Thursday, July 31, 2014

Me and this Ryukyu Island Pine Tree: L'il Rant

Pinus luchuensis,Okinawa Pine

Hunting for Special Trees



It started one day, last week, when a friend asked if I could locate a tree.

He has a  black and white picture, taken somewhere around 1950.

A few prints, were made and along with Doc Graff, the search began.

Our first stop was on the northeastern side of Okinawa.

That's where we discovered this Ryukyu Pine.

Looking around at the background and taking photos from several angles, convinced us.

Although, it's big and impressive, it wasn't the tree we were searching for.

The tree, is special or, it wouldn't have this sign posted nearby.

So, I shot the sign and some other items in the area, for further investigation.

Without any help translating, I gained some information.

For example, the tree is 220-250 years old and, I have a Latin name.

Making Friends Searching for Trees



The folks in the neighborhood of that pine tree were helpful.

Once they saw what we were trying to accomplish, they showed an interest in helping.

They agreed, we had found the wrong tree and gave us some suggestions.

They even offered some sake, to drink. It wasn't lunchtime, yet !

Nice people but, we had work to do.  So, I'll visit again, sometime.


Off to the Other Side of the Island



Up and down the west coast, we went, showing the photo of the old, special tree.

Over there, people were helpful, too.

They did stuff, like pull history books off the shelf, searching for that picture.

And, passing the photo around, gave us directions to another huge, historical tree.

But, it didn't turn out to be the one we were hunting for, either.

More on than gem, at a later date.

The rest of the story about this Ryukyu Pine, is more important.

Going 'Round and 'Round



It would probably be a good idea to go get a translator for this sort of thing.

But, I decided to try and do it on my own.

They have these online services, you can use, for free.

Take a JPEG image and get it scanned at one of them, by uploading the photo.

And, the thing turns it into a downloadable document.

So, I tried a few, using the photo, of the sign above. But, some won't read Japanese.

Once, I figured that out, I thought I had it made and, sent the image in for processing.

Then, downloaded the document, copied and pasted it into Google Translate.

And, it told me this:

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So much more could have been learned, sitting with those guys and a bottle of sake !


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