Rock on down to a geopark near you

| Jun 17, 2012

Rock on down to a geopark near you

by Mark Brazil

To naturalists and hikers, the renown of 810-meter Mount Apoi near the southern tip of Hokkaido towers mightily above its lowly elevation. For the view alone it offers of the Pacific coastline south to spectacular Cape Erimo, it’s worth the easy trek up this ...

The wonder of feathers

| May 20, 2012

The wonder of feathers

by Mark Brazil

A soft flake of seeming sky falls, wafts and floats earthward catching the light. Lightly, and soft as gossamer, it lands to add a splash of color to the greenery of spring. It may be no more than a tiny feather that’s fallen from ...

Wild Watch turns 30 this month

| Apr 15, 2012

Wild Watch turns 30 this month

by Mark Brazil

As April 2nd’s 30th anniversary of my first Wild Watch column in The Japan Times neared, I was in India — teeming Delhi to be precise, with its cacophony of people, honking traffic and barking dogs, though a tailorbird would stop and call outside ...

Birds of a feather

| Mar 18, 2012

Birds of a feather

by Mark Brazil

A crescent moon is just visible through the treetops, with Venus, Jupiter and Saturn aligned diagonally above it crisp and clear in a frost-sharpened sky — planetary heralds of the peppering of stars soon to be revealed as night falls. The mercury is plummeting ...

Sealing a connection with nature

| Jan 15, 2012

Sealing a connection with nature

by Mark Brazil

The cliff-ringed cape known as Notoro Misaki stands as a massive natural breakwater west of the city of Abashiri in northeastern Hokkaido, sheltering it from some of the might of the ocean. Under a summer sun and a vast near-cobalt sky, the white-flecked, blue-green ...

Reflecting on icons of 'cute'

| Sep 18, 2011

Reflecting on icons of 'cute'

by Mark Brazil

Although watching wildlife is not for everyone, countless hordes of visitors flock to zoos when tiger cubs or a Giant Panda baby first go on show, when penguins are on parade, or when young animals are present in the petting section. Why is that? ...

A blood donor to the masses

| Aug 21, 2011

A blood donor to the masses

by Mark Brazil

The bug days are here again. Shades of green are deepening in the debilitating heat of a summer that’s made more of a hardship this year due to the post-March 11 energy-saving efficiencies required of us. Some creatures thrive in warmth, sunshine and summer ...