Monthly Archives: October 2011

Meet my daughter

Sorry for my absence this month.  I’ve been quite busy with work and many other things lately.  I hope to get back to work on my regular blog posting soon.  As a side note, I’ll be attempting NaNoWriMo in November, so my blogging time may suffer.  I hope not, though!

The purpose of this post is to show off my daughter!  No, she hasn’t been born yet.  Still just under 3 months to go.  But last week, we went to the clinic for a regular checkup, and we got the most incredible ultrasound picture of our baby.  It’s so remarkably clear, I had to share it here.  You can also check out many other pictures and read about the baby’s development and my wife’s pregnancy on my other blog.

So, please meet my daughter!

This is a 4D ultrasound picture. Clearest one we've been able to see so far.

Comments are always appreciated, and I reply to all!

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Guess who got married?

Yesterday, my fiancee and I went to Fujisawa city office to register our marriage.  We are now officially married!  The city office type of marriage is a little complex with all the paperwork to be done, but I didn’t actually have to do much.  All the work was done by my fiancee/wife.  All I needed was an affidavit from the embassy to declare that I was single, my birth certificate, and my passport.  Of course, I need to have the marriage registered at the embassy, which is the next thing to figure out.

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Insects and other critters in Japan

Growing up in Canada, I saw my share of little animals, but mainly in summer.  Plenty of mosquitoes, butterflies, moths, caterpillars and spiders.  But after coming to Japan, I’ve seen an incredible amount of small creatures that turned out to be not so small.  Japan has large insects.  It also has the Japanese giant centipede, or mukade, which I’ve been lucky enough to haven’t actually seen.  Before I get to the pictures, I’ll mention some of the animals I’ve seen.

Butterflies are some of the best things to see, of course.  Japan has a large number of very colourful butterflies.  They’re quite beautiful, and can be seen everywhere.  I’ve seen a remarkable iridescent blue butterfly while hiking.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of it on this computer.

I’ve also seen lizards and geckos around my old apartment.  I did get pictures of the lizard, which I blogged about previously, but the gecko was elusive, and hid between a door frame and a door.

Probably the creepiest things I’ve seen are spiders.  In Japan, it’s bad luck to kill a spider, so people just leave them alone.  They’re good for eating the insects you don’t want.  There are some small spiders that I’ve seen often that jump and move very quickly.  I’m always worried it’ll jump on me.  However, there was one spider that I saw outside that was like something out of a horror movie.  When I first saw it, I thought it was a mouse.  I took a closer look and discovered that it was an incredibly large spider, around 10 cm across!  I’ve seen this kind of spider twice, but only at night.

Less creepy, but more disgusting are the cockroaches.  Japan has large cockroaches.  The largest I’ve seen is around 3 cm long inside my apartment.  If you don’t want cockroaches, you need to get traps.  Most roaches are quite small, but the occasional large one is enough make a person paranoid.

Japan has a lot of large beetles that can usually be found in forests.  They can be up to around 6 or 7 cm in length, and are popular pets for children.  There are even beetle fighting competitions.  Some types of beetles are quite valuable, so beetle collecting is a popular hobby for children, and they can then sell them for a good amount of money.  Common types include rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles.  Last month, I saw a small stag beetle outside my apartment door.  The next time I saw it, it was hiding under my door.  When I took the dog out for a walk, I just kicked it out of the way so the dog wouldn’t try eating it.  It went into a defensive position, ready to attack, and I took a picture.

This angry stag beetle was ready to attack me if I kicked it again. Don't worry, it was unharmed.

As I said, there are a lot of butterflies in Japan, but there are also a lot of moths.  They’re not as colourful, but they can often be beautiful.  I saw this one on the wall of my apartment building.  At first, I thought the tiles were chipped, but upon closer inspection, it was a moth.

This moth wasn't doing a good job of blending in.

Last week, I saw something on the ground outside my apartment running awkwardly.  At first, I thought it was a stick insect, but when I looked closer, I discovered it was a praying mantis.  Again, I had to take a picture.  This praying mantis was standing defensively as I got closer, but it didn’t move to attack me.  It stayed very still for a few minutes.  This is the first praying mantis I’ve seen in Japan.  I was quite surprised.

At about 3 cm long, this praying mantis was no threat to me.

Japan has quite the variety of small animals, and you can find them almost anywhere.  What have you seen in Japan?

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