Look What I Found

A few weeks ago when Chieko and I were out for a drive, we stumbled on this huge open field in the middle of the mountains.  It was quite spectacular, but when I went to snap some pictures my camera battery was dead.  I’ve been meaning to get back with a fully charged battery and explore around a little.  Today was yet another spectacular fall day, and I had nothing particular going on, so I jumped in the car and drove the 20 or so minutes back to the fields.

The only thing marring the otherwise pristine local are the power lines sagging their way across the field.  Par for the course in most parts of Japan.  The white tower in the background is a chimney at a garbage processing facility in a nearby town (I suppose that counts as marring as well).

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There’s one primary dirt road winding through the middle of the field, and I’m not sure where it leads.  I was surprised when a local farmer came cruising by while I was walking around, so it might be a scenic shortcut between some of the mountain hamlets in the area.  There are several other less-worn tracks leading in different directions, perhaps for utility workers to access the power line towers.

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There’s some wildlife in the area.  There’s a sign at the entrance to field warning people not to mess with the traps they have set up to catch wild pigs, though I didn’t see any traps or pigs.  I assume there are some bears in the area too, and I was a little wary of being out there all by myself, completely exposed.  I noticed some berry-filled animal droppings along the dirt road, and it was a little unsettling.  But there are also some deer-like creatures that are pretty common around here, so the droppings could have been from them.  At any rate, I made it back to my car without incident.

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I really want to head up to this field at night sometime, as I’m sure the stars are amazing.  Quite an idyllic place that I’ll be visiting again for sure.

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Last night’s concert was good, not great.  The performers alternated between each others songs, and while Scrappy Jud rips on the guitar, his songs don’t do much for me lyrically.  I would have preferred to hear more of Matt the Electricians material, but oh well.  I take live music when I can get it around these parts.  I had a chance to chat briefly with them before and after the show, which is always cool.

I’m heading up to Niigata on Wednesday to help  Chieko’s dad with whatever is left of the rice harvest, and also to visit her mom in the hospital.  She is doing well, but the healing is taking some time.  Still no word on the results of her tests which will determine if the cancer spread beyond her stomach.  Fingers crossed.

Time to think about dinner.

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