It has been some time since I've posted to my blog (a relief to many of you I'm sure).

Well, I'm back. Kind of. Maybe.

When the world went wonky a couple of years ago, I decided to make the best of it. 

Travel outside Japan would be restricted for some time. That much was obvious. So I set myself a new mission—to learn about places, environments and animals here, where I live. To focus upon the opportunities available to me, rather than to obsess about things outside of my control.

The experience has, in short, been fantastic.

I have met fascinating animals, witnessed incredible behaviour, and even managed to photograph/ document some of what I've seen. I have also made a lot of new friends and deepened my relationship with my adopted home, Japan. In fact, I've spoken nearly no English since late 2019. With the exception of a handful of Skype and Zoom discussions, I have thought and communicated entirely in Japanese for the duration—a situation that has resulted in my becoming more incomprehisible in Japanese and less coherent in English, a win-win if there ever was one.

Though I am still not in the mood to write as much as I have in the past, I feel like the time is appropriate now to start sharing some of what I've been fortunate enough to see, starting with this adorable juvenile Eumicrotremus awae lumpsucker:

Eumicrotremus awae juvenile
Eumicrotremus awae juvenile (License image)

These lovely little fish are really popular among scuba divers in Japan. They appear for a few months in the first half of the year (exact timing depending upon location). Newborns are somewhere between 2mm and 3mm in size. This one was perhaps a week or two old, coming in at about 5mm. They usually do not sit still (neither does the ocean), so photographing them can be a challenge.

These fish flick their tails back and forth, moving almost exactly the way a cat does. Uncanny actually, if your eyesight is good enough to see what's going on. I am just(!) able to make out tiny details like this when I look through the viewfinder. 

I will share more going forward (I think). I am spending as much time as possible out in nature and away from the Internet though. In fact, I am on my way out the door again, hopefully to meet more interesting marine life.