Category Archives: Places

Reflection in Pine Swamp Beaver Pond

Reflection in Pine Swamp Beaver Pond

On the Appalachian Trail near West Cornwall, Connecticut. We visit this beaver pond often and it’s surrounded by trees* so when the sky is right the reflections are great.

*Beavers choose waterways to dam that have a ready supply of food (tree bark) and building materials (branches) nearby. It’s absolutely amazing how much they can change a landscape in such a short amount of time, building lodges, dams, and food supplies so that generations can live in one place, continuously improving it.

Japan 2011

This eight minute video is absolutely stunning and very much like Japan itself: nuanced, quiet, detailed and full of small details you’ll pick up if you watch it more than once. Watching this video makes you feel like you’re in Japan.

Note the map, red dot, place name, and time of day changing in the lower right.

Zoom it out, turn up the sound, it’s not loud but it’s important to the effect of being there.

More videos of Japan from Japan Scene.


Birds at The Japanese Garden

Two coots

Japanese Garden, Van Nuys, California. The Japanese Garden is a little gem, right next to a water reclamation (sewage treatment) plant, it’s a beautifully designed and maintained traditional Japanese garden right in the middle of Los Angeles. We’ve visited this garden many times but today there were more birds than ever.

These are coots which not only make some wonderful sounds, they have amazing feet, sort of a hybrid of talons and webbed duck feet.

Coots coming on land

My mother in the wheelchair thought they might attack but they just marched past us heading for a lawn they like to graze on.

Cute coot feet

This is the “money shot” on the coot feet, they’re from another planet. Check them out here.

Coots grazing

Here we can see what those talons are for: they’re pecking and scratching around for (worms?) on land but they also eat seaweed in the water. Amazing little birds.

Black-crowned night heron fishing

This Black-Crowned night heron was sitting there motionless and we almost missed him as we crossed this bridge. We stood here for ten minutes hoping he’d find a fish to catch but he only shifted his feet and butt around and never looked up at us. This is a big bird, at least 18″ long. There are also a few great blue herons at the garden.

Snowy egret fishing

We saw one large great egret and many smaller Snowy egrets like this one fishing across the waterway from the night heron.

OMG! Exporting American Slang to China

Hari Sreenivasan hosted a great segment on Friday’s PBS NewsHour: OMG! Exporting American Slang to China.

Watch the segment video at the bottom of the page (the second video).

Jessica Beinecke writes, hosts, and produces OMG! Meiyu (oh my god! American English) and as you can see, has over 6000 subscribers and over 600,000 video views in her YouTube channel. Go Jessica!

Reflection in Pine Swamp

Reflection in Pine Swamp

West Cornwall, Connecticut. We returned to the Pine Swamp Beaver Pond and there’s a lot of new beaver activity there. This tree/sky reflection was shot in the outflow from the third dam downstream of the main beaver pond. There are at least five dams downstream of the lodge and probably as many as five upstream. Beavers are the most amazing and productive animals.