Cameras Take a Back Seat
The car got loaded up with camera bags, lenses and a tripod this morning and, north we went.
Research on future photo projects always has to be done in advance, to insure success.
Every imaginable type of lens would be handy if, a worthy photographic subject appeared.
Birds, rainbows, twisters, beach bunnies, whatever could show up and, we'd get them captured.
But, the priority today would be, gathering information for future assignments.
Both Doc Graff and I know, sometimes you go south on this island, to get to a northern point.
Part of my research today concerns the southern islands so, we headed north.
If, that confuses you then, you haven't been on the islands long enough. Stick around.
Yanbaru Wildlife Center
A trip I'm planning, will take me to the southern island of Iriomote, sometime next month.
There happens to be a critically endangered wildcat down there and, I want to catch one.
Not, to put in a cage, it's something I'd like to photograph in the wild if, possible.
We could have headed south and found information at a travel office in the city of Naha.
But, I'm not wild about cities and, travel folks down there probably, aren't wild about wildlife.
Up in Kunigami, the Wildlife Conservation Center has unbelievable resources.
The brochures above are a sample of materials, gathered today. All are in English.
We stood there for about 15 minutes, sucking down air-conditioning and gathering freebies.
Finally, a middle aged gal, interrupted smiling and said, "Santasan, Please sign-in."
It's a little tricky if, you don't read or speak Japanese but, we know enough to get by.
Before long, the woman was convinced, we don't speak much Japanese.
Try a bit of Okinawan (Uchinaguchi) and, the young lady started cackling. New friends !
Next thing you know, she gave me a photocopied page of contacts for Iriomote Wildlife Center.
The day would have been complete, having gotten this far. We could have called it quits.
Another bit I've learned on these islands. Keep on having a good day, whenever one shows up.
Talk to Locals
A drive to the village of Oku was next on the agenda, to gather some information.
The only gas station, in town, a small mom and pop store and, a cold drink were in order.
There's a festival that takes place in the near future, we needed to confirm dates for this year.
This event, isn't something the average tourist would probably, want to attend.
It's not widely advertised and, being the heathen I am, they welcome me.
The gal, in the country store, knew this matsuri would happen during September.
But, wasn't sure of the dates the event would take place, this year.
Inside a building, across the highway, I remembered this photo, was hanging on a museum wall.
It's sort of a wet and wild, traditional festival, which only happens, every other year.
The photo above, was snapped with the iPhone camera and, we waited a few minutes.
Along came a young lady, who works in the office by the museum and, I asked about the event.
She had to make a phone call, to get the specific dates for the matsuri.
The action depicted above (Bin-kui-kui) will take place September 10 2017.
We thanked the girl for her assistance, bowing deeply and headed back down south.
It wasn't until I arrived in Kin Town that a real camera was used to shoot brochures !
See: Shinugu Festival in the Village of Oku for more.
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