Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday's Motion GIFs from Oku in Okinawa Japan

Golden Week Keeps Us Busy



Today, over a thousand photos were taken in northern Okinawa.

It was cloudy and a little wet but, a fun filled day.

These koinobori (carp streamers) will brighten up anybody's dreary day.

So, I shot plenty of images, using the burst mode and a tripod.

fish,dancing in the wind,Japan,Golden Week

That way, when the fishes dance around in the wind, I can get them GIF'd.

When shooting these streamers, just pretend they are wildlife.

watch their eyes, Motion, GIF photo

And, keep a close look on their eyes !

More about how these Motion GIFs, are created, coming soon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crappy Bird Image May Be Worth Thousands of Dollars

The Best Things on the Internet Ain't Free



They have lots of freebies on that WWW-Thingy but, not all photos are that way.

For example, none of the photos, I post online are free.

This pigeon photo is worthless and, I wasn't planning on selling it.

But, if I put it on the internet, somebody might take it.

If they take it without my consent we could have a big party, thanks to DMCA.

That's the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

After the party, I'd sober up and probably order some more cameras and lenses.

To Fully Understand You Have to See This


It had to be the most enjoyable blog, I've read so far, this year.

What a gal. She had to get a lawyer because somebody snitched a photo.

She got a great discussion going in the comments.

Over an hour, I spent, reading everything.

Entertaining and lively, it was.

She even calls the attorney names.

Me too, I think lawyers are a bunch of leeches.

But, I wouldn't put that in writing.


The Moral of the Story

Don't steal photos from photographers who post them online.

Even if you think it's not worth a dime.

A crappy bird picture may cost you a few thousand bucks.

If somebody asks me nicely, I could give this one away for free !

Best to put it all in writing, nice and legal-like.

They have these things called laws.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Some Cosmos to Look at on Rainy Days and a Dang Cocoon


Will the April Showers Ever End ?


Somebody needs to tell the rainmaker, we've had enough.

This photo was taken back in March.

We really don't need any more April showers to bring on the May flowers.

Flowers, bloom year round in Okinawa, Japan.

Sunshine, is what's needed.

Being Cooped Up on Rainy Days Can Make You Go Buggy


As a matter of fact, I'm babysitting a bug, right now.

It's some sort of cocoon, I found crawling around so, I captured it.

Instead of me getting all bloody, crawling after it, I put it in a clear cup.

That way, if it ever decides to come out, I can shoot it with my camera.

Experience Has Taught Me


Chasing little insects with a DSLR can ruin your day.

In the past, I have shredded my jeans, bloodied my elbows and knees and destroyed my office.

It happened because, I wanted to know what that thing, in a cocoon was.

We bought a special bug cage for it.

And, it died before I could ever figure out what it was.

Now, I wish I wouldn't have threw that stupid bug cage away.

Bug Experts Advised Me


Keep the thing alive until it matures.  Then, you'll be able to identify it.

So, that's the plan, this time around.

The little rascal gets around.  It escaped once.  And, I found it crawling on my ladder.

Now, it's in a pudding cup with another pudding cup taped above it.

As long as it isn't allergic to Scotch Tape, we'll be in business.

But, if the sun comes out this week, I'm outta here.

The cocoon and pudding cups, I'd give away for free.

This rainy weather make me crazy !

Related Posts:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Politicians Should Take Up Fishing

Today I Visited Drowning Worms



No kidding, there is a website called Drowning Worms.

They have all kinds of nifty stuff about fishing.


So, I snooped around, looking for some inspiration before posting today's photo.

They had a quote from Will Rogers that tickled me, I want to share here.

"If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly, we would be at peace with the world."

Here's the Deal


Somebody should start taping their mouths shut.

The rest of us will start collecting funds to buy them all fishing gear !

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Images: Some Old Imperial Japan Banknotes

These Photos Are Not For Printing



So, they were tweaked a little, just in case any criminals are out there.

Most people, including the missus, say the notes are worthless.

Yen, currency, antique, collectors

Front view of a 1938 50 Sen Note

Identified by the views of sun shining on Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms.

 Backside of 1938 50 Sen Note

Here's a 1942 50 Sen Note

The Yasukini Shrine, torii and, bird in flight are identifying marks.

Rear view of 1942 50 Sen Note



What's the Value of Two 50 Sen Notes ?



Back in those days, they added up to a grand total of One Yen.

Only a serious collector, would put any value on them today.

To find out what any coin or bank note, around the globe, is worth, go here.

You could have some old money worth millions !

Banknote World is a great resource for identification.

CoinQuest is a site, strictly for evaluating coins.

One character, spotted on Ebay, was asking $27.50 for one of these worthless bills ! 

Is that clever or, what ?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bird Photo: Friday Night and Here's a Dam Heron for You

bird,dam,heron,Striated Heron

It was near the Kin Dam so, I'm calling it a dam heron.

Striated Heron is the common name of this bird.

bird, Motion GIF,Striated Heron,dam,SD card

There were so many shots of this bird taken, the SD card got filled up.

And, I didn't bring along a spare so, I cussed and went home.

But, if one of these photos wins a contest....

I'll start calling the bird a dam fine heron.

Friday night, a beer is calling me.

Have a great weekend !

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Travel Photo: Hajiusui (恥うすい坂) the Stone of Shame in Nago

Tragedy in the Mountains



This stone is a monument to a story Shakespeare could have written.

Two young lovers, ended their lives in this area.

Engraved,stone,love story,tradgedy

It's another one of those tales about a girl who is in love.

And, she catches her guy, with another woman.

So, she goes up the trail and kills herself.

He went up and did the same thing.

Now I'm Hearing They Were Found Naked



They probably would have gotten this rock carving, anyhow.

So, I'm wondering.  What possessed them to take their clothes off ?

The inscription on the stone warns travelers.  Be careful, going up that trail.

Something told me, "Don't go in there."

So, I stayed on the road and shot butterflies, instead.

Nago City Website Convinced Me 

If you go up that trail, you better sprinkle the path with leaves.

Because, if you don't, you will be misled by some evil spirits !

Use your Google Translate on the Nago Website

Directions and more at Map It Okinawa 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wildlife Photo: Glossy Ibis in Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan

bird, migratory,Glossy Ibis,Okinawa,Japan

Good Fortune Helped Capture These Bird Photos Today



Yesterday, I got a message, telling me they were here.

Searching "Ibis" gave me some visual clue, as to what I'd be looking for.

The first Ibis photo that popped-up, sent me on my way with the camera.

After a few hours of circling the wetlands, I was about to give up.

It's a good thing, Shawn Miller came along  with his truck.

He knew right where they were feeding.

And, had a good chuckle, when I told him I was looking for white birds !

These characters are multicolored.

So, guaranteed, I'll be going back to shoot them, on the next sunny day.

Plegadis faicinellus is their scientific name.

Learn more about these birds at ARKive and

Checkout Shawn Miller's Okinawa Nature Photography

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Travel Photo: Shioya Bridge in Ogimi Okinawa

bridge,travel,ghosts,camping,abandoned resort

Could There Be Ghosts Living Nearby ?



Ever since, researching for this photo, I ain't sure I'll be camping under this bridge, again.

It used to be one of my favorite hangouts, on hot summer evenings.

But a friend of mine, named Okinawa Soba, got me thinking.

He tells the story of Shah Bay Resort over on Flickr.

It seems, Shioya Bay, used to be called Shah Bay.

And, the resort, abandoned, around 1995, has become something else.

It sounds like a goldmine, for ghost hunters and photographers.

Heck with the bridge, I'll camp out at the Ghost Resort, next time, I'm up that way !

Monday, April 21, 2014

Travel Photo: A View of Hedo Village Office from Atop Mt. Nishime ( 西銘岳)

travel,mountaintop,orange-roofed building,climbing

Last Friday morning we trekked/climbed Nishimedake.

A few dozen photo files are awaiting development and, more will  be posted, later.

The orange roof on this building is a real eye-catcher.

The light, in the sky didn't suit me so, I zoomed-in and cropped it out.

scenery,cloudy,Hedo Point, Okinawa
That was to keep the scene from looking like this view of Hedo Point.....

...photographed from the same location.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Golden Trumpet Trees Blooming in Okinawa and Some Bark

Ever Wonder What Those Bright Yellow Flowers Are ?



In this part of the world, we just call them Ipe.

The common name would be Golden Trumpet, for the trees and flowers.

Scientists, seem to disagree, over what to call them.

bright yellow flowers,Golden Trumpets,trees

Not especially qualified to argue with science-types, here's what I did.

trees, flowers,Golden Trumoets

Running around with a camera, I made random images of the things.

close-up,gloden trumpet flowers

Maybe, we could call it a random act of kindness, for the scientific community.

They don't pay me for doing this stuff but, I have lots of fun.

tree,bark,golden trumpets,flowers

A closer look at the tree trunk and bark, might help clear things up.

close-up,leaves,golden trumpet tree

 The clusters of leaves may help in identification, too.

 University of Florida, calls them: Tabebuia chrysotricha

Pacific Horticulture Society, says they are:  Handroanthus chrysotrichus

Another Type of Bark Encountered 

What makes this type of work fun, is some of the crazy things that happen along the way.

This farmer's dog, didn't like the idea of me being in the area.

So, he came running after me, barking.

bark,barking dog,GIF

That's when the mad scientist, in me came out.
It took a little growling and barking, back at him, to scare him off.

fence,barking dog,motion GIF

Then, he stayed on his side of the fence and, I stayed on mine.

Hopefully, those scientists will come to an agreement, soon.

Because next, I want to shoot some Pink and Purple Trumpets.

They probably, won't agree on what to call them, either.

Related Post:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

These People Aren't Afraid to Get Their Hands Dirty


Here's a Cool Project



En-route to the northern hills of Okinawa, we stopped and visited this place.

It will take some more research to get all the details.

But, I had fun just, watching and shooting photos.

The engineer, in me, loves this sort of stuff.

Wonder if I could snitch some blueprints.

They take, regular Okinawa red clay and sift it.

Then, mix it with cement and water.

Fill up buckets with the stuff and get these gal volunteers to slap it on the building.

They're constructing some sort of Ecology House.

It looks like a huge beehive.

We will have to go back up there and see the finished product.

Don't you think that would be a neat place to live?

Like those people because they ain't afraid to get their hands dirty.

Japanese - Ryukyu Shimpo Article and finished construction.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Endangered Species Photo: Japanese Night Heron

bird,endangered species,Japanese Night Heron,Okinawa

This red-colored bird was spotted on a road in the north of Okinawa.

First guess: It might be a Cinnamon Bittern.

But, after looking at several sites, a decision was made  to get some help with the ID.

Hat's off, to the experts at the Bird Forum.

They helped convince me, we've got a Gorsachius goisagi, here.

While, checking several websites with photos for identification, another discovery was made.

The bird is on the IUCN Red List, as an Endangered Species.

We Seem to Be Getting an Awful Lot of Endangered Species on this Planet



One of these days, I need to make a photo gallery of those, I have collected.

From my observations, there is a common denominator, at work here.

The biggest threat to wildlife, around the globe, seems to be humans.

The percentage who care about nature, is overwhelmed by those who don't give a hoot.

Management, zoology, conservation and whatever else, just ain't working.

Why don't the people who don't care about this planet, just leave.

Hop on a space shuttle and go screw up some other planet.

The wild animals and, a bunch of other folks, would be a lot better off.

Dontcha think ?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bend Over Let Me See You Shake a Tail Feather

birds,egrets,shaking tail feathers

This Egret Will Make You Want To Try It



Today we'll be heading out early and won't be back tonight.

So, this bird gave me an idea of how to keep everyone entertained while I'm gone.

Here's a video with great music, you can use to practice.

It would be best to do this in the privacy of your home, not out in the street.

That's because, when I was doing it, I almost got run over by a dump truck.


Ray Charles and the Blues Brothers will help get you started.

You don't have to bend over.

Just shake it baby !

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Pair of Common Yellow Grass Butterflies (Photos)

butterflies,mating,Common Yellow,nature

They Really Do Fly United



We spotted them flying in the northern area of Okinawa.

There's supposedly, a place up there, where you can see whales jumping in the ocean.

Shooting a camera from land, is lots easier, than from a whale-watching boat.

But, it was so cloudy, over the ocean, you couldn't have seen whales, anyway.

When these characters, stopped in a sunny spot, I shot them for you.

mating,Common Yellow,butterflies

My good friend, Doc, said they were mating.

And, gave me the idea for my subtitle.

Backing off a bit to give them some privacy, a few dozen photos were made.

It beats watching airline commercials.  Doesn't it ?

For more information about these Eurema hecabe butterflies, checkout:


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Going to Shoot the April Full Moon in Kin Town

Circuitous Travel Route



That's what they call travel that ain't exactly in a straight line.

The way I went to shoot took a few more hours than usual.


This photo of the Kin Bridge has been something, I've been meaning to do.

So, the plan was, to walk to the beach, following the Okukubi River.

Along the way, I spotted this Northern Shoveler duck.

So, I nabbed a couple of photos with the duck doing different poses.

It would be a few hours before sunset and moonrise would happen.

A couple of Whimbrels entertained me for awhile.

There were plenty of other birds in front of my lens, too.

This Cattle Egret was one of my favorite for color and contrast.

When the moon first showed up, I was disappointed.

It was sort of reddish but, clouds kept getting in the way and, it was cold outside.

It was windy, down by the seashore and, I was freezing.

No kidding.  By the time I made this shot, my hands were numb from the cold.

It would have taken a good hour, to walk back to my office, after I finished.

Luckily, I met a security guard with a cell-phone.

He called me a taxi, to get me home !

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bird Photos: A Sandpiper Winks at the Camera


This little bird didn't seem to be doing much, down in the marshlands.

It pretty much, stayed in one spot, for a long time.


Being patient with wildlife is something I learned.

If you wait long enough, the subject, is bound to do something.


All the little rascal did, was wink at me, a few times.


Maybe, it's a technique these birds use to drive people away.

It worked, for me.

bird,winking,motion GIF,Sandpiper,Okinawa

Before long, I got bored and walked away.

And, that's how I got to meet the Bird of the Week !

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Today Looks Like a Nice Day to Party at a Graveyard !

Okinawa's Ritual Honoring Ancestors



It's called Ushiimii in the local dialect.

According to my Okinawan dictionary, the observance is conducted by the lunar calendar.

The family visits the ancestral tomb for an annual gathering.

It takes place on any day between the 22d of the second month and the 3d of the third lunar month.

My family selected today and I'm glad.

It's a nice warm Spring day with brilliant blue skies.

It's a good time for me to relax and enjoy the company of family members, I haven't seen in awhile.

So, I decided to post an article, we did about this subject a few years ago.

This was originally published at Pocket Cultures.

And, the cameraman was RyukyuRusty.

Ancestor Worship in Okinawa, Japan


culture,family tomb,ancestor worship

A gathering at the family tomb for Shimi


During the month of April, each year, a Sunday gathering takes place at the family tomb (Ohaka).

 The occasion, known as Shimi, resembles a family reunion and picnic combined. Throughout the month, every Sunday, the roads may appear to have more traffic and many vehicles will be seen parked alongside the roads close to family tombs.

Vegetation surrounding the Ohaka is trimmed and the grounds are cleaned up by men, usually the week prior. The family agrees on a date whereby maximum attendance is achieved. Women prepare foods for the assembly, days in advance.

My family planned Shimi for Sunday the 17th of April 2011. It rained.

women praying at family tomb,Ohaka,Shimi
 Flowers and drinks were placed at the entrance to the tomb as offerings. Incense was burned and prayers were offered. The food that was prepared and placed in front of the Ohaka, as an offering to the ancestor’s spirts, had to be removed quickly when the rain came pouring down. Everyone offered their prayers and left the tomb. That doesn’t stop Shimi.

family altar,butsudan,inscence burning

Everything that was prepared for the event at the Ohaka was carried to the home of the eldest surviving son in the family. An altar called a Butsudan is another place in Okinawa where ancestor worship takes place. Food and drinks were placed on the altar. Incense, resembling charcoal sticks, was lighted.

burning paper money known as uchikabi,family altar

Paper money, known as Uchikabi, was burned…

family prayer and offerings to ancestors at altar

The family gathered around the table of foods and drinks, offered to the spirits and prayed.

food and money offered to anscestors

One item from each type of food offered was placed along with the burned paper money for the ancestral spirits to take with them back to the spiritual world.

children play,Shimi is a festive event,anscestors pleased

 Children frolic, play and swing from the rafters and adults joke, chat and banter until the eldest woman present announces it’s time to eat.
Shimi, the ancestral worship ceremony, is not a sad occasion in Okinawa. It is a time to be happy and the spirits, who are always watching, enjoy seeing the family celebrating together.

Are there any joyous celebrations for the deceased in your culture?

Photographer: Rusty Robertson