Pink Silk & Lapwings

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The early morning sun is shown reflecting through the distinctive flower of the Pink Silk tree (Albizia julibrissin). This is one of the most conspicuous trees in flower this week around the city. They are abundant and I’ve seen plenty along the rivers, in parks and on the streets. It has a huge natural range, from Iran to Japan. The tree is known as nemunoki “the sleeping tree” in Japanese because its leaves close at night.

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On my way home from the mall this evening, I heard the loud, distinctive call of a lapwing. When I looked around, my daughter Ocean and I spotted a pair of Grey-headed lapwings (Vanellus cinereus) . I think they must be nesting in a flooded rice paddy near the 171 highway because this is the second time I’ve seen them together in that area. This is the first time I’ve seen them, although they are resident to this part of Honshu. They breed in northern China, Siberia and Hokkaido. The rice paddies are currently flooded for the growth of the young rice shoots and this may be a good habitat for them to breed. They would not let Ocean and me get close to them and they took off together out of the neighborhood.

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