Serendipities abound in a wintery wonderland

| Dec 16, 2004

Serendipities abound in a wintery wonderland

by Mark Brazil

Recently I spotted a Quetzal from Central America, a Snowy Owl from the Arctic, a Short-tailed Albatross from a remote Pacific island — and a hovering Skylark. Amazingly they were all together, along with woodpeckers and barbets, thrushes and flycatchers, finches, frigate birds, other ...

The changes that come what may

| Sep 16, 2004

The changes that come what may

by Mark Brazil

The arrival of just one dramatic, even devastating, typhoon, storming to the center of the seasonal stage like a massively overblown diva with a case of bad timing, is enough to signal autumn is on its way. This year the global signs of the ...

Down in the grim intertidal zone

| Aug 19, 2004

Down in the grim intertidal zone

by Mark Brazil

A coffee-shop friend of mine recently summed up his appreciation of our local lowland forest just outside Sapporo, saying: “You know, it’s wonderful here; every season is the best season.” And, you know, he has a powerful point. I believe, though, that it is ...

'Hideous alien' had an exotic past

| Jul 15, 2004

'Hideous alien' had an exotic past

by Mark Brazil

Sometimes accidentally, sometimes to order, we humans transport a bewildering array of species about the world. Many of them wither under the regimens of their new environments; alas, some thrive to the detriment of the locals. A beloved native in one part of the ...

| Jun 17, 2004

Some pictures worth 1,000 words

by Mark Brazil

I take my hat off to those folk who can draw and paint. What a wonderfully inspiring skill. And when they can illustrate living creatures in lifelike form then I am in awe. What has prompted this outpouring is the fact that I am ...

The wonder that is winter

| Mar 18, 2004

The wonder that is winter

by Mark Brazil

The seasons have a powerful effect on me, which perhaps explains my need to anthropomorphize and personify them. Temperate Japan’s six distinct seasons roll on inexorably: spring, rainy, summer, typhoon, autumn and winter. Though battered and bruised by the perceptible effects of global climate ...

Distance lends enchantment

| Feb 19, 2004

Distance lends enchantment

by Mark Brazil

Take a look at a map of the west side of the Pacific and you’ll find a fractured scatter of islands from the Kuriles south of Kamchatka, through Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea and New Caledonia all the way to New Zealand and ...