February 19-23 marks the first third of the traditional Japanese season Rainwater – Usui (雨水). Winter birds remain active, often seen perched in trees, and small wildflowers appear, adding a little color along fields. Here and there pink and white plum blossoms brighten the countryside. https://flic.kr/p/2ivvLX5 Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ) https://flic.kr/p/2ivuyJJ Brown-eared bulbul (Hypsipetes […]
Photographs of birds and flowers that I took February 11-13, during Kōō kenkan su (黄鶯睍睆), the middle of Risshun (立春), which is the beginning of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar of of 24 seasons.
Late January, from the 25th to the 29th, is the middle of the traditional Japanese cold season, Daikan (大寒), or Big Cold. This year, 2020, has been quite warm and often gloomy, with heavy clouds and light rain.
I was able to get outdoors only a few days in mid-January. Fortunately, I was able to take a few photos in the last days of the traditional season, 小寒 Shōkan (Lesser cold), and the first first week of 大寒 Daikan (Greater cold).
The beginning of the modern new year in January overlaps two traditional Japanese seasons: 冬至 Tōji (Winter solstice) and 小寒 Shōkan (Lesser cold). In Shiga Prefecture autumn colors have mostly disappeared. Susuki grass and shrubs along rivers have become a darker shade of brown. We can see some flowers, but most large and colorful flowers have been planted. Small winter migrant birds have appeared, adding some activity and color to the countryside and local parks.