Building a case for birds

| Jul 20, 2013

Building a case for birds

by Mark Brazil

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 ...

Dancing Demoiselles of the desert

| Feb 17, 2013

Dancing Demoiselles of the desert

by Mark Brazil

In a dry, dusty, desert landscape, the clamoring of cranes seems so surprising. I am used to the great winter assembly of more than 10,000 cranes in Kyushu at Izumi, where they congregate on winter-fallow rice fields; and I regularly frequent the winter gatherings ...

Beware: Devil birds at work in the woods

| Dec 16, 2012

Beware: Devil birds at work in the woods

by Mark Brazil

The final months of the year seem something of an afterthought following the delightful palette of autumn colors; they offer only fickle moods and fickle weather. On November or December days of crisp, cold sunshine, when distant views beckon and late-flying dragonflies and late-flowering ...

Singing the praises of greenery

| Oct 21, 2012

Singing the praises of greenery

by Mark Brazil

This year’s annual hop between the hemispheres in my capacity as a globetrotting nature-tour guide took me to my namesake country, Brazil, with strange and unusual hopes. Following the almost unprecedented heat of this year’s August in Hokkaido, I wondered if, for once, September’s ...

Living the botanical high life

| Sep 16, 2012

Living the botanical high life

by Mark Brazil

Japan, though it has a very different image, is on the same latitude as southern Europe and North Africa, while my nearest city, Sapporo, is oddly enough on the same east-west parallel as France’s boisterously cosmopolitan second city of Marseille on the Mediterranean. Tokyo, ...