Serendipity twice over

| Sep 19, 2007

Serendipity twice over

by Mark Brazil

On a calm evening, I looked out from my balcony toward the mountains to the west, beyond Sapporo. Those distant peaks stretched in an apparently unbroken chain, from the gently sloping flanks of volcanic Mount Tarumae at the southernmost end, rising and falling northward ...

Bliss for a Lazy Birder

| Aug 15, 2007

Bliss for a Lazy Birder

by Mark Brazil

Birders are often motivated by their species list — often something akin to their meaning of life. I’m a Lazy Birder — I knew I’d become one a few years ago, when I realized that my “bath list” was the most important to me. ...

Putting 'rarity' into context

| Jul 18, 2007

Putting 'rarity' into context

by Mark Brazil

Stepping outside this morning, I heard a skylark singing above the open field adjacent to where I live. It’s a rare event for me, but perhaps you hear skylarks all the time. Then again, perhaps you have never heard that silvery cascade of notes ...

Seasons seen out of sync

| May 16, 2007

Seasons seen out of sync

by Mark Brazil

I really thought I had missed out on spring this year. Having left Hokkaido when it was still blanketed with snow, I then spent a prolonged spell in South America before island-hopping across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. It all left me overly warm ...

A wildlife odyssey to rank with any

| Feb 21, 2007

A wildlife odyssey to rank with any

by Mark Brazil

Being both a columnist and an author is to be constantly in the midst of a kind of battle — between short-term bursts of effort and rapid gratification, and long-term strategic planning, exertion, and inevitably delayed gratification. This battle is fought out over a ...

Seasonal waves of gold

| Jan 17, 2007

Seasonal waves of gold

by Mark Brazil

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

by Mark Brazil

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 ...