One day about three years ago, I came home from work, and I noticed a grey thing moving along the ground below the stairs to the second floor. I thought it was a mouse. I went down to take a look and noticed that it wasn’t a mouse, it was a spider! Its legspan was around 15 cm!
A few months later, I was walking home from the supermarket when I saw this thing running across the road, straight for my feet. I nearly stepped on it. It was another one of those humongous spiders!
So, what is it? It’s a huntsman spider. These spiders are not native to Japan, but were introduced accidentally. They’re not dangerous to people, but will bite if provoked. They are quite beneficial, actually. They eat cockroaches.
For the record, I can’t stand spiders.
Have you ever seen one?
On Friday, my wife and I went walking around Shonan Lifetown, which isn’t very far from where we live, and we went to some parks. In one park, we saw a very interesting insect. I’ve seen plenty of dragonflies, but never a red one before. Take a look.
Ready for takeoff!
At this time of year, swallows are nesting under overhangs and raising their chicks. Many stores will place umbrellas under the nests to catch their droppings. They aren’t considered a nuisance. They’re a welcome sight in spring, and many people like to take their picture. This picture is a bit dark and grainy, unfortunately. I had to zoom in and it wasn’t very bright where the nest is.
The swallows nested next to a restaurant by the train station. It was feeding the chicks at this time.
June is here and that means 3 things. First, summer starts later this month. Also, it’s the start of rainy season in Japan. But probably most beautiful is the blooming of hydrangea. There are a couple of places in Kamakura that are famous for hydrangea, Meigetsuin and Hasedera temples. I’m hoping to visit Hasedera later this month to see the hydrangea in full bloom. I’ve already seen them blooming in Meigetsuin. Below is the purple variety. I’ve also seen blue, pink and green flowers. Which is your favourite?
Hydrangea, or ajisai, as it’s known in Japan.
On Sunday, I was at a beach barbecue at Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura, and we had some visitors. All along the beach, there are signs warning of hawks, as they like to attack unsuspecting people who are carrying food. I saw several people get attacked, losing their food in the process. One happened to be my friend, and he lost his corn. They can be quite aggressive, and they were present in large numbers. It was hard to get some good quality photos of the hawks, but I tried my best. Below is what I was able to capture.
A single hawk flying above.
Another hawk, a little closer.
Those are all hawks. There were plenty of crows around, but they didn't get mixed up with the much bigger hawks.
See the hawk in the middle? It didn't hit anyone, but it was probably going after someone's food.
They were everywhere!
The kites were also out. The plastic type, not the bird.
As spring continues, everything is growing incredibly fast. Within the past week, grass has grown quite long, trees have grown a lot of leaves, and many flowers have bloomed. This is probably the most beautiful time of spring. After the rain, everything is very fresh. I took this picture of a Tsutsuji flower, a type of rhododendron, in a park near my home.
A beautiful pink tsutsuji rhododendron flower.
It’s definitely spring now. I love this time of year, not only because of the comfortable weather in the low 20s, but also because of the fresh new leaves and plant growth. The bright green colour is wonderful. Here are some interesting flowers surrounded by green.