Monday, June 17, 2019

What Got Shot Instead of Okinawa's June 2019 Full Moon

Kin Power-plant, Okinawa, skies, sunrise

Full Moon Was Invisible

Friday night would have been the best time to capture the moon over Okinawa.

The skies were clear and the moon was about 96% full. Weather changes rapidly.

Peeking out the windows, I kept hoping the sky would clear so, I could shoot the moon.

astronomy, full moon, JUN 2018, Okinawa

Here's what I was wanting to see. It's the Full Moon a year ago.

A storm system seems to have hovered over the Ryukyu Islands the past few days.

The sky was sort of whited out during daylight and it rained plenty at night.

Early mornings, I walked down to the fishing port planning on catching the moon setting.

Two days in a row I carried all the camera gear downhill but, never saw the moon.

A few minutes before sunrise the scene above was captured with the lens at 70 MM.

If you want to see some real full moon photography, look at last year's images.

The weather this year makes me want to flip the bird!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Scene from Abushibare - Cultural Ritual in Yaka, Kin, Okinawa

Abushibare,beach,boat,culture, Okinawa, rituals

Noro Prepares for Prayers on a Beach

Abushibare is a springtime ritual held in some locations throughout the Ryukyu Islands.

Like many special events held in Okinawa, this one coincided with the full moon.

Up and around with the camera for some moon photography, yesterday was a long, hard day.

By the time I finished taking photos of the setting moon, I had to hurry to this event.

It was about a two-hour hike for me and, I happened to be the first one on the beach.

Several times I have witnessed the rituals performed at a small shrine.

That part, I skipped in order to catch my breath and rest in the shade adjoining the beach.

To give you an idea what the whole ceremony looks like, here's a 2017 slideshow:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

May 2019 Full Moon Over Okinawa

astronomy, Full Moon, Okinawa

Big and Bright Moon Setting

This image shows the moon as it was going down over Ishikawa, Okinawa, Japan.

It was at 99.9% full and would disappear below the horizon before 6 AM.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Pentax 300MM with 1.4 convertor for focal length of 420MM

Exposure: f/11   1/3sec   ISO 100

Date and Time: May 19 2019 5:27 AM

Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 Hydrangea Report #1 from Motobu Okinawa

A Dozen Images Were Shot Today

This morning a visit was paid to Yohena Hydrangea Garden.

The flowers we were hoping to see blooming are known as Ajisai locally.

The rainy season got a late start this year so, the Hydrangea blossoms aren't ready yet. 

flowers, gardens, Hydrangea, Ajisai, Okinawa

In no particular order, other than the way, they came out of the camera, here you go.

Chasing the best available lighting, I composed images of many flowers.

Volunteers can give you the names of these pretty things. I'm too tired to research.

Ajisai, flowers, gardens, Motobu, Okinawa

Before the sun came up today, I was out walking and, covered lots of territory. 

They say you need to walk at least 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy.

Well, I got over that and, am trying to walk 20,000 steps each day.

flowers, hills, gardens, Okinawa, Hydrangea

It was supposed to rain today so, I wore a water-resistant jacket.

The sun came out as we climbed the hills and, I looked back to capture the views.

That's when it dawned on me, I left my jacket and iPhone (step counter) in the car.

flowers, Hydrangea, gardens, Okinawa

Well, I already had 16,000 or more steps on the counter so, no need to worry.

It may have added another 1,000 or, two to the contraption, climbing those hills.

If, you're wondering what these pink flower thingies are, send them to a botanist.

They can probably give you an answer, quicker than, I can.

flowers, hydrangea, gardens, Okinawa

From past experiences, I pretty sure this is a Hydrangea. The blue thing.

The blossoms were scarce. When the time is right those hills will be crawling with the flowers.

They come in colors like pink, white and blue. Maybe purple, too.

flowers, gardens, Okinawa

These yellow rascals seemed to be doing quite well and, I should know their name.

But, somebody in your crowd probably can identify the beauties so, why should I.


flowers, gardens, hills, Okinawa

Way down in the lower corner of this photo is the red-tiled roof of Yohena's house.

Here's documentation of blue sky (in the rainy season) we're supposed to be having.

Climbing hills and bending your body are good for you when you're 17 years of age.

Today I discovered, I'm not 17 anymore.

flowers, gardens, house, Hydrangea, Okinawa

We must have walked every inch of Yohena Gardens today and seen every hill.

Sometimes, I think we even got onto somebody else's property, up in the hills.

The Hydrangea flowers might have been disappointing but, the nature walk was great!

flowers, gardens, Hydrangea, Okinawa, Yohena

The woman who planted (some 10,000 or so) Hydrangea in those hills, went to heaven.

She lived to be around 100 and won many awards for her gardens.

Her son, let me know, the full bloom period should be around May 25-Mid June this year.

Ajisai, flowers, gardens, Hydrangea, Motobu, Okinawa, Yohena

Leaving the gardens, I couldn't help but, shoot one more scene with the tiled-roof house.

That's where Mrs. Yohena would always be happy to greet guests to her gardens.

Of course, we promised to return, when the flowers are in full bloom.

flowers, gardens, Okinawa

This purple specimen is another one I'll have to pass on sharing the identification.

flowers, gardens, Okinawa

In the parking lot, I spotted this beauty, which reminded me of a gal I used to know.

Shucks, I forgot her name too! 

Important Information: Yohena Hydrangea Garden Website

Friday, May 3, 2019

10 Photos from a Mud Festival in Okinawa

Kin Town Tanbo Festa 2019

A Tanbo is a flooded field or rice paddy and this Mud Festival is a Golden Week event.

Not wanting to get signed model releases, I won't be selling any of these images.

children, festival, mud, Okinawa, people

The idea is to let kids have some fun while splashing around in the mud.

After capturing a mob scene photo, I decided to get some closer up photos.

child, festival, mud, Okinawa

Snapping images of children can be tricky. I always get parents consent before shooting.

Some children don't want to cooperate. You can't swat them like they're your own!

Just kidding.

children, festival, mud, Golden Week, Japan

Some of the cute little rascals love to pose for the camera.

children, festival, mud, Okinawa, people

Anyone who's been in Japan over one week understands this picture.

Every time someone takes a picture in Japan, you're supposed to smile and flip a peace sign!

children, festival, Golden Week, people

It's nice to have parents, who've been in the mud, pose along with their children.

children, family,festival, Golden Week, Japan, Okinawa

This woman was probably the most photogenic and cooperative subject of the day.

She assembled her family for pictures several times over the course of an afternoon.

Then, she'd jump back in the mud with her kids and catch frogs with her bare hands!

It's hard to find a frog-catching woman these days. Dontcha think?

mud, festival, Japan, Golden Week, people, Okinawa

Normally, I wouldn't get in someone's face with the camera at a festival.

A photojournalist friend arranged for some of the Nature Mirai staff to pose for me.

mud, festival,Okinawa, people

Maybe, I'll be able to chase these subjects down and give them prints of their images.

Of course, model releases will get signed. The girls were super cooperative.

Notice, they traded the peace signs for some different hand signals.

children, mud, festival, Golden Week, Okinawa, Japan, people

It's a good thing this dad gave a big happy smile for everyone to look at.

The child wasn't as thrilled. She's sort of gritting her teeth and shivering from the cold water.

Anyway, they helped keep the audience's eyes off of the background scenery.

That's good because someone out in the water got totally naked. I hope you didn't notice!

children, festival, mud, Golden Week, Japan, Okinawa

Most of these folks were smart enough to bring along a change of clothes,

They had some freshwater outdoor shower contraptions hooked up.

That way, you could be sparkling clean for the ride home.

Maybe, I'll pack some dry clothes next year and jump in the mud with everybody!

Friday, April 19, 2019

April 2019 Full Moon Over Okinawa

astronomy, full moon, Okinawa

Slim Chance of Seeing It Tonight

This image shows the moon at 99.3% full. Around 8 PM tonight it will be at 100%.

The Weather Channel on my iPhone shows clouds all day and tonight.

The moon may or, may not peek through the clouds this evening.

So, when I noticed it appear this morning, I went out behind the house and shot the sucker.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Pentax 300 MM with 1.4 converter for Focal Length 420 MM

Exposure: f/11  1/100   ISO 100

Date and Time: APR 19 2019 5:06 AM

Touring the Island

We'll be out there somewhere in Okinawa doing our usual Friday camera day.

It has been determined, the best excursions take place when we have no plans.

So, on Friday mornings, we just hop in a car and head off to locations unknown.

We decide North, South, East or West after the car doors are slammed.

Sometimes we'll hit all four directions in one day!

Tonight as the sun goes down I'll be checking the skies for a moon appearance.

If it decides to cooperate, I'll go out and shoot the sucker again.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Wordless Wednesday: Another Lost Soul

forest, shoe, sole, Okinawa

Reflections Along the Okukubi River

decking, reflections, river, mangroves, bridge, Okinawa, Okukubi

Nature Therapy for the Soul

Lately I've been taking early morning hikes with the dog, trying to get him in shape.

Way before sunup, I'm out navigating Okinawa's east coast in Kin Town.

birds, mangroves, Okinawa, reflections, river, Okukubi, Kin-Town

By the time the sun rises above surrounding hills and trees I'm walking along the river.

These birds, known as Black-winged Stilts entertained me, circling above the water.

It was 6:39 AM on April 8th, when this image was captured.

Can you remember what you were doing at the time?

decking, mangroves, Okinawa, reflections, river

Moving along the east bank of the river, I keep looking for interesting reflections to shoot.

Some of my Okinawa friends, who have moved off the island, will enjoy these photos.

decking, mangroves, Okinawa, reflections, river, nature

They bring back memories of hours, spent on the river, enjoying nature photography.

Not actually planning on bird photography, I was using wide angle lenses.

bridge, Kin, Okinawa, reflections, river, Okukubi

It would be 7:15 AM by the time I reached this Kin Bypass bridge.

The dog and I, would continue our leisurely stroll all the way to the Kin Dam.

There, we would rest in the shade and take a refreshing water break.

If there's a river or lake near you, checkout the early morning light.

You might be surprised, what the scenery does for your spirits!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Night After Supermoon MAR 2019

astronomy, Okinawa, moon, supermoon, Spring

Missed the Supermoon last Night

Some people got a peek at the moon before clouds rolled in over Okinawa.

While it was still daylight, I saw it but, didn't bother to get the camera.

My plan was, to wake up early in the morning and catch the moon setting over the ocean.

Hah, the sky was completely whited-out at 4 AM.

Tonight, from the roof of my office, I caught this red moon around 7:30 PM.

The moon at this point is about 99.6 percent full and shrinking.

If, you missed the Full Moon last night, get out there right now and enjoy.

It's the last Supermoon for the ear 2019!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Throwback Thursday for the Birds

birds, cherry-blossoms, Okinawa, Spring, nature

A Forgotten Wordless Wednesday

Things got hectic around here yesterday and I was too busy to do a blog post.

We had to attend a few parties at relatives homes to celebrate, um, stuff.

Not familiar with this Throwback Thursday (#TBT) I did some research.

Among other things, I learned, you post an image at least 5 years old.

Here's one of my images National Geographic published back in 2010.

They say you can download it as a screensaver or wallpaper.

Don't ask me how to accomplish this sort of thievery.  I took a screenshot.

The first photo is one of a parrot taking a bath in somebody's teacup.

When you get done laughing, go to number 2 in the slideshow, to find this picture.

You could figure out how to download the wallpaper for free.

Or, just send me about twenty-five bucks and, I'll email you the photo file.

I forgot Wordless Wednesday so, that's all I'm saying for Throwback Thursday. Amen

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Sunflowers and the Wireless Shack

Kin Town, Okinawa, sunrise

Early Morning Exercise Walk

Lately, I've been waking up way before sunrise and doing some hiking.

The goal is usually to reach 10,000 steps before the end of the day.

This morning the camera and dog accompanied me on this 17, 900 step excursion.

flowers,sunflower, springtime, nature, Okinawa

A field of Sunflowers is blooming and many folks a happy to see them.

After a miserable Winter, these signs of  Spring can brighten up anyone's day.

flowers, field, Okinawa, Springtime, Sunflowers

Walking carefully around the slippery, wet field I took several photos.

When I have the camera and a dog to walk these flowers are two hours away from home.

People living in the southern part of the island could get there quicker than me.

fields, shack, powerplant, Okinawa

What's a Wireless Shack Got to Do with Anything?

This was something I came across as I was looking for important landmarks.

People are always asking me for directions so, I need to know special stuff.

Look closely at the photo above. See that white thing sticking out of the roof?

It's not a chimney. That's the Kin Town Electric Powerplant.

That shack got me thinking. It just needs a few more feet of wire to reach that power pole.

Then we could all sit down inside and watch color TV!

tiled-roof, buildings, sunflowers, toilets, Okinawa

Directions to the Sunflower Field

Some Sunflower field photos were posted by me on Facebook. They were iPhone images.

Next thing I knew people began asking how to get to this location.

Everybody uses Google Maps these days so, I did a search of the area.

Not in the habit of doing Public Toilet Reviews, I did my first one today.

If you can locate this toilet on Google Maps, you'll find the flower fields,