Life in Japan, food, music, whatever…

The birds again. 20 March, 2010

Filed under: countryside,news — johnraff @ 2:00 pm
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Those birds were on TV yesterday, flying around in huge flocks in Gujo Hachiman – a town in Gifu, a bit north of our country place. According to the announcer they were bramblings (アトリ in Japanese), which seemed about right, except that I thought they had a crest on their heads… Anyway they were flying around in these huge flocks – some 900,000 said the local expert – making an amazing whooshing noise. Our flock might not have been quite that big but there were certainly enough of them. Migrants from the Asian continent apparently, so we won’t be seeing any more for a while once they head back for the summer.


Crows nests 18 March, 2010

Filed under: city,Uncategorized — johnraff @ 2:18 am
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It’s nesting time for crows again, and the power-cut warnings have gone out. This time of year they’re caused by urban crows building their nests on top of electricity poles, using metal coat-hangers to supplement the meagre supply of twigs they’d otherwise use. You know, those hangers that come back from the dry-cleaners and people use to dry shirts on the balcony. Turn your back for a moment and the crows are off with them, and they make short-circuits on the power lines. The electricity company are kept busy clearing them out, and meanwhile we’re warned not to leave unused coat-hangers lying about.

The city crow population has been going up and up, so in Tokyo they’re becoming a major problem, but they’re fascinating birds actually – one of the few species to have free time after making a living just to play. Putting golf balls on railway lines just to see what happens, dropping things on people they don’t like… last year I saw a crow funeral for one who had maybe been electrocuted – lying on the ground under a pole anyway. I wish I could speak their language.


Farmlog 18th January 2010 29 January, 2010

Filed under: countryside — johnraff @ 2:20 am
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It’s still cold. The climate septics (sic) must be having a field day with this Global Freezing we’ve been having lately, and two weeks after our snowbound New Year there’s still snow on the ground (maybe it melted once in between) and we had to leave the car at the top of our drive because the slope is too steep with snow on it.

Monday was beautifully clear, but at ten in the morning yesterday’s slush was crispy at minus 2 °C. Those migratory birds were still flying around like a swarm of bees.

NB From this year I’ll be recording the maximum and minimum temperatures for the week up to the day of the post, not for the previous 24 hours as was the case last year.
Min temp -7°C, max 4°C


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