Every year at this time we are caught in the Julian and lunar calendar battle of when spring will actually be upon us. And every year there is a little, but significant, indicator of the actual beginning of springtime. Luckily for the past fifteen years we have been able to reserve a little patch of the true island naturalness in the suburbs of Okinawa City. Despite the constant construction, our own yard still possesses the micro ecology that allows fireflies, dragonflies, baby frogs, lizards, fruit bats, local species of birds, and even a mongoose occasionally frequented our little haven of Okinawan nature. In November each year, as the weather chills, the local birds of prey head south. And every year there are a few stragglers that grace our home with their awesome presence. This year there was a new falcon or hawk, I’m not sure of the exact breed, that provided a daily moment of pleasure as it landed on the electric wiring right outside our front door. The bird was a magnificent specimen of grandeur. As I glazed up with glee at the striking markings and ever-alert eyes, the bird would look down at me as if to say “What do we have here?” It is when these birds no longer visit us daily that I know that the weather has warmed enough to announce the true beginning of spring. To me this is one of the true beauties of life on the island we call Okinawa.
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