Hama Rikyu Tidal-Pond Park

Despite my dire commentary last week about the humidity, this Sunday was lovely — sunny with a small breeze and not too hot or muggy. We took off for Hama Rikyu park, which is next to Tokyo Bay and is dotted with little tidal ponds. It used to be for duck hunting for the hoity-toity types, but Jen will tell you more about that a bit later (she reads all the signs, while I take pictures of everything in sight.)

This trip in particular I was on a photography mission because July 4th is coming up soon and I am borrowing a camera from the media hub to shoot the party. I’ve been trying to extract information from the bureaucracy all this week (marginally successfully) all of which is making shooting weddings seems quite straight-forward. At any rate, I wanted practice with the camera, although it was a different lens today than I will use at the party (a super-wide-angle, which can be nice for some of the landscape photography, but can be dangerous when you want to do people shots in a busy room because it can distort things rather alarmingly.) I had some headaches — over-exposure, not sure where the ISO controls are but the camera seemed to have its own ideas about appropriate ISO settings, I no longer have adobe design suite on my computer so when I went to convert the RAW files I realized I had to use some sub-par program, which didn’t go very well… Anyway (this is the techno babble which jen not only puts up with but seems to find cute) a good learning experience, and a few good photos out of the adventure!

I also included a picture of our porch garden because I’m rather pleased that A) we haven’t killed the entire thing off (yet), and B) it’s multiplying, largely due to donations from friends departing post (although Jen went on a re-potting binge, and now several of the plants are also multiplying all on their own). We have also acquired a BBQ (in the great BBQ caper of 2012, which mostly involved my boss calling me and asking me if I wanted it, and me rushing over to his house), so we are gleefully grilling out there (while making sure not to leave the doors open and set off our smoke detectors… it’s not a very big porch.)

Also, we are now signed up to head up north to a pretty little town at the end of July where there is an animal shelter that rescues pets that were made homeless in the 3/11 disasters. We will be dog-walking around a beautiful lake, cleaning cages, feeding animals, socializing cats, and I will be offering my photographic skills to try to improve their animal photos and therefor their adoption rate. I’m pretty excited about volunteering, and if any of you are interested in supporting the organization, they could use donations for animal food (all the info is on their website).

Other than that, the only excitement this week has been the first typhoon of the season (some damaged trees on the compound, and I didn’t sleep well because the wind was so loud, but otherwise not much of an issue), and some really good hummus (homemade, naturally). The secret, I tell you, is grinding the garbanzos (and spices) a bit first before slowly adding the liquids. Smoother texture. Now you know all my tricks! 😉

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