Before checking into Saiseikai Shigaken Hospital (済生会滋賀県病院) on January 13, 2020, I took a photowalk in and near my neighborhood and saw a Japanese pied wagtail (ハクセキレイ), some people flying kites, a farmer in a field, and a little egret (コサギ) in a canal.
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.
In 2019 I took many photographs of birds, flowers, and insects, and I tried to expand my photography to include wider views of the environment.. In late spring I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had resection surgery (Whipple procedure) in late July.