29 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

Missing my friends from Cambridge, I had to do something for Halloween! Every year, we carved at least a pumpkin, decorated our house, ate some butternut squashes and roasted pumpkin seeds. So here they are! My jack-o'-lanterns for this year!! The Spectrum sprit is still alive here!


Since the huge orange pumpkin for the lantern is not common in Japan and the big kabocha squash which we normally see in the super market is rather hard to carve. So I decided to get a small one intending to make a small but proper jack-o'-lantern. But I became busy and... hungry. So it turned out to be Sankaya Fakton, the Thai pumpkin custard pudding instead! It was quite easy and it was yummy! Better to be delicious than just beautiful!

28 October 2013

Shrikes and persimmons

While I was stuck at home working, autumn had finally arrived here. For the last two days I managed to go out with my sketchbooks for an hour or two! It was lovely to be out in the fresh air!

There are several orchards around my area and now they are all in orange with persimmon fruits.

This female brown-headed shrike decided to take this orchard as her winter home. From morning till the evening, she is singing aloud at the top of trees claiming her territory.

棚を整理したら、農工大を卒業時に美術部の後輩からもらった水彩用のスケッチブックを見つけ、いまさらながらではあるが使いはじめた。良い紙のスケッチブックは、高いからなかなか買えないけれど、やっぱり発色がよいのでうれしい! 美術部のみんなありがとう!

I also visited a small river near my house, flowing right behind a bread factory. I used to go there often to watch birds when I was in the junior high school and the high school. While I was sketching this shrike in the field of goldenrods, I suddenly felt nostalgic. It was the smell from the bread factory! Unconsciously, I must had been sniffing the bread whenever I was there!

Kingfisher (female) is always a star. But today, I was more happy to spot a daurian redstart for the first time this season!


23 October 2013

Festival Season


A new face, the goldcrest, joined our bird juggling ball series!
Autumn is the festival season. I am going to join the Japan Bird Festival at Teganuma lake in Abiko, Chiba and the Shukuba matsuri at Oiso, Kanagawa.

◇◆◇ ジャパン・バード・フェスティバル2013◇◆◇
日にち: 2013年11月2日(土) 9:30-16:00、3日(日) 9:30-15:00

◆ ワイルドライフアート展
会場: 我孫子市生涯学習センター「アビスタ」 1Fロビー壁面、1F工芸工作室。

・水の館前 ワイバードのブース
・水の館前 Hobby's Worldのブース
・アビスタ エントランス 日本ワイルドライフ協会のブース

My mom and I have been working hard making juggling balls, little purses, book covers, crow card and so on. Our house is like a mini factory these days!


◇◆◇ 第20回 大磯宿場まつり ◇◆◇
日にち:2013年11月10日(日) 10:00 - 15:00。
場所:大磯町大磯 山王町旧東海道松並木

15 October 2013


The Japanese name of this Bali Myna from Indonesia is Kanmuri-shiromuku. "Shiromuku" literary means a white starling but it also sounds like a special white wedding dress for brides. So here is my gift for my friend who got married recently in a traditional Japanese style!
In Yokohama, the captive-breeding program of this endangered Bali Myna has been quite successful and I read that 25 birds born in Yokohama were released in wild in the forest in Bali this year.

I found that this bird is also called Rothschild’s Mynah from Walter Rothschild who is the brother of Charles Rothschild, who made Wicken Fen and Woodwalton Fen as nature reserves.
I love writing articles on the blog because I always find something new! But since I start to look up information one after another, it takes much too long to post one!

5 October 2013

Life in Japan

I am having hard time adjusting myself to the life in Japan. Everything is rather stressful here! There are little space in the house and little open common space outside and September was extremely hot for me after spending summer in cool England. I have to wake up and eat and go to sleep in tune with my mother's schedule. On top of that, I have allergy to something in this house or flying in the air so that I am sneezing all the time!
Having too many things to do doesn't help me either. Time here seems to fly three time faster than it was in Cambridge. I also feel like things, especially food, are a way too expensive. Where is my 89p bag of carrots and the reduced bananas with 30p per a kilo? When I look up the sky, there are always electric wires or huge ugly signboards in my view, which bother me a lot.

Before I went to England, I was really fine living here with all these situations perhaps because I wasn't even aware of these things. Or I didn't know anything else to expect.
I know that the best thing to do is to get used to the situation and let my mind and body become oblivious. It is not easy to change some of those things and there is no point in feeling stressful or being irritated all the time.
But at the same time, I am scared of going back to where I was and just being satisfied!

Marsh Harrier chicks from the field trip to Cley Marshes. I made this images with wooden engraving tools on a piece of vinyl! When I get some more time, I am going to practice and explore this media! (Thank you so much, Colin and John!)

Although I sounded quite negative, I do enjoy my life at home in Japan. The best thing is to work with my brilliant mother! We made a movable crow card out of my illustration for the book cover. We printed them as one of our paper bird series like bird mobile. We will be selling them at the Japan Bird Festival!

We also made the sparrow rucksack!

The gray heron sleeping. I haven't got enough time to go out birdwatching and sketching but I at least painted this one by the tiny river near my house.