Flowering Weeds in Early Spring

In March and April the Japanese countryside comes to life as weeds appear along fields and streams, anywhere with soil. Some of these plants are known for medicinal properties, and some are gathered as food. Most are ignored or cut down. This year I’m trying to learn the names of flowering weeds as they appear […]

Butterflies in September

September is a great month to watch butterflies and other insects on flowers in rural Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Between August 31 and September 21, 2017, I photographed ten species and saw several others while cycling in the countryside near my home. Contents Old World swallowtail (Papilio machaon) – キアゲハ Asian swallowtail (Papilio xuthus) – アゲハチョウ […]

Water lilies in mid-September

In the middle of September some Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン) and other aquatic plants are blooming at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森). Many of the flowers look a bit tired and wilted, but a few continue to stun visitors with their beauty. Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森 I feel very fortunate to […]