Wild Watch

There's more to Christmas colors than meets the eye

Dec 18, 2011 The rotenburo (outdoor hot spring) that I most regularly frequent creates an excellent illusion of there always being a full moon bathing in its glow those soaking beneath. ...

Sarobetsu's a stopover to count on for wonders

Nov 20, 2011 Gray predawn light suffuses the eastern horizon before crawling slowly across the landscape — but not before a rich clamoring reaches my ears. ...

In the pink down on the Rio Negro

Oct 16, 2011 Agreat splash, sounding as if a sumo wrestler had just belly-flopped into a swimming pool, echoed up through the wooden floor of my cabin. Yes, the floor. ...

Reflecting on icons of 'cute'

Sep 18, 2011 Although watching wildlife is not for everyone, countless hordes of visitors flock to zoos when tiger cubs or a Giant Panda baby first go on show, when penguins are on parade, or when young animals are present in the petting section. Why is that? ...

A blood donor to the masses

Aug 21, 2011 The bug days are here again. Shades of green are deepening in the debilitating heat of a summer that’s made more of a hardship this year due to the post-March 11 energy-saving efficiencies required of us. ...

Green is good for you — and the Earth

Jul 17, 2011 My work often takes me away from my home in Hokkaido, and with every absence I am irked to be missing out on some part of the inexorable seasonal advance. So, each time I return I make a beeline for my local forest to reacquaint myself with the resident and migrant birds, to trace the tracks and signs of the mammals and to admire the rapidly shifti...

Of predators and prey

Jun 19, 2011 The forest floor is a maze, a tangle, an adventure — all depending on one’s scale. ...

Japan's mammalian riches

May 15, 2011 I came across my first bumblebees of the season as they were busily draining the nectar from a broad swath of Blue Corydalis. The delicate flower stems nodding in a light breeze looked delightful in the sunshine, while above them frothy willow catkins were yellow with pollen and here and there birches were presenting hints of fresh green. ...

Viewing wildlife through a lens

Apr 17, 2011 I grew up in Britain, which is a crane-free zone, so from the very first time I arrived in Japan I was dreaming of seeing the iconic red-crowned cranes of Hokkaido. How much more iconic as a crane can you get than being dubbed Grus japonensis? But just how was I to learn about their haunts and habits? ...

The green heart of Tokyo

Feb 20, 2011 An unexpected whickering whistle had me mystified. I circled, trying to pinpoint the direction it was coming from, and puzzled over its origin. ...

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