Monday, June 8, 2020

Bird Animation from DEC 2019

animation, bird, Grey-faced Buzzard, Okinawa, photography, wildlife, migratory

They're Gone But Will Return in Autumn

Grey-faced Buzzards (Butastur indicus) AKA Sashiba, in Japan are migratory visitors.

They visit Okinawa from late October until March each year.

Going through my image files, I found this batch and decided to post an animation.

This character frequented my neighborhood within 500 meters of my house, all winter.

Since migratory birds are gone, I walk somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 steps daily.

When the weather turns cold again, I'll be looking forward to seeing my Sashiba friend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Social Distancing: Don't Stand So Close To Me

Keep Your Distance

Before 8 this morning this photo was taken and it would be a good two hours before I got home.

Along the way, I had lots of time to think of a title but, it wasn't easy.

With that Coronavirus thing going around, everybody seems to be in a panic.

So, I got the idea, to look on YouTube and see if I could find a tune for this image.

How's this sound?

Friday, May 22, 2020

Fast Food Funnies: A Silly Sign to Take Serious

Coronavirus Has Changed Things

Most restaurants have been losing business because of spacing requirements in Japan.

The law says customers must maintain 2 meters distance when out socializing.

Lots of places closed and are taking extended vacations, staying home. Hah!

Smart business managers have figured out ways to keep serving their loyal customers.

All restaurants should be doing this. Serve takeout meals or, DELIVER to the customers.

Just let them know. It takes room to prepare YOUR FREAKIN TACOS!

This bit of humor courtesy of King Tacos in Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Flower Photo and Facts: African Lily

African Lily, flower, facts, aphrodisiac, Okinawa, library, garden

Exotic Plant on Okinawa

Where this specimen was spotted will come later. Taking the photo during the rainy season was
challenging but, nothing like the fun to be had researching this purple beauty.

10 Flower Facts

  • AKA Lily of the Nile Agapanthusafricanus (アガパンサスアフリカス) is the Japanese name
  • Plants grow fine in southern-facing gardens or planters
  • They are attractive to bees, birds, and butterflies
  • Deer and rabbits won't disturb, destroy or, eat these plants
  • Flowers grow on tall stalks which favor facing the sun
  • The plants resist wind and salty air
  • This plant has been used to treat colds, coughs, chest pain, heart problems, and paralysis
  • Flowers are believed to protect the wearer from thunderstorms
  • Some women believe the African Lily boosts strength and fertility
  • In Africa, the plant is considered an aphrodisiac

See the African Lily in the parking lot at Kin Public Library.

Learn more about this flower at the links used for research:

Friday, May 8, 2020

Supermoon MAY 2020 Sorta Modified

Weather Didn't Cooperate

Cloudy skies, wind, and some freakish humidity ruined this month's moon shots.

Here's a photo I managed to create on the 7th of May 2020, the date of the full moon.

astronomy, full-moon, moon, Okinawa, Japan, May 2020

The photo was taken shortly after 3 AM as the moon was setting in the west.

For viewers, who know about the "Rabbit in the Moon" the image has been rotated.

astronomy, full-moon, moon, super-moon, Okinawa

For some reason, the rabbit turns upside down as the moon sets in the morning.

End of the Supermoon and Twisted Rabbit Story.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Black-crowned Night Heron Photo of the Week

Early in the Morning

It took a few days of waking up before 4 AM to walk to where this character could be seen.

Sunday, I captured a photo of one flying in a white sky on a day it would rain.

Monday, the image would show you where birds poop comes from.

Yesterday, I stood in one location for two hours and not one Night Heron showed up.

Today, at a little past 7 AM this Heron AKA Goisagi (ゴイサギ) flew overhead.

The position the photo was taken from was near the entrance to Kin Blue Beach.

Learn more about the Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at All About Birds.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Enough of Corona-virus Mudslinging

bird, corona-virus, Grey-faced Buzzard, China, Japan, mudslinging, Okinawa, politicians

Bird has a Message

Migratory birds will soon depart the Okinawa islands.

Here's a Grey-faced Buzzard ready to fly north as winter comes to an end.

These birds live here from October or November until March when the weather gets warmer.

Home for them could be China, Japan or Russia.

 Taiwan sees the same migrants that winter in the Ryukyu Islands.

Asia, China, Japan, Wuhan, corona-virus, birds, distance, Okinawa

Where Would Be the Closest Destination?

With all the news out of Wuhan, China I decided to see if I could locate it on a map.

China would be the shortest flight for the migration of birds.

From Naha, Okinawa to Wuhan, China it's 869 miles or, about 1,400 kilometers.

China, Japan, map, Wuhan, corona-virus, Okinawa, birds, politics

Our feathered friends wouldn't have such a long flight if they headed over to China.

World Leaders and Politicians

Around the globe lawmakers from the left, right and middle, rant on the news every day.

They should stop ridiculing others and work together on this corona-virus problem.

Quit making up conspiracy theories and blaming foreigners for their problems.

Where's the Message from the Bird?

Well, I ain't a politician or world leader so, there's no sense in trying to act like one.

See, I just hope that bird flys to China and poops on their leader's head!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Morning After Full Moon MAR 2020

astronomy, full-moon, clouds, moon set, Okinawa

The Full Moon Avoided Us on Okinawa

Most of the time, over the past three days and nights, clouds and rain covered the sky.

Up at 4 AM each morning, I peeked out the back door, to see if, I could catch moon-set.

The weather channel was guessing a 95% chance of rain beginning at 5 AM.

Daybreak was coming and it looked like I might get a chance to walk the dog.

Checking the weather channel again suddenly, there was a 0% chance of rain.

Walking down to the beach, I caught the moon going down with clouds on the horizon.

End of Full Moon Story

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Toilet Paper Panic Buying Hits Okinawa

corona-virus, buyers, Okinawa, Toilet paper, panic, Japan


This morning I was reading about the store shelves being cleaned-out by panic buyers.

People were worried about imports being cut-off from China due to Corona Virus 19.

Big cities all over Japan and even Naha the capital of Okinawa had toilet paper shortages.

The Japanese paper industry tried to calm their fears. Japan makes its own toilet paper.

I had a good laugh and spent the rest of my day doing serious stuff. Like taking a crap.

I walked to the local supermarket. Tea, ice cream and toilet paper were on the shopping list.

There wasn't a single roll of toilet paper on the shelves. Not even any baby wipes!

People Shouldn't Panic

First, it was paper face masks that disappeared from every store in town.

Now, we've got a toilet paper shortage because of panic buying. Damn it!

Next, I'll have to start collecting banana leaves to wipe my hairy bottom with.

If everybody starts doing that, next thing ya know there will be a banana shortage.

Two sources from today's news should assure everyone, there is no need to panic.

Kyodo News tells us there is no need to panic and cause toilet paper shortages.

 Look at Mothership to see what this panic buying is causing throughout Japan.

Y'all better calm down and quit causing panic toilet paper buying.

Or, I might come to a neighborhood near you and swipe all the banana leaves!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Funny Translations: The Cat May Fly Out

Looking for Something New to Drink?

With things like Coronavirus flying around the world, it would be wise to stay healthy.

It's probably a good idea to check your vitamin C levels once in a while.

Not sure how you're supposed to do that, I walked down the street to a vending machine.

 cat, corona-virus, humor, drink, Okinawa, BinVita, vitamin C

 It was easy enough for me to figure out BinVita was some sort of vitamin C drink.

Before opening the bottle I decided to scan the ingredients with Google Translate on my iPhone.

Here's what I learned:

Ingredients: fruit dextrose liquid sugar / carbonic acid, acidulant, flavor, vitamin C, carotene pigment, 

nicotinamide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B2, vitamin B, Vitamin Bs, Vitamin B12.

Contents: 500ml ● Shelf Life: Described on the bottom side of the cap.

Storage Method: Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

Manufacturer: Okinawa Botlers Co., Ltd. 163 Izumi Nutrition Facts Labeled in Izumi, 


 Motobu-Cho, Okinawa Prefecture.

And A Word of Caution:

Leave it at room temperature after drinking, it may damage your own equipment or 

the cat may fly out.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Just Ducky: Couple of Eurasian Wigeon's

 birds, ducks, Mareca penelope, migratory, Okinawa

First Time I've Seen These in Kin Town

Yesterday, I ran across a few dozen of them. They got spooked and flew away.

In-flight, it seemed like they may have been some sort of geese.

My internet searches turned up nothing helpful so, I started asking friends.

There's even a helpful group in Holland (on Facebook) I sent photos to for ID.

Out in the wetlands again today, I shot a few hundred more photos.

My contacts came through and, I did some more internet searching. Here's what we've got:

Latin Name: Mareca penelope

Common Name: Eurasian Wigeon

Japanese: ユーラシアヒヒ (Yūrashiahihi)

The photo was taken this morning around 9 AM.  It was a long, exhausting day.

For now let's just say, "The bird with the redhead is the guy."

Learn more about these birds at All About Birds.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

This Bird Made My Day

 birds, Grey-faced Buzzard, migratory, Okinawa, wildlife

A Hectic Week with Springlike Weather

Daylight temperatures have been mild this week and we've been going outside without jackets.

It could be a sign that winter is over but, you never know when you're living on an island.

This afternoon skies got cloudy several times and there was a good chance it would rain.

The past few days I spent lots of time going to the dentist and a massage expert.

No need to give you the gory details, let's just say appointments kept me busy.

A Few Minutes Break in the Clouds

Several dozen shots were composed, of this bird, perched on poles under darkened skies.

When I spotted the critter perched in a tree, I moved closer and set up the tripod.

Clouds were rapidly moving across the background. I wanted some blue sky.

The Pentax K1 was equipped with a 1.4 converter and 300 MM lens.

The photo above was taken at 4:39 PM with an exposure of f 5.6 1/4000 ISO 800.

birds, Grey-faced Buzzard, migratory, Okinawa

Exposure was adjusted to f 9 1/1250 ISO 800 and the bird launched while it was still 4:39 PM.

The Grey-faced Buzzard is a migratory bird, visiting Okinawa from October until March.

Hopefully, I'll be able to capture more images of them in-flight before they depart.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

FEB 2020 Full Moon Over Okinawa

 astronomy, full moon, Japan, Okinawa, rabbit

The Rabbit Is Upright

Shortly after 7 PM, the moon came out from behind the clouds.

After catching a few good images of the rising moon, I decided to give the camera rest.

The rabbit in the moon is in an upright position so, my job is done for the day.

Whether I go out and shoot the moon again tomorrow morning depends upon the weather and,     
how late my body decides to stay asleep.

If anyone wants to see the rabbit inverted, just look at the previous blog.

Those who have no idea what the Moon Rabbit is, LOOK HERE.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

FEB 2020 Full Moon Preview

astronomy, full-moon, Japan, Okinawa

A Wee Bit Early

Living on an island, weather can be unpredictable, so here's a sneak preview.

The moon in this photo is at about 99.9% full and most folks wouldn't guess it ain't full, yet.

Luckily, I woke up before 4 AM and looked out my back door to check on the moon.

It was nice and bright but, fast-moving clouds kept ruining the scene.

This photo was taken at 4:29 AM from the roof of my house.

After a few swigs of ice coffee, I walked down to the beach, where I could see the moonset.

 Carrying the weight of a tripod,  and the Pentax (420 MM of a lens) is good exercise.

The moon was covered by clouds the whole time I was walking. That was 3800 steps.

Every day I try to get at least 10,000 steps of walking done and, some easy weight conditioning.

Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, I won't quit training just because I'm 72. That wuss!

If I'm still alive and, the moon shows, I'll probably go out and shoot it again tonight. 

In case you haven't noticed, the rabbit is upside down. See ya later...

Friday, January 31, 2020

Rabbit in the Moon Can Drive You Crazy

 A little Late Posting Full Moon Photos

astronomy, full-moon, Okinawa, rabbit

For those who may have been wondering, I didn't miss the full moon this month.

All three days of the moon's appearance I was out there morning and night shooting it.

It's the rabbit in the moon and research into its appearance that held me up on this blog.

faces, moon, full-moon, rabbit, National Geographic

For years I've been taking photos of the full moon and always try to catch the rabbit.

Example A above, shows the rabbit facing to the right and stirring something in a pot.

The image comes from National Geographic's "Why Do People See Faces in the Moon?"

The article goes on to explain different stories about appearances on the moon worldwide.

The rabbit bent over stirring, facing to the right has been the position I've imagined.

Others May See the Rabbit Differently

Suppose someone told you the rabbit could be seen facing the left and stirring the pot.

A good friend of mine demonstrated his view of the moon rabbit using my photo.

He shows the rabbit (in red) facing towards the left and, once you see it you'll never forget.

People don't just make these things up. There are other folks who see the rabbit this way.

moon, rabbit, left

Somebody called Left Field Wanderer (who wasn't watching) got me this image.

You can see how the rabbit earned that honorable position on the moon by reading the story.

Even Wikipedia Got Visited

 astronomy, folklore, full-moon, rabbit, photography

Here I must make a confession. Wikipedia isn't my favorite source of information.

Back in college, the professors would give you an "F" for using Wikipedia as a reference.

Since that Wiki-leaker guy came along, I guess the Wiki folks have more authority.

Anyway, sometimes researching Okinawa things, Wiki is the only resource available.

Somewhere along the way, I have even done photography for the Wiki people.

They use my images so, this article was where the rabbit above came from.

Things Can Keep On Getting Tricky

The rabbit on the moon doesn't always sit with his ears pointing upwards. WHAT!!???

If the moon is rising, you'll notice the critter standing or squatting in an upright position.

When the moon is setting (going down) in the west, the rabbit turns upside down.

astronomy, full-moon, rabbit, upside down

Normally, I do the research and try to explain some of the weird things I post on this blog.

Usually, in a few hours, I'll come up with a story that any layman would understand.

Along with that, I'll throw in links that can be used to verify my theories or findings.

After a few days of Googling and coming up empty-handed, I found other stuff to do.

 Go to festivals, drink beer, sample foods in restaurants, and, sleep a lot. 

At Live Science, I located their Moon Rabbit photographed upside-down.

There you can learn about "Pareidolia" causing people to see images on almost anything.

 "In one famous case from 2004, a woman who claimed to see the face of the Virgin Mary in a grilled-cheese sandwich was able to sell the sandwich on eBay for $28,000, according to NBC News."

The only place I could find some explanation as to why the rabbit turns is Stack Exchange.

This was even after checking the Children's site at NASA.

That was just in case I fell asleep in school while they were teaching us about the moon.

In somebody's layman terms, um, it all depends upon your perspective.

That's the end of my story about the rabbit in the moon. I'm in a hurry.

This post had to be completed before the end of the month because it's someone's birthday.


Friday, January 17, 2020


Flashback from a Friday in 2010

This morning several Facebook friends reminded me of this February 2010 blog post.

Apparently, a 4.0 or, bit stronger earthquake happened last night and I missed it.

People DON'T PANIC!  Little earthquakes happen all the time. Adapt!

OK back to 2010

earthquake, Okinawa, peaceful, scenery, island

We had this earthquake around 5:30 this morning, right here in my hometown.

 Well, it actually shook everybody's hometown on the whole 65-mile island.

CNN and Fox and maybe even that Hiraldo Guy like to be the first, along with NBC, ABC, that

 Fat Guy who wants to run the Republican Party, and Bill O'Reilly, Conan, David Letterman,

 Dr. Phil, Capt. Kangaroo, Al Gore, The Flying Nun and everybody else who wants to be the

 first to report the news all gets family and friends of mine upset because just like breaking



Gee, I hope I didn't leave anybody important out. If I did, sorry, it was intentional.

Here's what really happened in the Not-So-Breaking-News, from a survivor of the tragic

 aftermath. The ground shook. The house did, too. Not even 30 seconds, I think.

Everybody survived. If anyone was injured, it must have been an accident. There was one dead

 bird in my kitchen. He was still warm when I took him away from the dog eating him. I guess I

 should start closing the doors during earthquakes. Keep the damn birds from using my house

 like an earthquake shelter and stealing my Rye Bread. Bet that's why the dog killed him.

That's all the breaking news from my part of the world. Everyone's fine and I even answered

 half of the 157 emails I got today asking about the earthquake before I got this great idea: Do a

 Blog. Thanks for caring, everyone!

Live on the scene, in the aftermath of the OKINAWA EARTHQUAKE. It's over.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year! It's the Year of the Rat

New Year, 2020, Rat, Chinese, Zodiac, Okinawa

First Blog of the Decade

Things can get hectic over the holiday seasons in Okinawa, Japan.

And, I've been busy (mostly) procrastinating, as far as writing goes.

Maybe, that'll change with a brand new decade to work in. We'll have to wait and see.

In case you haven't heard, 2020 is the Year of the Rat. It's a Chinese Zodiac thing.

The greeting above was borrowed from the Chinese Zodiac Organization.

Visit them to learn all about Rat People, in case you married or, are dating one.

You could research your animal sign and learn lots about yourself, too.

It sure beats talking to a psychiatrist, I'm sure. And, I save a lot of money that way.

New Years Day Sunrise Photography

Forget about Christmas, all the shopping, gift-giving, eating and drinking that was done.

That was a long time ago and, we're into the month of January 2020 already.

islands, New Years, morning, 2020, sunrise, Okinawa

New Year's Eve I behaved.  Only one bar was visited and, I consumed just one beer.

My alarm was set to wake up at 0430 but, I automatically got up at 0330 AM.

Someone was coming to pick me up, at the office, 0530 to go shoot cameras.

Sunrise wouldn't be the pink, orange, grey and red scene I hoped to see.

Clouds on the horizon pretty much discouraged all the folks waiting for sunrise.

We hung in there and, this is the scene Mother Nature gave us to welcome the New Year.

Four islands off Okinawa's east coast are visible out there. They are the Yokatsu Islands.

Pictured are Henza, Hamahiga, Miyagi, and Ikei Islands. See More Here.

Departing Our Mountaintop Location

We were the last visitors to head down off the special location for photographers.

From there various parts of this island were visited and, I took over 125 more photos.

Being busy, sleep-deprived, and having other things to do, I just downloaded the camera.

When things slow down to a crawl around here, the rest of the images will be processed.

It's customary for families to gather on New Year's day and celebrate together.

Plenty of grandchildren were there, we had lots of food and drinks and I was ready to leave.

Wait There's Something We Have for You!

birthday, cake, Japanese, family, Okinawa

In case you can't read Japanese, here's a quick translation:

Grandpa Mike Happy Birthday

My birthday is January 2d and, yes, I was born in the Year of the Rat.

There were some gifts presented to me and everyone sang the Happy Birthday song.

One Last Surprise

This morning I discovered (through Facebook) my story about Handugwa was re-published. 

folklore, article, story, Handugwa, Stars ans Stripes, Okinawa

This article was first published by Stars and Stripes a few years ago.

They revived it for the New Year's 2020 edition and, didn't inform me but, that's alright.

Maybe, this will inspire me to start doing some travel writing again.

So far, I'm having a Happy New Year and hope you are, too!