Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The manual for the truck boasts than it can pull a boat, but then our Nissan Micra used to do that and it could also do 50mpg with a tandem on the roof. Happily we already have mud going up to the door handles. Today we head out into the wilds. I wonder if there will be more or less internet there.
Where are we?
Hint: Hired a small car, but they gave us a big truck that, apparently, does an "economical 28mpg".
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The weird thing is that this is not 2 photos stitched together. Sometimes temples invest their year-end extra-budget in a new staircase. Usually the old stairs are then cordoned off and revered, but not so at Zuisenji.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Last day of school before the holidays! And I bought some photo-apps for my iphone to play with on the plane.
Meanwhile we try to capture the quintessence of the red higanbana, but fail because the amazing thing about them is the way the green stem shoots from bare ground and full bloom follows 2 days later. The leaves follow and feed the bulb over the winter. If you had a pet higanbana in your garden then a time lapse movie could be a lot of fun.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Unfortunately they don't get much scarier than the gejigeji, so it might be safe to read this blog with your eyes open for a while ... unless we meet a mukade (Although I think they are less horrifying to look at - the terror stems more from the fact they are actually dangerous).
These spider lilies are spiders in name only. They are also called equinox lilies (higanbana in Japanese), and they are a good week early. The red variety is very common by the roadside, but Zuisenji, our local temple, seems to have gone a bit overbaord on white for this equinox.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Should it actually be "James' scary blog"? All I can say to Martin is he'd best have his geologists hammer at the ready, and let's hope it's good and heavy. Hey, perhaps that leaf is really really small and not at all a leaf from a giant bamboo? We can only hope.
Despite the ease with which they fill the frame, it is quite hard to photograph the gejigeji because they are most active at night. James chased this one with the sieve all night , but it alluded him, only to be found waiting patiently by the door in the morning. Managed to snap a few shots after we chased it out of the door, as it blinked in the morning light.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
At this time of year these camp all round our house awaiting tasty boyfriends. The even better ones, however, spin up a massive web made from fishing line strength silk across the mountain path at dusk and capture tandem mountain bikers heading home.
[Scale of beast is left as exercise for the imagination]
Monday, September 14, 2009
A break between the scary bugs is required I think.
James has previously waxed lyrical on the virtues of the church of St Arbuck, where he regularly attends the early morning service on Sundays. This is his favourite one, which can be found a few minutes walk from the west (non-tourist!) side of Kamakura station.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Just one of the dangers facing wee Trevorina the praying mantis as she seeks out tasty boyfriends out in the wilds of Kamakura. The largest hornet in the world may not look like much in this photo taken from some distance away, but they're the size of a pepper pot, sound like a helicopter and after a face-off from 10 feet or so one is left with a freaky impression of big black eyes. There seem to be many more than usual around this year. This one was drinking from the puddles in Hase Dera.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Lots of fishies at Hase Dera, which is a short walk from the Daibutsu (and no where near Gundam) . However, despite its many attractions, wouldn't really recommend Hase for a visit right now since its main feature, a gold coloured wooden statue which is the biggest, best, something in Japan (not even in the top ten it's so good), is mostly hidden from view behind scaffolding.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This is the Buddhist equivalent of Shift-A in Google Reader (mark all as read). One revolution of the rotating bookshelves containing the Buddhist sutras confers the same merit as actually reading them. There really ought to be something equivalent for the IPCC report.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Well fattened up, Trevorina was released into the grassy forest edge near our house. Hope she finds a tasty boyfriend.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Why is it OK to feed an ugly brown hoppy insect to your mantis but not a beautiful orange butterfly? I think we will have to release Trevorina soon, and keep pet crickets instead. Having said that, James' herb garden is much healthier since all the grasshoppers got eaten by our fully organic pest control system. Trevorina has been an adult for a while and must be nearly ready to start making next year's mantises. Where to release her? While finding grassland at edge of the forest is easy, finding grassland that wont be cut before the eggs hatch next year is more difficult.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
A week ago, when we visited Gundam it was so hot that the buildings were melting, as you can see in this photo taken in Geektown (Akihabara). It could be that another trip to Akihabara may be forthcoming soon since, on Sunday, for the first time ever (I was brought up proper, to not drink or gamble) I won a massive bet, of 500 UKP!!!! I wonder if James will explain all abut it on his empty blog.