Viewing wildlife through a lens

| Apr 17, 2011

Viewing wildlife through a lens

I grew up in Britain, which is a crane-free zone, so from the very first time I arrived in Japan I was dreaming of seeing the iconic red-crowned cranes of Hokkaido. How much more iconic as a crane can you get than being dubbed ...

The green heart of Tokyo

| Feb 20, 2011

The green heart of Tokyo

by Mark Brazil

An unexpected whickering whistle had me mystified. I circled, trying to pinpoint the direction it was coming from, and puzzled over its origin. It became clear that its source was quite high in the trees. There was something vaguely woodpecker-esque about the ringing call, ...

A dream comes true with the blues

| Jan 16, 2011

A dream comes true with the blues

by Mark Brazil

My last great wildlife adventure of 2010 began in darkness to the sound of waves crashing on an idyllic beach. My alarm woke me at 3:30 a.m. and, eager with anticipation, I rose quickly. Outside my guesthouse room, the swishing sound of a breeze ...

| Dec 19, 2010

The explosion of life: demise

by Mark Brazil

Second of two parts I consider the British naturalist, writer and broadcaster David Attenborough (now Sir David) to be one of the greatest figures alive in terms of environmental conservation and education. Thanks to him, the beauty, mystery and excitement of the world’s natural ...

| Nov 21, 2010

The explosion of life: uprising

by Mark Brazil

First of two parts I have a fascination for our natural world that has been with me since childhood, and I am inexpressibly fortunate in being able to travel — in part through work as a nature-tour guide — to see some of the ...

Taking up residence uninvited

| Sep 19, 2010

Taking up residence uninvited

by Mark Brazil

I could scarcely make out the small songbird moving secretively through the undergrowth in the gloom of the dark forest. Its calls were barely familiar to me and seemed so out of context that I didn’t recognize them at all at first. Then, by ...

Relics of Ice Age Japan

| Aug 15, 2010

Relics of Ice Age Japan

by Mark Brazil

Scrambling across hillsides may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we naturalists are determined folk and take such activities in our stride when exploring our environment. Take the average hillside or mountainside in Japan; what does it consist of? Usually, forested slopes on ...

Bathing in northern 'megaherbs'

| Jul 18, 2010

Bathing in northern 'megaherbs'

by Mark Brazil

When I first visited New Zealand in 1994 I was impressed by its astounding landscapes — the stunning beauty of its landforms, coasts and islands. However, I was soon not so enamored of its much-publicized “clean green” image when I realized the incredible destruction ...