Today is Monday, January 13, 2020. This afternoon at 13:30 I checked into Saiseikai Shigaken Hospital (済生会滋賀県病院) for a week in order to begin chemotherapy via a port that will be installed tomorrow. I expect it to be a long, uncomfortable week.

Since it was such a nice day this morning, I grabbed my cameras and took a brief walk in and near my neighborhood in Ritto City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan (滋賀県栗東市). I was immediately blessed with the sight of two Japanese pied wagtails (ハクセキレイ) in a garden near my house. One of them came quite close to me.

Japanese pied wagtail (Motacilla alba lugens, ハクセキレイ) facing to our right, seen from standing height nearby

At Takano Shrine and Takano Park I saw a few Japanese turtle doves (キジバト) high in trees, too far away to photograph.

Beyond Takano Park there is a bamboo grove and then large fields.. A road runs along a canal between fields, and a small Panasonic factory lies beyond the fields to the north along Shiga Prefectural Route 11. A woman and two children were flying kites over the fields toward the factory from the road along the canal.

Anpanman character kite in flight toward our upper left Woman launches a kite while a boy watches Boy flying a kite horizontally in strong wind Woman and two children flying kites over a plowed field, Panasonic factory in the background

As the kite flyers enjoyed the brisk northwest wind, I walked up the road along the can al and across Shiga Route 11, which runs between Japan Routes 1 and 8. Across the road in Hayashi a retired farmer in his 80s was working in his garden, a strip of land between fields that holds rice, barley, and soybeans in annual rotation.

Wide angle scene of brown plowed fields with farmer gardening in mid-frame

Since I had to change clothes, eat lunch, and walk about 2 kilometers to the hospital, I started to walk quickly back toward home but got delayed along the way. In the canal that runs along the east side of my neighborhood a little egret (コサギ) was stirring up shallow water and searching for small aquatic animals.

Little egret (コサギ) in a canal seen from ground level Little egret (コサギ) in a canal seen from ground level Little egret (コサギ) in a canal seen from ground level

Finally I got home and transferred my photos to my iPad. Then I finished packing my bag, showered and changed clothes, ate some ramen for lunch, and walked to Saiseikai Shigaken Hospital (済生会滋賀県病院).

I checked in at 13:35 and came to 9 East (9F 東). I have been here five times before, so most of the nurses know me and I feel quite comfortable. There is no culture shock, but I’d rather be home.

I’m eager to get back outdoors as soon as I can!

Published by Greg Peterson

Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Notre Dame University (1977-2020). Since 1980 I have lived in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where I enjoy outdoor activities, especially photography, hiking, and cycling.

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