Mammals choose when to reward my quest

| Nov 9, 2013

Mammals choose when to reward my quest

My thoughts were miles away as I crossed the parking lot outside my Hokkaido home. Then a nagging doubt intruded: Had there — or had there not — just been a formless blur of movement on the ground beyond my car? I had certainly ...

Just picture that — and know how to

| Oct 12, 2013

Just picture that — and know how to

A sleek, black anchor shape, etched against the blue sky, hurtles in pursuit of prey. A Northern Hobby, a flashy falcon, is chasing dragonflies. Sighting one alone speaks to me of summer in Hokkaido, especially with its mate brooding or feeding a growing fledgling ...

Building a case for birds

| Jul 20, 2013

Building a case for birds

Many people would consider Stonehenge in southwest England or the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt — which both date from around 4,600 years ago — among the crowning glories of human achievement. In Japan, Kyoto’s 14th-century Rokuon-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) or ...

Cycads: 'living fossils' with a deadly twist

| Jun 16, 2013

Cycads: 'living fossils' with a deadly twist

Almost two months after revelers in most of Japan began partying beneath cherry blossoms in mid-March this year, we hardy northerners in Hokkaido were still waiting patiently for warm zephyrs to waft in with a late promise of spring. When I returned home on ...

Kan Yasuda's tactile art brings new life to Bibai

May 26, 2013

Kan Yasuda's tactile art brings new life to Bibai

Kan Yasuda's art somehow draws in the landscape, and entices in people, so that it is natural to explore the view through his structures and keyholes, to sit awhile atop a sculpture or to pose within their frames.