Thursday, February 28, 2013

Travel Photo: Stream Scene from Okinawa

There's really no such thing as getting lost on the island of Okinawa.

But, you can become temporarily misplaced.

Follow any stream, trail or, road out of the jungle.

Sooner or, later you are bound to find the ocean.

What I do, when the younger dudes go climbing and trekking up slippery rocks is stop.

Then, make believe I'm doing something important.

That's how I got this scene of a stream flowing through the northern hills of Okinawa.

The Map It Okinawa dude must have thought I was temporarily misplaced.

After he climed every hill and waded through all the streams in the area, he came back and found me.

He helped me carry all my camera gear back down the mountain.

It's a good idea, after you reach a certain age, to have someone younger travel along with you.

He even has one of those GPS gadgets and, can probably tell you where this photo was taken.

The location isn't all that important to me.  I just like to take the pictures.

If we happen to head back up that way again I don't plan on going to this spot.

What I would do, is find another stream to checkout.

When the young adventurers get too far ahead of me, I'll do it again.

Just get myself Deliberately Misplaced  and shoot another scene in the jungles of Okinawa.

It's a blast !

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kin Town in Okinawa, Japan (Photo Essay)

15 Photos of Bars on a Wordless Wednesday Night
















Very quietly, I'll tell you.  After awhile, I found a bar open.  And, went in for a beer.

Flower Photo: The Cosmos of Kin Town Okinawa

Last night, on the way to shoot the full moon, I spotted these flowers.

Location: Kin Town, near Nature Mirai.

Camera: Pentax K5

Just two years ago,  I thought a Cosmo was some new auto made by Toyota.

If I keep taking flower photos for this blog, I might become a walking, flower encyclopedia.

There are lots more flowers blooming in the coming months.

Many of them have festivals celebrating the occasions.

Everything depends on the weather and I'll try to keep you posted, in advance.

Some of the springtime flower festivals I've been to may be seen here.

Sometimes, the flowers bloom and festivals are over before I get there !

It's best to keep an eye on Okinawa2Go! on Facebook for current events.

Another great resource for flower festivals and travel events, throughout Japan, is:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Full Moon Over Okinawa February 25, 2013 (Photos)

This is the Full Moon for February 2013, over Kin Bay in Okinawa, Japan.

 The little speck of light in the center of this photo is how I first saw it.

Some folks get tired of looking at the moon centered in the frame.

So, I moved it to the left side for them.

How do you like your Full Moons ?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lunacy Before the Full Moon (Photo Essay)

Does the Full Moon Cause Lunacy ?


It has an effect on the tides and that causes strange things to happen in the animal world.

And, it got me thinking about some of the crazy things people do, too.

Just making preparations for tomorrow's full moon I had one heck of a day.

Wanting to get some camera practice in tonight, I deliberately, didn't drink last night.

So, I was up at the crack of dawn.  I promised the Missus, I'd go shopping today.

Shopping, to me, is worse than having root canals.  But, people have to eat.

It took a little convincing (the wife) that we would save a lot, if I went by myself.

By myself, means the front seat of the car gets loaded with camera gear.

Heading home with the trunk and back seat full of groceries got me smiling.

Going by myself must have saved me at least a hundred bucks.  Hah !

And, I spotted this Flame Vine growing on someone's house.

So, I whipped a U-turn and shot this photo to show how huge they get in Okinawa.

Feeling a little guilty about leaving the wife, home alone, I came up with a plan.

"C'mon baby let's go for a Sunday drive, after you put the groceries away", I said.

So, back up to the mountains of Motobu, I went for the third time in a week.

Plus, she could read that Kanji on the rocks, beyond the bamboo.

Now, I know what it says.  It's the Long Life Rock.

Just when I was about to say "Mission accomplished, let's go home" I remembered something else.

We climbed up to the top of the hill and I introduced the wife to this sweetheart of a lady.

They got drinking green tea and chatting.

That gave me a chance to try and get some better photos of these critters.

A rare, endangered species is what they are.  I still want better photos.

But, this was enough for today.

Get out of the mountains without the wife filling the car-up with plants and flowers became the plan.

Getting ready for a moon shoot sometimes, requires a nap.

At home, I crashed from 4 to 5PM and was at my office by six.

If you look, real close, the moon is peeking over that orange-tiled roof.

It was 6:11PM when I took that wide angle shot.

Here's a photo taken by zooming with the Sigma 50-500mm lens, at 6:20.

Next, I played around with different compositions and crops.

People walk by and look at me like I'm crazy but, it's not lunacy; it's practice, to me.

 Running in and out of the office, I swapped cameras and lenses, a few times.

It all pays-off when it's time for the real-deal.

While I was in the office, I checked email a few times tonight, too.

 That's how I found out this Goat Fight photo essay was published.

Do you know how to capture a photo like that ?

Just lay down on the ground and, act like a lunatic, before a full moon !

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bug Photo: The Common Water Slider

This bug fools a lot of people because it looks like a mosquito.

The Common Water Slider (Gerris remigis) doesn't have wings.  It can't fly.

But, they walk on water and eat mosquitos so, you should make friends with them.

A website, Study of Northern Virginia Ecology, can teach you more about them than I ever could.

While researching this insect I found all kinds of bugs at the University of California.

If you ever get stuck with a bug, you can't identify, checkout their photo collection.

Wikipedia people might give you some information overload if you look at these bugs over there.

When I read what they had to say about Gerris remigis:

......"The most consistent characteristic used to separate these two families are internal genitalia differences. Since internal genitalia require specific training and tools to identify, it is almost impossible to tell a member of the Gerridae apart from a member of the Veliidae by external visual cues."..... suddenly dawned on me, I don't want to become a bug scientist.

The folks at the University of California and Northern Virginia are good enough for me ! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Flower Photo: The Flame Vine in Okinawa

It took awhile to nail the name of these brilliant, orange flowers I shot today.

These guys were hanging off the roof of a building up in Motobu.  I had to get a photo.

The mission we were on was to shoot Buddha and the bamboo in morning light.

Once that was accomplished it was time to goof-off.

When I saw those flaming vines Map It Okinawa Dude let me loose.

This is a flower, I've been meaning to shoot and identify for over a year, now.

Taking the Photo was the Easy Part


The rest of the story was a little bit different.  I thought I had it made.

There was a flower nursery across the street from where  the orange flowers were hanging.

The sign was in English "Izena Nursery." 

As soon as I opened the door, a pretty gal was standing in front of me.

But, the place wasn't a nursery.  It looked like a coffee shop.

Anyway, I showed the girl the photo and pointed across the road to the flowers.

And, I asked her if she knew the name of the plants.

No luck.  She asked a taxi driver, parked out front.  He didn't know, either.  

 They both suggested, I go back across the highway and ask a flower shop.

Izena Okinawa Japan has Flower (花) Shops Everywhere


The signs weren't in English but, I know "花" means flower, when I see it.

It just seemed like every flower store in town was sleeping-in late or, abandoned.


About to give-up and head back to the car, I spotted a farmer behind one of the nurseries.

He was loading vegetables into a truck.  

Farmers are good people.  It's easy for me to make friends with them.

It's probably not a great idea to run up to one, if you're a foreigner, and shove a camera in his face.

So, I do stuff like say "Hi" and start complaining about the high cost of my flip-flops.

That gets him laughing.

Then, I shove the camera in his face and ask what those orange flowers might be.

He was a real nice guy and told me "Kaen Kazura."

Before I thank him and leave, I have to make sure I pronounce it right.

He has to yell, real loud to correct me because I don't hear so good.

Gotterdun, I thought, mumbling "Kaen Kazura" all the way back to the car.

From inside my camera bag I grab a marker pen and write it down on my hand.

The Fun Begins with Online Research


None of my search engines leads to a flower named Kaen Kazura.

 So, I start typing bright orange flower, Okinawa, Japan, photos, images and plants.

Somebody should come up with a better way to ID Flowers on the internet.

Finding scientific names to match a photo is too time consuming.

But, we gotterdun. 

The Flame Vine is a Pyrostegia venusta from South America.


Just One Small Problem Remaining


That crazy marker pen has some kind of waterproof ink in it.

Now, my left hand looks like it had a tattoo carved on it by a do stuff yourself artist. 

 Does anyone know a way to scrub it off without losing all my skin ?

Or, should I just wear the gloves I bought to match my flip-flops 'til it wears off  ?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Travel Photo Thursday: Buddha and Bamboo

This photo of a smiling Buddha in the bamboo was taken February 21, 2013.

Pentax KD10 with Pentax 18-250 at 18mm

f/11  1/10sec   ISO 100

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When Hungry: Unhealthy Food Tastes Good (Photo)

Man, I wish I could remember where I shot this food photo.

Today was one of those days.

Five trip reviews, a travel photo essay and a photography tip were submitted online.

Digging back through past photo files, I came across this delicious-looking dish.

That order probably has enough cholesterol in it to kill an elephant.

But, I don't care.  I have to find something like this, right now.

Because, when I'm hungry, unhealthy food tastes great !


Monday, February 18, 2013

Flower Photo: Pink Hibiscus in the Rain

Rainy days, trapped indoors, drive me crazy.

So, I took the Pentax K5 with a Sigma 50-500mm lens out back.

They have more of these hibiscus flowers, on this island, than anywhere else I've ever been.

I shot this pink one in the wind and rain just for the flower lovers.

Something I haven't been able to figure out is why the deigo, is Okinawa's state flower.

It should be the hibiscus because they bloom everywhere, all the time.

If I ever decide to become the emperor, vote for me.  OK ?

Do You Need a Release for an Aquarium Photo ?

It Depends on What You Do with It


Here is an aquarium photo I shot in a Pool Bar the other night when I got bored.

It's not something I would enter in a contest or, sell.  So, no release needs to be signed.

If the fish photo was good enough for publication or, printing, framing and selling, I'd get a release.

The release form, I use most of the time, is a model release.  These fish aren't models.

There are a few other types of release forms which require signatures.

National Geographic has downloadable release forms you can checkout.

They have Artist  Release, Personal Release and Location Release Forms.

If these fish were out in the wild, I wouldn't need a release to sell the photo.

But, when they are in somebody's aquarium, they are private property.

If the aquarium photo had turned out a little better, I'd get the owner to sign a release form.

I always give a copy of the photo away, to whoever signs the form.

Maybe, I'll print this one and see if I can get a free beer !

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Butterfly Photo: Common Grass Yellow

This Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe) butterfly photo was taken February 15, 2013.

Searching on Butterflies of Japan, it only took a few minutes to get an identification.

It's always a good idea to take the research a bit further.

So, I looked over on Wikipedia and said  "Naa".

Then, what I did was start Googling "Eurema hecabe" until I found something worth sharing.

The site, I liked best, had great photography and, I thought, the best information.

They said females of this species are more discreet than males.

Well, I'll drink to that !

Checkout: Learn about Butterflies the complete guide to the world of butterflies and moths. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Redneck Goes High Tech on Pinterest


It Started with a Conversation About Resumes


A  friend suggested making a one page resume of articles I've had published and posting it online.

That sort of high tech stuff scares me. 

My website and blogs get cluttered-up enough without me trying to add more fancy stuff.

 So, I experimented over on Pinterest and created this Board.

It doesn't look too shabby, to me so, I went and shared it over on Facebook.

That way, I'd get an idea if folks liked the way it looked.

Somehow, that Zuckerberganator guy had all 21 of my pins from that Board, already.

So, this old country boy, went and deleted them one at a time.  Hah !

Facebook Gets on My Nerves Sometimes


They are probably more popular with youngsters and city folks than senior citizens.

It seems like, just about the time I start figuring out how it works, they change everything.

They better watch-out.  One of these days Pinterest may gobble them up !

Here's the Deal

Facebook and Pinterest dudes should start talking to us about these important things.

Suppose a bunch of people wanted to do high tech stuff like I just did.

They want online mini resumes the same as in the screenshot above.

Call them a Picturesume.

My friend Map It Okinawa coined that term.

The high tech stuff, I did all by myself.

Contact us.  Sometimes, we even accept unreasonable offers !


Another Silly Sign: Let Out English-speaking Staff

This gem was spotted today somewhere in Okinawa, Japan.

"Call us now and let out English-speaking staff assist you."

There's no telling, how these silly signs are created.

Maybe, there was a typo when they placed the order.  

They hit the "r" instead of "t" like I do, almost every day.

The reason I post these silly signs isn't to be mean.

They just seem funny, to me and, I think everybody needs a good laugh, now and then.

The government should hire someone with a degree in English.

They could create a Minister of Misspellings and Bad Grammar.

That way plenty of the silly signs could be corrected.

Now, I don't have an English degree and, I'm really busy.

But, I could point people in the right direction if they wanted my assistance.

My services would be reasonable, too.

It would be a lot cheaper than trying to invent a spell-checker for a paint bucket!

More Silly Signs in The Doozies

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Restaurant Photo with the Sigma 10-20mm

Just a quick photo from last night is all I have time for today.

Lately, I've gotten so busy, I don't know what day of the week it is.

When I downloaded today's photos I discovered it's Valentines Day here, right now.

Danged if that didn't sneak up on me.  And, I'm glad  my camera reminded me about it.

The restaurant is Cantina "T" in Kin Village Okinawa, Japan.

And, that gal is Momo.  She was nice enough to turn up the lights nice and bright for me.

What I plan on doing is a TripAdvisor Review on the place.

It's the only establishment, I know of in town, that serves Peruvian food.

And, it is delicious.

When you are writing for TripAdvisor, you can't take anything from those you are writing about.

So, if Momo tries to give me a Valentine, I'll have to tell her, "No thanks, Senorita."

But, the gals, in all the other places I go, might have something for me.

So, I have to hurry and get on out of here and see how much candy I can collect.  Hah!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ten More Photos from Okinawa's Orchid Show 2013

In the order they were taken, here are ten more photos from the Orchid Show.

These were just processed today and I want to post them quick for all to see.

They had some big snowstorm back on the east coast of the USA.

It's been a few days since I've heard from anyone back there.

So, I'm guessing they are still shoveling snow.

Or, maybe they are waiting for the electricity to come back on.

When everybody is back online they can look at these flowers.

It might make them think about coming to Okinawa for next year's Orchid Show.

Almost anything beats shoveling snow in February.

We have plenty of places over here for families to stay.

Look at some of the things you can see at the Okinawa International Orchid Show.

And, start making plans, right now, for 2014 !

Visit my homepage for today's Feature Photo