Climbing Yukawa-san (Mt. Yukawa)

It was a beautiful sunny day today, so I decided to go for a long hike from my house in Munakata Common to climb up Yukawa-san (Mt. Yukawa). This mountain is 471m tall and overlooks Kanezaki fishing village and the islands called Ohshima and Jinoshima. From the summit you can also see along the coast towards Kitakyushu. It really is a fantastic view and well worth the climb. Coming down the other side of the mountain, I walked home a different route through the fields. I’ve made a map of the route, which was about 12km I guess:

And here are a few of the many photos I took on the hike.

Location: (google map).

Japanese Weasel

I’ve seen weasels (itachi) many times on my walks and when driving my car, but this was my first chance to get some photos. I was walking along a road in the countryside near my home and luckily saw the weasel before it saw/heard me. I slowly moved my camera into position and managed to get some fairly decent shots before the weasel understood that I was not in fact a strange new species of tree, and made its escape.

Mustela itatsiMustela itatsiMustela itatsiMustela itatsi

Family: Mustelidae (badgers, otters, weasels, and relatives)
Subfamily: Mustelinae (martens, weasels, wolverines, and relatives)
Genus: Mustela (ermines, ferrets, minks, and weasels)

Mustela itatsi
Japanese weasel = nihon-itachi

Location: Road through orchards near Munakata Common (map)

Red Fungus Beetles

Found quite a colony of these little red fungus beetles (kinokomushi) on a rotting log.

Coleoptera: Erotylidae
Neotriplax lewisii = akahababiro-oo-kinokomushi

Location: Edge of mikan orange orchard near Munakata Common (map).

Chestnut Aphid

I found the stump of a chestnut tree (kuri) and all of its few remaining branches were covered by a huge colony (huge colonies?) of chestnut aphids (kuri-oo-aburamushi).

It was interesting to see the variety of forms all mixed up in the colony: small red eggs, nymphs, large black viviparous females, and both male and female winged forms.

In the next photo, you can see the defense strategy these aphids use – they all raise their hind legs in the air and shake them vigorously. It surprised me, so I guess it might scare away a bird!

Hemiptera: Homoptera: Aphidae
Lachnus tropicalis

Great Chestnut Aphid = kuri-oo-aburamushi

Location: Edge of mikan orange orchard near Munakata Common (map).