Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Day of Relaxation, Fun, and a Mishap (Part 1)

This morning I woke earlier than usual (6:00 AM!) and could not go back to sleep.  Shortly thereafter, I received some sad news from home regarding a friend, and I was immensely grateful that today was a day with no concerts or rehearsals.  I decided to take some time to myself before breakfast, bundled up (it was just under 30°), and went out with my camera and binoculars in search of birds.

I quite enjoy bird watching, and this morning did not disappoint.  Less than 5 minutes out and I found this guy in a little canal behind the hotel.

He's a Great White Egret.
I passed a partially frozen pond (just to show how cold it was).
And took a fun shot of some dried flowers in the early morning sunlight.

My next bird stop was for a flock of fun little birds in the tit family.  They looked very much like what we call chickadees in the States.  I spent a good half an hour in the same spot taking picture after picture of these guys.  I would get focused and line up my shot, only to have the cheeky thing take off right as I snapped the picture!  I did have some success, though, after much perseverance.  Here are the best of those.

Long-tailed Tit

Varied Tit

Varied Tit

Long-tailed tit

Long-tailed Tit
After birding, came breakfast, which was followed by a group hike to a local waterfall.  A 20 minute bus ride took us higher up into the mountains, where we found a slightly snowy trail leading to a beautiful waterfall.  The water comes from underground and pours out of the rock face into a little pool.

Snow Grafitti
From here, several of us continued hiking up the mountain, while others went back to the bus.  Those of us who trekked on hoped for a spectacular view or some other hidden treasure.  Sadly, all we found were a few signs in Japanese and the biggest set of stairs I've ever seen (only a slight exaggeration, honest).  Unfortunately, the stairs were the first part of the continued hike, so we did indeed climb them.  Despite not finding much, we had a good time and enjoyed walking and chatting together.
Cheryl and Jan

Our Fearless Leader

Lois and David on the Never Ending Stairs

We made it to the top!

Marquise, Me, and Derek back at the bottom of the trail
Thus ends part one of our day.  More fun and the mishap to be had in part 2, which I will post tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Nice bird snaps. You look good! I'm glad you're having fun. BTW, those stairs look killer...