First photos of 2020

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.

Pancreatic cancer (膵臓がん)

In spring 2019 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (膵臓がん). In July and August I spent 24 days in Saiseikai Shigaken Hospital - 済生会滋賀県病院 (Wikipedia: 済生会滋賀県病院 for major surgery, a nine-hour pancreaticoduodenectomy - Whipple procedure (膵頭十二指腸切除術) to remove my duodenum and gall bladder, 50% of my pancreas, and 20% of my stomach.

Long-tailed tit (エナガ) with cocoon

On February 24, 2018, a long-tailed tit (エナガ) struggled to remove insect cocoon material from the left side of its head, neck, and wing. A sequence of photographs shows how the bird rubbed itself against a branch to escape from the material.