Sunday, April 30, 2006


I went out very early this morning to the local bamboo grove, and saw this flower. I posted it already on dpc, and got the answer that it's probably some kind of jack-in-the-pulpit. I thought, a pitcher plant. Quite poisonous, apparently, especially the roots. Although you can't see it in this photo, the long stringy tendril that sticks up, turns back on itself and curls around. I'm not sure if we have this kind of plant in Australia.

Saturday's Pic

Looks like I missed out on posting yesterday. I took a whole lot of photos at a high school kyudo competition at the prefectural gymnasium, then popped in to the next door hospital grounds where these cherry trees were blooming. They're called camellia cherries, if I recall correctly ... but it doesn't matter if I don't. The blossoms are huge and clustered (but this is a closeup, obviously). This could have been an entry for the Free Study if I was desperate.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Other poeople have been doing a 30 day self-portrait challenge, posting a self-portrait every day for a month. I could do that, but be like the gentleman in England in the 18th century (?) who made a wager that he could walk from Norwich to London in four days (can't remember the exact details - somewhere to London over a number of days). His friends bet he couldn't, but he did - he just didn't do it on consecutive days.

This is in the male teachers' toilets at one of my schools. For this shot, I held my camera at chest level ... I guess I pointed it a bit high. It's my image in the mirror, so I reversed it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Heron ,,,, Egret

I can never remember which is which. Anyway, the farmers have started flooding the rice fields this week, and some have already been planted. The birds love it. Howerver, as usual, they're very shy about being photographed. I should keep my longest lens in the car (even though it's not of such great quality, but it was cheap. maybe there's a lesson in that.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dogwood, Nosewater tree?

I stopped off at the town office carpark to take photos of the carp streamers they have hanging there. This was on the way from east school to North school, where I was to teach one lesson and have lunch. It rained heavily and there was thunder and lighning during lunch - with a brief blackout.

The dogwood trees are in bloom. When I got to North, the newspaper was on my desk with a picture of dogwood trees on the front. In Japanese, it's hanamizuki, which sounds like "nose water tree", though is really "flower water tree".

Sunday, April 23, 2006


A couple of spider macros today. Very hard to get a nice sharp image because of the wind and natural body movement. The psider on the web ran off onto the tip of the pine tree branch - and would be very hard to spot if you didn't know it was there. They are both quite small spiders - I just made a big crop of the original photos (with my 29-80mm lens with the 80mm macro set).

Negative Bulbous

Here he is as a negative of himself. Bizarro Mundo.
Saturday was board game day - I won't post any pics here, though.

Friday, April 21, 2006


One of my schools has a fishtank with three of these fellows in it, goldfish with eyes like this. They're called chotengan. I'm considering whether to put a negative of this guy in the Negative challenge. Whatever, I will continue taking photos of them (I just hope someone cleans the tank sometime...)

By the way, of course I know about MS clip art - I just posted that because I didn't get around to any photo stuff yesterday.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Clip Art!

Wow, I found that you can get clip art off the internet FOR FREE! And it's really easy. And it's easy to get to. Like, if you're using Microsoft Word, you can click on Clip Art then select the link to go to Clip Art on Office Online (as long as you are online - and there you can search for what you need from gahillions of clips. Brilliant! And here's a picture of a kookaburra that I was looking for. So cool!

You might not hear from me for a while as I'll be looking through the extensive galleries of clip art....

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


The old department store, at the bottom of the steps of the big shrine in town, went out of business several years ago (one of at least three that went bust during the bad economic times in Japan). It's finally being demolished, though the other two weretaken over and renovated by other companies.

Riverside Cherries

One I took yesterday, as I had to go into my company's office to get the paperwork for my visa extension. The office is next to the river, but I rarely go in there. The weeping cherry trees along that section of the river - on both sides - are really quite nice. Most cherry trees are for decoration only - they are sterile and don't produce fruit. This is probably why you rarely see bees hanging round them.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sakura Festival

Another old shot, from the week before last. All my photos from this weekend have been for the Portrait challenge. I reshot them today as yesterday's shot were too near the wall. I hope my entry does really well this time.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Passing by a field of canola, I guess it is, or rape as it used to be known. When I drove up, there was a carload of little old ladies who had also stopped to take photos.They were thinking that they had to get off the road to let me pass, but I got out of my car. "Oh, it's a foreigner!" they kept repeating...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Another Cherry Tree in Blossom

Actually, it was from a week ago, on the way back from the station after having been to Tokyo. The steps lead up to a temple and a cemetery. I didn't take my camera today - another dull, wettish day, and I was too busy. Most days now I will have to teach five lessons (being the assistant teacher...). It took me a whole hour to drive to school in the morning - other times it could take only 35 minutes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Oh well, back to work

The school year started yesterday, but I only had to go in the afternoon for a meeting. Today, I went in the afternoon for one lesson and a meeting - except the meeting was at one of the other schools. It was rainy and rather cool.

This is the tree in blossom next to the Yellow bridge. Actually, there are two or three yellow bridges across this little river, but I think this one is the biggest.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Inside Tulip

A lovely spring day, though perhaps a bit breezy (which was all right for when I went out to the skydiving place for "Jump" - and that beats trying to find a grasshopper to do a macro of, which was my other option for "Jump".). Lots of blossom trees about, but here's a tulip in splendid colour.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Now what's happened?

Saturday now ... I guessed I missed yesterday as I had to wait around in the evening over on the other side of the city while Mi-chan went ot a party. I went to Bell Mall and did some writing in Tully's Cafe.

This morning, we got the tyres changed on her car as there's little chance of snow now (though it was a bit chilly today.)

The photo is from Wednesday's visit to the Tokyo International Forum, a possibilty for the candid challenge, but I think there's too much noise in the picture.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I had a short meeting at school in the afternoon, so on the way back I went to a park near the Honda factory where there was a cherry blossom festival starting up. I took my camera to practise candid shots for the Candid III challenge. These old guys were chatting away. (Highlights too blown out.)

Meanwhile at home, work continued on the new house which is being built on the western side of our ground floor apartment - they put the prefeab walls up. This makes a huge difference to the amount of light that comes in :-(. But I guess it will be cooler in summer...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Big Architecture

I went into Tokyo today, but unfortunately it rained. Lots of cherry blossoms were floating on the water in the various moats - they would have made some nice pictures, but I could only see them from the train.

As I took my camera anyway, I went to the Tokyo International Forum building (C block, I think it is) to take some photos. I was hoping to find some people I could ask to jump for a photo, but that didn't come to pass.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Refractory Owl

Here's an outtake from the Refraction challenge. Voting hasn't even started, but as hardly anyone visits this blogs it doesn't matter if I post similar shots to my entry. I didn't use the owl in my entry though.

I have a collection of owls and tortoises back home, but I brought a couple of the owls to Japan. I think I got them both in Greece - and I haven't been to Greece for 22 years.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Quackified (YELLOW)

I decided to try a shoot of my original idea for the Yellow challenge, a rubber duckie and an origami crane. I was going to call it "Quack?" "Honk!", but I decided to keep the entry I had already submitted.

I went to my new schools today to show my face to the staff. It was extremely windy - clouds of soil were travelling south, as rice fields have recently been ploughed but it's too early for them to be flooded.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Pinhole Experience

I didn't get around to posting yesterday, but I did take some photos for the dpchallenges. I also picked up the prints from my latest snazzy camera. OK, it's not so snazzy - it's a pinhole camera I got from a magazine. It takes 35mm film, as well as little bits of photographic paper which you can develop yourself with the chemicals provided. However, I lost the actual pinhole piece when I was changing lenses (there's a lens piece as well). Anyway, the quality isn't all that great, as one would expect.