Seasonal waves of gold

| Jan 17, 2007

Seasonal waves of gold

I am fresh back from an exciting wildlife watching adventure in the national parks of Madhya Pradesh and Assam, India (more of that in a subsequent column). Thanks to the latest Internet and satellite software, I can zoom in to view the very area ...

The swimming dead

| Dec 20, 2006

The swimming dead

The midwinter solstice is here again, and our nights have reached their longest and our days their shortest, driven by our planet’s sun-centered rotation and the tipping of our orbiting Earth. In the endless cycling of the seasons, it’s a time of year that ...

Lure of money set to empty the oceans

| Nov 15, 2006

Lure of money set to empty the oceans

Afriend of mine who lives in the picturesque port city of Otaru, western Hokkaido, is a fish-hunter. He loves to dive, and hunts for fish with a spear gun — seafood is his manna from heaven. Visiting him for dinner recently, I was astonished ...

Slow down to savor the turning seasons

| Oct 18, 2006

Slow down to savor the turning seasons

The autumnal season of change is upon us once more, with delights for eye, ear and nose. As the thermometer dips, rises and falls erratically, some days seem almost balmy as if it is late spring or early summer; others carry a stronger hint ...

Nature's pulse at Asia's heart

| Sep 20, 2006

Nature's pulse at Asia's heart

It’s September, autumn is around the corner, and here in Hokkaido where I live we have already had the first dusting of snow. This has been a long summer of travels for me. As soon as my teaching commitments at university were completed, I ...

Flourishing on nutrients few

| Aug 16, 2006

Flourishing on nutrients few

As the heat and humidity of summer build up, my favored relief is to head for the hills. Last weekend I even managed to slide down a snowbank, and that really cooled me off! Snow lingers late in the higher mountains here in Hokkaido ...

Home comforts in a natural idyll

| Jul 19, 2006

Home comforts in a natural idyll

It’s 07:30 and I’m just back from hiking to the 1,860-meter summit of Mount Yashigamine, having set out at 4 a.m. and been soaked to the skin in the rain along the way, and I am slipping into a welcoming hot bath — squeezing ...

Surprise sightings waiting to be made

| Jun 21, 2006

Surprise sightings waiting to be made

As a child I dreamed of watching wild creatures, and especially mammals, but with no relatives or friends to learn from, I was left to my own devices to find ways to do so. Youthful interests tend toward the energetic, so it was by ...

Mud, mud, glorious mud

| May 17, 2006

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Loss: That sense of deep detachment when a loved one has departed; the bewilderment and displacement at finding something or somewhere treasured to have gone; the confusion of returning to one’s childhood haunts only to find them changed beyond recognition. We have, no doubt, ...

Birds' amazing 'tweezers'

| Apr 19, 2006

Birds' amazing 'tweezers'

The chances are that you are reading this while holding The Japan Times in one or both hands. Alternatively you may be reading online after having tapped on various keys with your fingers to make images appear before your eyes. Either way, manual dexterity ...