Friday, July 29, 2011

yin and yang

two chillies

A year ago James purchased plant pot watering electronics, which gently water the plants in our concrete parking space for 10 minutes each evening. This clever piece of gear amazingly kept all the plants alive while were away in the UK in August and September last year. Unfortunately now it has led to the death of 2 camellia, as there were not enough watering gizmos to hydrate them as well as James' more newly acquired chili plants, so the poor camellia got left to fry. I didn't notice until it was too late... Still, nice chillies...

...apparently there are lots of ways of spelling chililie.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

blue dragonfly

dragonfly

First thing on Sunday morning we headed to the small temple Kosokuji-Juniso in Kamakura for a half hour of dragonfly watching. We visited a couple of years ago, and although many temples have ponds and many ponds have dragonflies, only here can one get close enough to really appreciate the dragonflies. There are red ones, blue ones and black ones with white stripes. This blue one seemed to get friendlier as time went by, and came and sat right by me a couple of times. Of course, this tele-lens doesn't focus closer than 6 feet so those images are only in my mind.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Four months after the tsunami ...

The extent of the devastation is what I found most devastating, and the only way I could think of demonstrating it was by letting the video camera roll for a few minutes as we journeyed through town in the minibus. Thus, nothing happens in these 3 minute videos, except, hopefully, the scale of the problem becomes sadly apparent. In Ishinomaki itself, we passed through about 20 minutes of this kind of thing each morning, and then travelled on to the annihilated fishing villages. While the large dusty spaces round the houses may look normal to people from the USA, in Japan houses should be crammed together, and the vegetation lush.

Uncut video of Ishinomaki town:



Apart from devastation and the estates of temporary housing, the other feature of present day Ishinomaki is the miles of sorted debris. This part seems to be cars and metal and cars:




Download the plugin if you don't have it, and then you can zoom in to see the high resolution satellite images of Ishinomaki.

View Larger Map

Koamikurahama, annihilated Fishing village on Oshika peninsula. This video has been lightly edited to cut down the really very boring footage of the tsunami wall:



"A" marks Koamikurahama. Zoom out to see the Oshika peninsula. Ishinomaki is to the NW.


View Larger Map

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 7


Day 7, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

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Day 7


Day 7, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Some prime minister built a manga museum in Ishinomaki. And erected shiny statues of manga characters all over town. Suppose the tsunami can't have been divine retribution for idol worship, as they apparently survived the tsunami as good as new.

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Day 7


Day 7, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Finally the girls were allowed out on the boats! At the end of the last day, a tour round the bay!

You'd think that in such times when so short of staff they'd allow the women onboard to work. What I wonder is whether women went out on fishing boats during WW2...

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Day 7


Day 7, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Temporary housing - Ishinomaki

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 6


Day 6, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

More oyster farming for the lucky boyz, while the women finished removing anchors from the beach. Not sure why the men get all the fun...

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Day 5


Day 5, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

More beach combing for the wimmin, while the boyz got to pretend to be oyster farmers out on the boats, followed by some entertainment by all 15 kids from the local school!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 4


Day 4, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Ooops.

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Day 4


Day 4, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Beach debris removed in a makeshift catamaran - Ohara.

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Day 4


Day 4, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Beach clearing - Ohara.

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Day 3


Day 3, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Women's work (making beds for baby oysters) in Oshika. Although initially we were annoyed that we got divided on grounds of sex, this day seemed particularly worthwhile - we got to make something useful and talk with local women.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 3


Day 3, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The Peaceboat volunteer camp on the university playing field - Ishinomaki. That's James carrying water - 3 litres a day required for working in temperatures over 30C in the shade.

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Day 2


Day 2, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

All the debris has to go somewhere when it is cleared away - this is one of several huge dumps around Ishinomaki.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 2


Day 2, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The street on the previous post might have looked OK, but basically the buildings in this part of Ishinomaki are condemmed, the tsunami having swept through the first floor (ground floor to Brits).

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Day 2


Day 2, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

How many volunteers to replace a drain cover? This many!

We dug a lot of sludge too and had to break for 2 hours up a hill for the 10cm tsunami following the magnitude 7 earthquake in the morning, which weirdly, finished off with meeting the British Ambassador (and some politician called Jeremy) on the same hillside.

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Day 2


Day 2, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Drain clearing - Ishinomaki.

How many volunteers does it take to replace a drain cover?

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Day 2


Day 2, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Dressed ready for some volunteer action - Ishinomaki daigaku sports ground (the campsite shown in James' Google Earth post).

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 1


Day 1, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Supporting the local economy - gyoza and beer - Ishinomaki

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Day #1


Day #1, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Clearing debris from the river - Ogatsu.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Food

By the end of the three weeks, the food was becoming a bit of a struggle. We Japanese are obliged by politeness to never leave food on our plates.

Nederland

Nederland

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photo.JPG


photo.JPG, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Further to yesterday's post, this should narrow it down ... to 400km of the Japanese coastline.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Another Zen garden

Bryce

Bryce has some more modest sized Zen gardens.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Zion

And continuing the religious theme, they call this place Zion, which seems a bit odd. I thought Zion was a dry place in the middle east... Zion, Utah is a relatively wet kind of a place...

Pilgrims:

Zion

Rock and water:
Zion

Zion

splishy splashy...

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un-Zen garden

Later on things got decidedly un-Zen, fraught even, when one little white car got stuck in a rut, and all the other little white cars started playing wacky races. A truck came and tried to pull the car out. James has a lovely video of it failing to do so. Perhaps he may share it sometime.


Monument Valley

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

God's Zen garden?

Monument Valley

It is quite big for a Zen dry garden. For scale, that's a road at the front on which can be seen a tiny looking car. But, bigger is better after all...

[Monument Valley, Utah or Arizon and also Navajo Nation
...and here is a much better photo by someone else.]

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Journey to the underworld, and back again



Bryce

Bryce

Bryce

Bryce Canyon

golden-mantled ground squirrel



Bryce


Bryce


Bryce

[Oh - OK - it was just plain old Bryce Canyon and that was probably just a normal squirrel and not at all the goldern-mantled squirrel guardian of the underworld]

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

black and purple

purple and black flower

Mentally avoiding the hydrangea, which were epidemic a couple of weeks ago, and are only just now mercifullly fading away, I thought the black foliagey bits were brill.

[Kamakura]

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Grand Tree

Grand Canyon

The park rangers go to some effort to artistically arrange dead trees round the rim of the Grand Canyon, so that, even when the canyon is invisible, the tourists will have something to look at.

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grand Canyon again


Grand Canyon, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.
I didn't have much to show for all the colourful grandeur until this appeared in the roll of slide film. I might print it out to stick on the wall.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Grand Canyon


Grand Canyon, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Nick Barnes said he found the GC disappointing after Utah. So did I the first time I saw it, in ~1978, so I'd warned James that it wasn't really up to much. Naturally with such low expectations, he was delighted and thought it was thoroughly grand. I enjoyed it more this time too, as I made the effort to appreciate the geology. The Colorado plateau rose up, and the Colorado river cut down (although quite how it did it on such a grand scale is not at all clear). In only 6 million years the river cut through layers of rock going back half the age of the earth. Wow! And here are all the layers. What a lot of different colours! The tilted red rocks near the river are special - they are the Grand Canyon Supergroup, and are not visible in very many places.

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