird on the whole island of Okinawa, Japan.  If anyone finds one larger let me know and I'll go shoot that one, too.

You can see this statue of the Yanbaru Kuina, an endangered species, found in Okinawa from Hedo Misaki. 

That's at the northern tip of the island.  I took this photo from the road leading to the big bird.


And, I wandered around to the other side for two good reasons. 

I wanted to prove we get sunshine during rainy season, even if it only lasts a few minutes. 

Plus, I wanted to show you how big this freakin bird really is.  This didn't really give a sense of scale.


So, I walked around and got under the dang thing.  I took off one of my 12 inch shoes to show you that bird has toenails longer than my shoe.  Is that a freakin big bird, or what ?  I got photos to prove it !

This bird, I'll post for LadyE's Travel Photo Thursday.  She has a site called Budget Travelers Sandbox and while I was snoopin around inside the two-story bird I discovered some places in there where you could probably sleep overnight, if you're real quiet, for FREE. 

If cops come and try to arrest you, tell them something like, YOUR BROTHER-IN-LAW MADE YOU DO IT.

See travel photos from around the globe at TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY and while you're there wish Nancie a Happy Birthday. Do like me, I give her a ThumbsUp and Google her all the time !





What's Wrong With That Picture? Ten Million Bucks in a Field !


This is my picture of a gal in a field, not far from where I live in Okinawa, Japan.  She gave me the evil eye while I was taking her photo but, that's probably because I look a little suspicious. I'm a foreigner.

Now, if I was going to do anything fancy with this picture, like sell it, I'd chase the gal down, make friends with her, get her to sign a model release form and print, frame and give the picture to her.

If she ain't too young maybe we could have a sake or some beer together.

When I saw her working the field I figured she was cultivating rice.  That's done in the fields around here.

So, my question isn't about what's wrong with this picture. 

I want to know what's wrong with the picture up in a place called Gimje, South Korea.

The police caught this guy with Ten Million US Dollars planted in his field of garlic.  They have a picture of what all those $100 bills look like in nice, neat bundles stacked and wrapped with rubberbands.

The farmer, must be a pretty fast-talker.  He told the cops his brothers-in-law got him to plant the money.  They were unavailable to speak to the press at the time.  One was in prison and the other guy ran away.

The police in the USA should make friends with those cops in South Korea and, I bet, they might find enough US Dollars to pay off the national debt. 

It sounds like the banks are so full of dollars, people are using them to fertilize the garlic fields in Korea.

Have a look at $10 MILLION CASH .  "What's Wrong With That Picture"?


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Editor's Picks (Photos) for the Month of May 2011

Here are five photos from Okinawa, Japan that were selected as Editor's Picks for the month of May 2011.

Blue Crab in a Cave

A Fertility Legend in Okinawa, Japan

Dragonboat in Naha

Niya-thiya Cave Okinawa

The Flowers of the Tobacco Plant

Now, I know it's not the end of May, yet but, there probably won't be time for me to enter anymore photos in contests this month.  So, I figure I'd better post these now and get busy.

There's a method to my madness, actually.  See, I do a lot of crazy stuff with my cameras.
Sometimes it's in the wind and rain.  Other times on the roof of a tall building.  And once, lying in the road, I even almost got run over by a waterbuffalo pulling a cart but, I figure, that's all part of a day's work.

Then, once I get my photos developed, I post them online where editors can look at them. The guys who do the Editor's Pickin for these photos are some tough nuts to crack.  They are all professional photographers, besides being editors.  So, I shoot and let them do the pickin !

Next thing you know, other editors start peekin at your photos and they want to pick some, too.

Well, the shootin and pickin has caught up to me and now, I have a pile of researching and writing to do.  So, I don't plan on showing any new photos for editor's to pick until next month.  Hah !