1週間、出張でワシントンDCに行って来ました。ワシントンDCは４年間住んでいたので、ホント懐かしかったです。4年間住んでいて、その間一度も会えなかった Eastern Towhee （ワキアカトウヒチョウ）を、今回の出張中に初めて見ました。写真は雄です。脇の下の赤い羽が特徴的で、雄は頭と尻尾が黒く、雌は茶色です。"Drink your teeeee! (あなたのお茶を飲みなさい！）"と鳴くらしいのですが、いろいろな鳥が鳴いていて、どれがEastern Towheeだが良く分かりませんでした。Wikipediaによると、分布は北東アメリカ。虫やドングリ、木の実や果実を食べているそうです。
I visited Washington DC to attend an annual cancer meeting for a week. This is a male Eastern Towhee, which I had not seen during my stay in the US for 4 years. According to Wikipedia, adults have rufous sides, a white belly and a long dark tail with white edges. The eyes are red, white for birds in the southeast. Males have a dark head, upper body and tail; these parts are brown in the female. They mainly eat insects, acorns, seeds and berries.The call is Drink your teeeee; the word "towhee" imitates this call, although I was not able to distinguish the bird song, because there were so many birds singing.
This is a flower of Sawahiyodori in Japanese. "sawa" means small brook, "hiyodori" means Brown-eared Bulbul, which is a bird name. I don't know whether this flower looks like the bird. Its scientific name is Eupatorium lindleyanum.
This is an earwig that we found in Hakone. Japanese name of this earwig is Kibane hasamimushi, which means a insect with scissors and with yellow wings. Its scientific name is Forficula mikado. Earwigs mainly eat meat, but they also eat plants. I wonder what this insect was eating on flowers.
We saw this insect during the way from the Nakakaruizawa station to the Karuizawa station. Japanese name of this insect is Oo hirata shide musi, which means big flat insect often appears from dead bodies. As you can imagine from the name, this insect is a scavenger. Its scientific name is Eusilpha japonica. This insect is not beautiful at all, but it is helping life circles of the nature. Two bottom photos are nymphs of this bug. Actually, we went to Hakone, before we visited Karuizawa. I saw this strange nymph there, and had been wondering what this strange insect was. When I was studying this scavenger, which saw at Karuizawa, my question was suddenly solved.
Garden of the gods を訪れた際、数羽の bluebird を見ました。アメリカには3種類の bluebird がいます。Eastern bluebird、Western bluebird、Mountain bluebird の３種類です。これら３種類の棲み分けはコチラのページでcheckして下さい。メリーランド州に住んでいた頃、Eastern bluebirdは２回見ました。メリーランド州にはEastern bluebirdしか住んでいないので、見分けるのが容易でしたが、コロラド州には３種類ともが生息しています。なので、見分け方を勉強しました。Eastern bluebirdは胸から嘴のところまでオレンジ色の部分がつながっているのに対し、Western bluebirdは胸のみがオレンジ色。Mountain bluebirdはオレンジ色の部分がなく全身青色だそうです。今回見た blue bird はどれもそんなにオレンジ色が強くなかったのですが、きっと季節や性別・年齢によるものでしょう。嘴のところまできっちり胸からの色（今回は白っぽい）が続いているので、きっと Eastern bluebird だと思います。見た事のない Western bluebirdやMontain bluebirdを見たかったのは確かですが、でも胸の羽毛を膨らませたり、石の上から飛び降りたりする瞬間の写真が撮れたので満足しています。
I saw bluebirds at the garden of the gods in Colorado. There are three kinds of bluebirds in the US. They are Eastern bluebird, Western bluebird, and Mountain bluebird. This web-site shows distribution of this three kinds of bluebird. When I lived in Maryland, I saw Eastern bluebird twice. Since Maryland has only Eastern bluebird, it was very easy to distinguish. Since Colorado has all the three kinds of bluebirds, I learned how to distinguish the birds from the web-site. It says that the Western Bluebird is most easily distinguished from the Eastern by the presence of his blue "collar" that runs above his red breast but below his beak. The red breast of the Eastern Bluebird extends all the way up to the beak. Mountain Bluebirds are easily distinguished from the other two sub-species in that they are entirely blue. They have no red on them. Therefore, although red (orange) is not so clear, since I don't see blue "collar" that runs above his red breast, I think that the bluebirds in above photos are Eastern bluebird. As you know, the same bird show different appearance depending on age, sex, and season. Thus, I think that my estimation is plausible, but if it is wrong, please let me know. When I was watching the bluebird, he/she puffed up (3rd photo), and also jumped off from a rock (5th photo). I'm glad that I took these moments.
Since mountains in Colorado don't have much water, there are few kinds of plants growing there. I think that the plant in the above photos is a kind of Yucca. It can be Yucca angustissima or Yucca harrimaniae, but I'm not sure. When I lived in Maryland, I had fried yucca in a Mexican restaurant. That was yummy. I don't know whether that yucca was the same yucca that I saw in Colorado, since there are so many yucca species. Anyway, I enjoyed the very unique vegetation in Colorado.
We saw three groups of elks in the Rocky Mountain National Park. "Elk" is called the "North American Red Deer" in Europe. In Europe, "elk" means "moose". It is little complicated. Wikipedia says that an European explorer found elk-like deer in the north America and called it elk, although it was not identical with elk in Europe. That is why the North American Red Deer is called elk in the US. Only the males have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. Since it was early spring in the region, the elks did not have any big antlers. One male in each group that we saw had a tag on its neck. Each group was headed up by a male tagged X2, Y8 and F0, respectively. I was little surprised by the that human is, kind of, controlling nature, although the Rocky Mountain National Park is huge.
この派手派手しいカメムシは、ナガメと言うそうです。菜の花につく亀虫でナガメ。学名は、Eurydema rugosa Motschulsky。英語の common name はcabbage bug。でもキャベツにつく虫はなんでもcabbage bug なので、ナガメを特別に指した名前ではなさそうです。
Japanese name of this splashy shield bug is Nagame. Scientific name of this bug is Eurydema rugosa Motschulsky. English common name is cabbage bug. But as you imagine, it is not a specific name for this bug.
目黒の自然教育園でカタクリの花も見ました。ずっと図鑑なので見て、可憐で憧れていた花なんです。実際に見ても、とっても可憐で、春の訪れを感じました。英語の common name はなく、学名は Erythronium japonicum と言うそうです。学名からも分かるように、日本が原産で、韓国や中国でも見られるようです。昔は片栗粉はこのカタクリの根から取っていたらしいのですが、現在はジャガイモから取っているとか。知らなかったです。
I saw flowers of Katakuri. There is no English common name of Katakuri (Katakuri is Japanese name). Scientific name of this plant is Erythronium japonicum. As you can expect from the scientific name, it is native to Japan, Korea, and China. The flowers of this plant are not gorgeous, but so cute. Ancient Japanese took starch called "katakuri-ko" from roots of this plant, but now "katakuri-ko" is made from just potatoes. I did not know that.
こちらも目黒の自然教育園で見かけたノウルシの花です。鮮やかな黄色がとっても綺麗でした。ノウルシの名前の由来は、傷をつけると乳液が出て、それが肌につくとウルシと同じようにかぶれるかららしいです。花は綺麗だけれど、摘み取ったりするとかぶれてしまうので要注意ですね。英語の common nameはありません。学名は Euphorbia adenochlora。どうやらこの植物の分布は日本に限られているようです。日本の中でもノウルシは東京では絶滅、他の件でも絶滅危惧種となっています (参考: 日本のレッドデータ検索システム）。自然教育園のノウルシが、なくなりませんように。
Japanese name of this plant is No-urushi. Urushi means Japanese lacquer, which has a poison. Since this plant also has a poison, which causes skin rush, that's why this plant is called No-urushi (No means field in Japanese.). Flower of this plant is beautiful bright yellow. It probably only distributes in Japan. Even in Japan, it is threatened with extinction.
I saw white beautiful egrets in the Tama river, today. There are tree very similar species, little egret, intermediate egret, and large egret, in Japan. All of them are white. The beak of little egret is black through a year, on the other hand, the beak of intermediate and large egrets is black in summer and yellow in winter. Small egret is 61 cm, intermediate egret is 68 cm, and large egret is 89 cm. Since common cormorant is 81 cm, I think that I saw little egret (left in the picture) and large egret (right in the picture) compared with the size of common cormorant. I did not see any egrets in summer. I'm enjoying watching birds that were not in Tokyo in summer.
I saw a honey bee in Hokkaido University. There are two subspecies of honey bee in Japan. One is European honey been (alternative name is Western honey bee), and Japanese honey bee. The two are very similar. European honey bee's abdomen is more yellowish than Japanese honey bee's one. You can distinguish these two by lines on their rear wings, too. My photos are not so good to see the difference unfortunately. Scientific name of European honey bee is Apis mellifera, and that of Japanese is Apis cerana. I think that honey bees are very interesting, since drones (males) hatch from unfertilized eggs and females (Queens and worker bees) hatch from fertilized eggs. Queens and worker bees are genetically the same. Both workers and queens are fed "royal jelly" during the first three days of the larval stage. However workers are switched to a diet of pollen and nectar or diluted honey, while those intended for queens will continue to receive royal jelly. This causes the larva to develop to the pupa stage more quickly, while being also larger and fully developed sexually. Since males hatch from unfertilized egg, they have half numbers of chromosomes compared with females. So it seems that sperms from them skip meiosis and contain entire chromosomes. Otherwise, chromosome numbers will be decreased. It is really interesting, isn't it?
I found a small yellow and black moss. This moss is called "Ki madara ko yaga" that means "yellow dotted small night moss". This moss is native to Japan and Eurasia continent. In Japan, population of this moss is now decreasing. I saw it at the first time. Scientific name of this moss is Emmelia trabealis.
ムラサキシラホシカメムシの幼虫を見ました。背中に２つある白い点が見分けるポイントです。幼虫には白い点の下に白い横線がありますが、成虫になるとこれがおそらく羽で隠されて見えなくなるようです。これも日本固有種のようで、英語の common name はないようです。学名は Eysarcoris annamita。なんか白い2つの点が目のようで、白い線が口にも見えますよね。
I found a nymph of "Murasaki sira hoshi kamemusi" that is endemic in Japan. "Murasaki sira hoshi kamemusi" means "violet weevil with white stars". I don't think that its is violet though. It does not have an English common name. Its scientific name is Eysarcoris annamita. We can distinguish this weevil from other weevils by two white stars on its back. Its nymph has a white horizontal line under the two dots, while its adult does not have. The two white spots look like eyes and the white line look like a mouth a little bit, aren't them?
昨日、目黒の自然教育園の壁に4 cmくらいのけっこう大きなカタツムリを発見。どうやらミスジマイマイというカタツムリのようです。右巻きの貝で3本筋があるので、ミスジマイマイとか。でも模様にはかなりバリエーションがあるようで、1本のとか2本のもいるらしいです。私が見つけたのも、3本ないですが、関東地方で右巻きのもっとも普通に見られるカタツムリがミスジマイマイとの事なので、おそらくそうだろうと。もし間違っていたら教えて下さいね。日本固有種らしくて、英語の common name はなく、学名は Euhadra peliomphalaというそうです。子供の頃はどこにでもいたカタツムリですが、明らかに数が減少していますよね。自然破壊の波に飲み込まれてしまったのでしょうか。悲しい事です。
I found a relatively big snail (around 4 cm) on a wall of the institute for nature study national science museum. It is probably "Misuji maimai" in Japanese that means snail that have 3 lines. It is native to Japan, and does not have any English common name. Scientific name is Euhadra peliomphala. Despite the name, some of them don't have 3 lines on its shell. The pattern on its shell is various. The snail that I found does not have 3 lines. But I think that it is probably "Misuji maimai", because it is most common in Tokyo area, and is dexiotropic (right spiral). So it is just a speculation. If I'm wrong, please correct me. I saw many snails, when I was a kid. These days, number of snails are decreasing apparently. This may be a result of destruction of nature. I feel sad.
This is a Easter lily that is blooming at our portal. The petals are so white and brilliant. Japanese name is "Teppo Yuri" that means "gun lily". Probably, the name is derived from its flower's shape. This plant is native to Japan. I'm glad that Japan has such a beautiful native flower.
草の葉っぱの中に静かに潜んでいるカメムシを見つけました。そろえた触覚の縞縞が美しくて見とれてしまいました。カメムシの身体に焦点を合わせた写真と触覚に焦点を合わせた写真の2枚を載せます。虫が嫌いな方でも、この写真は綺麗って感じて頂けるんじゃないかなっと思います。英名は Eastern green stinkbug (学名はNezara antennata)。日本独特の種のようで、英語で検索してもホンの少ししか記載を見つけられませんでした。マメ科、イネ科、キク科など、広範囲の植物の汁を吸うそうです。
I found a kind of Shield bug (stink bug), Eastern green stinkbug, in a leave. It was hiding quietly. It has so beautiful stripe antennas. I believe that even people who don't like insects love these pictures. I focused on its body in the first picture, and I focused on its antennas in the 2nd picture. This bug is probably endemic in Japan. I was not able to find many English description about it on the web. This bug suck sap from various kinds of plants.
自然教育園ではトホシテントウもたくさんいました。トホシテントウは、どうやら日本独特の種のようで、英語のcommon nameを見つける事ができませんでした。学名は Epilachna admirabilis ですが、ちょっと覚えられませんね。とりあえず外国人のお友達に説明する時は、"Japanese name of this ladybug is "ten stars ladybug in Japanese" と言うしかなさそうです。もし英語のcommon nameを御存知の方がいらっしゃったら教えて下さいませ。
I found a ladybug in the park. This ladybug seems endemic in Japan. Japanese name of this ladybug is "To-hoshi tento" that means " ten stars ladybug". If you know English common name of this ladybug, please let me know.
There are so many earthquakes in Japan. I had not experienced any earthquakes for 4 years in USA. But in Japan, I have already experienced earthquakes twice for 1 week. When I was in USA, a Chinese-American coworker lent me a DVD, "Japan sinks". If you see the movie, you can understand why Japan has so many earthquakes. "Japan sinks" is a science fiction, but I feel like it will be real in the future. If you have a chance, please watch the movie (There is a novel too), since it is very well done.
今朝は私の住むアパートのベランダに European Starling (ホシムクドリ) がやってきました。この鳥は夕方になると電線にうじゃうじゃとまっていて、カラスみたいな感じで別に綺麗と思った事はなかったのですが、近くで見ると意外や意外、緑色や青紫色の羽に可愛らしい斑点がついている綺麗な鳥でした。Starlingの"star"も日本名のホシムクドリの「星」も彼らのstar(星)状の斑点に由来しているようです。
下の表は日本捕鯨協会のホームページに出ていた現在のクジラの数です。Fin whales (ナガスクジラ) は47300匹しかいません。東京ドームは45600人収容できるそうなので、おおよそ東京ドーム収容人数分しかいない訳です。これだけで種として存続できるでしょうか？それはまだ科学者にさえ分かりません。そういう状態にある生物を獲る事は常識ある人間ならばしないでしょう。たくさんいるとされているMinke whaleにしたって、人類の人口66億人からしたら、1万分の1です。日本捕鯨協会のホームページは英語のサイトも用意しています。Q&Aに "Aren't all whales endangered? (クジラは危機に瀕していないの?)" という項があり、彼らは "No whales have ever been hunted to extinction, nor are they likely to be. " と答えています。ここまでの bullshit は見た事がありません。20世紀の乱獲により、多くのクジラが endangered (絶滅の危機に瀕した) な状態なのは明らかです。彼らは日本語ページには世論調査など載せ、「みんなが捕鯨をサポートしている」と日本人の「みんなと一緒」好きな感情をくすぐり、英語ページでは国際社会への体裁を繕っています。日本にいると日本語でしか情報が入ってこないと思いますが、その限られた情報に踊らされないよう気をつけて下さい。