Autumn foliage in Shiga Prefecture 2018
Here in Shiga Prefecture some wildflowers continue to bloom well into November. They attract a variety of flying insects, including butterflies, moths, bees, hoverflies, and wasps.
On November 3, 2018, quite a few insects were feeding along an irrigation canal near rice and soybean fields near my home.
Few insects visit tiny flowers such as henbit dead-nettle (ホトケノザ).
Tall goldenrod (セイタカアワダチソウ) grows beside fields and along rivers and ponds. Many species of insects can be seen on goldenrod flowers.
On November 5th, 6th, and 8th, I saw insects on tall goldenrod near the irrigation canal in Tsuji, the riverbank near the tennis courts in Yasugawa Athletic Park (野洲川運動公園), and along Oyamakawa (大山川) in Yasu City.
On November 16th a potter wasp was on tall goldenrod at the reservior near Ono Ramp in Ritto City.
Other flowering weeds compete with tall goldenrod. Bidens pilosa (beggar’s tick, コセンダングサ) yellow disc florets continue to attract bees and other small butterflies after the white ray florets fall off.
Bidens pilosa fruits come off easily and attach themselves to clothing.
Other flowers have continued to bloom and attract insects in November.
After mid-November larger insects such as butterflies are becoming rare.
Shiga Prefecture in Japan is blessed with quite a few species of butterflies. A few species are shown here in photographs taken between April and September 5, 2018, when I also made a short video clip (music from “Redwood Highway” by Jason Shaw at AudionautiX.com.)
The video clip and most photos were shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and an Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150mm 2/2.8 PRO lens. A few photos were taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX9 camera (Japanese monolingual version of LX10/LX15).
All postprocessing was done on a Fedora GNU/Linux workstation. I edited the video clips and added titles with with Kdenlive, but I did not modify the colors or add any enhancements other than slow motion (1/4 speed) from the middle of the clip. Photos were organized and edited with digiKam.
Little egrets (コサギ) are very active at Yasugawa (野洲川) in early August.
When conditions are just right, many little egrets and a few great egrets (ダイサギ) and grey herons (アオサギ) feed on small aquatic creatures at the weir between Moriyama City on the left bank and Yasu City on the right. I recorded some of the action with video and still photos just after sunrise on August 6, 2018, and again in late afternoon on August 8, 2018.
On August 6, 2018, some little egrets and a few great egrets were catching fish in shallow water above the weir in Moriyama City. Others were standing on the weir and feeding on small aquatic creatures.
Often one bird would chase away an interloper. They did not chase other species of birds, but when confronted by an aggressive crow the egrets did not back down.
On August 8, 2018, I went to the river late in the afternoon. The sun was behind my back, and there was a strong wind from the northwest (downstream).
As usual, some little egrets bullied others over territory
A few little egrets crowded up close to much larger great egrets (ダイサギ). Sometimes the larger birds snapped at the little ones when they got too close, but real conflict erupted only between birds of the same species. Once a great egret stopped feeding and marched off to confront another great egret.
Sometimes other birds appeared at or below the weir.
Some of the little egrets were feeding very actively.
As we can see in the video above, sometimes they would slip and fall before taking flight. It seemed that they had temporarily forgotten that they could fly. Of course, little egrets fly very well!
All photos and video clips were shot handheld with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and M. Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. Some closeup scenes were shot with the camera’s 2X digital teleconverter.
All postprocessing was done on a Fedora GNU/Linux workstation. I edited the video clips and added titles with with Kdenlive, but I did not modify the colors or add any enhancements. Photos were organized and edited with digiKam.
In June, 2018, I recorded and photographed several species of egret and heron chicks at Ten Shrine in Moriyama City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan.
My little recorder captured the whole sonic environment, noise and all, with small omnidirectional mics that I attached to my backpack in order to create a quasi-binaural soundscape.
Low-frequency traffic noise was pretty loud, even on a Sunday afternoon. We can hear the birds more clearly by adding a high-pass filter, for example, a -6dB roll-off beginning at 880Hz.
Unfortunately, such manipulation distorts reality. It may sound better to most people, but it is no longer an authentic field recording.
Bird nests filled the trees surrounding this shrine, especially along a road near the entrance, as we can see on the radio aporee map for this location.
Fortunately, we had blue skies on several days during Rainy Season in June.
Many young birds were in the trees, calling and competing with siblings.
Species included birds I rarely see, such as black-crowned night herons.
Cattle egrets stayed close to tree trunks but sometimes showed themselves.
Birds in flight included adults bringing food and youngsters testing their wings.
I talked with several people who live near the shrine. They have to put up with a lot of noise and bird droppings that have increased in recent years as wildlife habitats are destroyed. Nearly all the trees that once lined the nearby Yasugawa riverbank have been bulldozed, leaving only low bushes, weeds, and a few recreational facilities. Many of the remaining trees for colonies of these beautiful birds are in sacred groves at rural shrines.