Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wildlife Photos: Buff-Backed Heron or Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) has all sorts of common names.

They are called Elephant Birds,

Hippopotamus Egrets,

Rhinoceros Egrets, and, even...

...Buff-Backed Herons.

In Okinawa, Japan we just call them Amasagi.

We don't really have any elephants, hippos or rhinos running around here.

SMITHSONIAN MARINE STATION can tell you all you want to know about these birds. 

Visit my homepage for today's FEATURE PHOTO

Friday, June 29, 2012

Photos: Editor's Picks for the Month of June 2012




The Peace Statue of Mabuni Okinawa, Japan was featured today at YAHOO VOICES 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In the Spotlight: Omine Seibin at The Hall of Beauty and Peace

This is one of the masterpeices that stops me in my tracks, everytime I see it.

There have been many occasions where I've visited the Stone Lion of Tomori.

There was an Essay for Apogee Photo Magazine.

And, the photos taken for the Then and Now Series.

Omine Seibin's art takes you back to the times when life on Okinawa was different.

My photography doesn't do the artist justice.

You have to see it in person in Okinawa's Hall of Beauty and Peace. 

Find directions to see the original Stone Lion Statue HERE.

Flower Photo: Ixora Chinensis from Okinawa, Japan

This flower grows almost everywhere in Okinawa and may be found throughout Asia.

In Japan, it is called Sandanka.

Today Doc Graff and I were on a mission down at the southern end of the island.

It's been awhile since I posted any new flowers so we decided to stop at the DIY store.

That's where I shot photos of the Fox Face plant and thought I was going to jail.

This time, though, I had a plan.

It went like this. Find a plant with nice flowers and some sort of name on it.

Pay for the thing. Get out of the store. Take it home and shoot as many photos as you like.

That's what I did. Only, I took it to my new office.

The place is still under construction.

So, this is all you get to see.

Should I take the flowers home ?

Say something like, "Look, sweetheart. I was thinking about you today."

Er, maybe I should wait until right after I do something real stupid.

And get out of jail !

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Get Your Exoskeletons Out of Your Closet !

Have you got any bugs, butterflies, worms or any other kind of exoskeleton photos ?

Did you know something like 97% of the critters on earth are exoskeletons ?

Well, they're having a photo contest to help educate the world about these insects.

Visit the ARKive Blog and they will give you all the information on how to enter.

Even if you don't have a contest winning photo, it could still appear on ARKive.

Just load your critter photos to Flickr and add them to the ARKive Group.

No Flickr Account?  No problem.  Get a Free one here:

Yahoo! Flickr - 468x60

That way you can get exoskeletons and all your wildlife photos the exposure they deserve.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Have You Ever Been Itchin' to Hop on a Boat and Get Away ?

Man, am I ever ready to go.  I just know one of these ferry boats is waiting for me.

In Japan, they have nice ferries to take you to other islands.

 They have tatami rooms for those who like to stretch out on a straw mat.

Some folks like to sit in the air-conditioned compartments.

Not me.  I like to hang around outside in the fresh air and diesel fumes.

 By the time we spot some land, I'm right up front watching the crew.

And, I'm one of the first people itchin' to hop off the dang boat !

Do you ever get an itch to hop on a boat and get away ?

Well, don't scratch.  Just do it.

Visit my homepage for today's Feature Photo

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Travel Photo: Hiji Falls in Kunagami Okinawa, Japan

This is the most famous and the largest waterfall on Okinawa.

It's been a few years since I hiked up that trail to get photos.

So, I've been thinking about getting back up to Kunigami Village and shooting some more.

Probably, a rainy day, would be best.

When it rains, nobody else goes on the trail and I get to see more wildlife.

Hah !

We just got done with rainy season and I'm looking forward to the next rainy day.

If you are planning to visit don't go on a rainy day.  OK ?

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ten Photos from the 2012 Itoman Okinawa Dragonboat Races

They weren't kidding about Itoman's Dragonboat Races ending rainy season in Okinawa.

Here is a photo showing what the skies looked like over Itoman Port this morning.

RyukyuRusty and I spent the night mingling with the locals.

My head hurts but, that sunshine sure cheered me up.  Burp.

For now, I'll just post 10 photos here and a few on Facebook.

Sometimes when I go on these (ahem-ahum) assignments, I forget to tell the wife.

So, I won't be explaining these photos but, I'll tell you they are in the order they came out of my camera.

Some of the people in the boats may be looking to see if I took their photo.

They only have the Dragonboat Races in Itoman once a year.

And, not everybody gets to see their photo on the front page of the newspaper.

So, I try to shoot pictures of as many boat teams, in action, as I can.

While all the Dragonboat people are looking for their photos on my site...

I'll be trying to figure out what to tell the wife, when I get home.

Wonder if I could get away with, " I told you last week.  You just never listen."


By the way.  Does anybody know how to get rid of the hiccups ?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Bug Called Kuwayamaea sapporensis (Photos)

Here is another one of those critters that I'm taking off the back burner.

One day back in October, last year, I was up in Motobu with MAP IT OKINAWA.

Sometimes, when he's doing all that off-the-beaten-path stuff, I hang around in the shade.

As easily bored as I can get, I can also be easily entertained.

Along came this bug. So, I entertained myself.

He really didn't want to stand still and pose for me.  And, I don't think he liked my camera.

 After he got done pickin' his nose, or whatever he was doing, the little rascal looked up at me.

And, he jumped, almost knocking me over on my rear end.


Visit my homepage for today's Feature Photo


The Rain in Okinawa has to Stop for the Weekend! Groan

Whoa ! 

The weekend is coming and I've been waiting for this for months.

What I was really doing way down on the south end of the island yesterday was this:


The rain has to stop.  I just got over that pneumonia thing.

Last night, I went and filled up my tank with anti-freeze, er, I mean Orion beer.

And, almost forgot, I promised the folks in Itoman I'd advertise their poster.

Anti-freeze makes ya forget, sometimes.

Lucky for me, I won't have to translate this for you.

 Itoman is the place in Okinawa where Dragonboat races originated.

They take pride in the fact.  Even painted the event on their drink machine at the city office.

They won't cancel this annual event just because of rain.

Somebody better get the stuff to stop, or I'm gonna get real wet !

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In the Spotlight: Issei Karashima at The Hall of Beauty and Peace

Today, I visited Peace Memorial Park in Okinawa, Japan.

The assignment I was on had nothing to do with horses, or paintings.

But, this masterpiece by Issei Karashima caught my attention.

So, I asked permission to take a photo of it.

Not so good at remembering names, I shot this, too so I could give the master his due credit.

There are plenty of talented artists on these islands and, I think, the world should see their work.

So, every now and then, I'll be doing a spotlight post on one of them, right here.

Researching online, to find out more about Issei Karashima, I found a few links.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wildlife Photos: Japanese Tiger Beetle (Cicidela japonica)

This Japanese Tiger Beetle was spotted along the bank of a stream in Okinawa, Japan.

This bug has been sitting in my "things to do" pile since last November.

We're getting caught-up around here, today.

There are two links I want to show you, concerning this beetle.

First, THE FLYING KIWI because Richard Seamen just takes some super macro photos and

gives excellent descriptions of the bugs he finds.

Then, have a look at some more awesome photos and get all the information you could ever

 imagine about, any bug over at GOODHEART'S EXTREME SCIENCE. 

There's no bug, in the world, that can outrun a tiger beetle and they have proof !

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tuesday Travel Photo: Okinawa Partly Cloudy Partly Sunny

This photo was taken a few months ago but, depicts today's weather just fine.

Last night, I hung around the office until midnight, with cameras at the ready.

Some folks like to see photos of rain blowing sideways so, I figured I'd take a couple.

But, that Typhoon Guchol just didn't put on a very good show.

We'll get some good typhoon shots, and maybe some video, later.  Don't worry.

Today, we have partly cloudy, partly sunny, and even sometimes, partly raining skies.

Okinawa is a big place so, I guess it depends on what part of which island you happen to be.

My advice to travelers would be: Don't try and predict the weather.

Relax and enjoy life.

Somebody ate it.  

I'm getting pretty good at predicting things like that, not the weather.

You don't suppose one of the dogs ate the thing, do you ?

Visit my homepage for today's Feature Photo

Wildlife Photo: Oriental Pratincole: Bird Found in Okinawa, Japan

Here is a bird that may be my excuse to visit Tsuken-jima, again

But, has been spotted as far away as Australia and England.

Like, one time in 2004, over two million of them gathered at Eighty Mile Beach and had the 

Australasian Wader Studies Group scratching their heads, wondering.  Why ?

When the Map It Okinawa Dude and I went to Tsuken-jima we weren't planning on shooting birds.

We were looking for some caves so, I left the big lens behind.

Maybe, after this l'il typhoon blows-by, I'll make plans to go back to Tsuken-jima.

Take the Sigma 50-500mm lens and get some better photos of the critter.

And, my hat goes off to the folks on Bird Forum who helped ID this bird for me.

I'd never seen an Oriental Pratincole before, in my life.

It looks like it's wearing some kinda Grannie Glasses with a string hanging around it's neck ! 

My mind's made up.

Back to that island I'll go and get some better shots for you to see.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Typhoon Guchol Wants to Defy the Weathermen's Predictions

It'd probably be easier to predict how a third marriage will go than guess what this typhoon will do.

Today, Dave Ornauer, the "Typhoon Chaser" with Pacific Stars and Stripes newspaper, reported at 9:45AM (local time) that destructive winds of 58mph are expected within 12 hours.

At 9:47 I looked out the door and saw these protesters marching down the street.

They were going down the highway under blue skies and sunshine.

There's at least 60 people in that crowd and they didn't look scared of Typhoon Guchol, to me. 

This was Super Typhoon Guchol, yesterday, but, was downgraded, overnight.

There's no way you could get me to be a weatherman, during typhoon season in Okinawa, Japan.

The things are more unpredictable than a third wife.

Just for the heck of it, I'm going to go buy some cheeseburgers.

And set one on the kitchen table to see what the wife does.

Bet she eats it.  Hah ! 

Travel Photo: Sunrise at Hedo Misaki (Cape Hedo) Okinawa

Cape Hedo, or Hedo Misaki, is the northernmost point on the island of Okinawa, Japan.

Photo taken shortly after 6AM with a tripod-mounted Pentax K10D

Pentax 18-250 at 21mm
More about Hedo Misaki may be seen at

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Photo of the Week: The Sacred Site at Kijoka Falls in Okinawa

This photo of an Utaki, or sacred site, was taken at Kijoka Waterfalls Ogimi Okinawa, Japan.

Pentax K5 and 18-250 lens at 21mm

f/16   0.8sec   ISO 100

More about Kijoka Falls

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wildlife Photos: Largesnout Goby (Awaous melanocephalus)

In Japan this fish is called Kuro-minamihaze.

Scientists call them Awaous melanoceplalus.

The common English name is Largesnout Goby.

They can be found many places throughout Asia.

They are a freshwater fish which inhabit streams in rainforests within 50km of the sea.

The staff at Nago Museum in Okinawa, Japan were very patient with me.

Not many people sit in the aisle talking to fish in an aquarium trying to get them to hold still.

So, I should probably go back and give them one of these photos printed and framed.

Which Largesnout Goby photo do you think is the best ?