Go Figure… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Go Figure...

The Streak Continues

As we will be spending much of tomorrow in transit on various buses, taxis, trains, and subways, I prepared this blog post after the dinner described below on Saturday, March 2, 2014. I am trying to prepare another post or two so that the streak is not jeopardized on my big travel day, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 when I fly out of Tokyo’s Narita airport around noon and get into Orlando two hours later on the same day. I should easily be home in time for a swim before having dinner with Jim.

March 3 Update!

Miracle of miracles, on our own, Denise and I made it from our hotel in Kyoto to Kyoto Station and got tickets for and boarded the Express Super Train to Tokyo Station. After 1 1/2 hours wandering around Tokyo Station we got some lunch and made our way to the platform for the Narita (say NAH-ree-TAH) Express only to find out that I needed to leave Denise with all the bags, head back up two huge elevators, find the ticket office, and find Denise. We boarded the 3:05 train and arrived at the Terminal 1 Narita Airport Station before 4pm. It was much easier getting around Narita Station than getting around the huge complex that is Tokyo Station. Having just missed the shuttle bus the kindly old taxi dispatcher called us a larger cab because our huge collection of bags could not fit in a normal taxi. By 5pm we were in our hotel room getting ready for our flight home tomorrow.

This post marks 94 straight days with a new blog post, a record by far that should be extended for at least another day or so, or not. Or more…. To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask that use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links for all of your B&H and Amazon purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store. We sell only what I use and depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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Thanks a Huge Stack!

Thanks a stack to all who visit the blog regularly. February was a record month for the BAA B&H affiliate program. And dozens of folks are getting in the habit of using Amazon for both the minor household and entertainment purchases as well as for major purchases. Their kindness is greatly appreciated and it is great to see that the streak is paying dividends. Love you all. artie

The Creative MiniMag

The March Edition of Denise Ippolito’s Creative MiniMag is online and can be viewed here. How Denise ever managed to get it published with our rigorous schedule here in Japan is beyond me. All will enjoy Denise’s Bamboo Blur article and the great images in Nancy Bell’s More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys here. The monkeys are Bonnett Macaques from southern India. All will benefit by reading Dennis Bishop’s Color Harmony. I need to go back and study it when I have more time. There are additional fine pieces by Mary Stamper, Andrew McLachlan, Steve Ellis, and yours truly: Geese, Cranes, and Creativity at Bosque del Apache.

Bird Photographer’s.Net

If you have never visited Bird Photographer’s.Net, or if it has been a while since you dropped by, click here and you will be impressed with the new look of the front page. Peter Kes did a fabulous job with the re-design. BPN (honest critiques done gently) is a great place to improve your skills as a nature photographer — and, it ain’t just birds: next to the Avian forum, Wildlife, Landscapes, Macro and Flora and Out-of-the-Box are very popular forums. Do also check out the Eager-To-Learn forum, where wintered photographers will help you improve your photography skills. Click here to check out the various topic forums and find those that would be ideal for you. We will be featuring links to some great images and articles of interest in future blog posts. If you just visit the frontpage regularly, you will see the ‘Image of the week’ displayed on the left. One (best) image is selected each week out of each of the critique forums. On the right you will find a selection of threads that drew our attention in some way: a striking image or an interesting topic.


Ellora Indian Restaurant, Kyoto, Japan. Cell phone image courtesy of and copyright 2014: Patricia Lillich

Go Figure…

We enjoyed the food at our lodge in Hokkaido tremendously. Our guide’s wife, Shinobu, was a tremendous cook. She prepared a great variety of Japanese dishes for us each night for dinner. There was always fish or shrimp for Denise and lots of protein for me. We all relished the food. Dining out in Rausu was a bit challenging but we did fine. In our hotel near the Monkey Park in Jigokudani, Nagano we were served a sumptuous Japanese-style dinner each evening with many, many courses to choose from.

Once we got to Kyoto, however, things were a bit different. We found dining out to be a struggle. Especially at dinner. We found a variety of great looking restaurants on our cultural walks. When we tried to enter pretty much each of them we were told, “No reservation, no room.” When we’d finally find a place with real tables and chairs–the Japanese often eat at very low tables while seated on the floor, we found it difficult to get the menus translated and found much of the food to be lacking. Not too great either on the portion size or the taste. Denise suffered the most often choosing a seafood dish that seemed just right for her that would turn out to be borderline inedible.

On our last evening in Kyoto we decided to eat at the Italian Restaurant next to our hotel only to learn that it was closed for a wedding. After much debate the five of us–Pat and Alan Lillich and their younger daughter Meagan, we decided to try the Indian restaurant on the Teramachi Mall: the Ellora Indian Restaurant, 548-5 B1F Nakanocho, Shijoagaur, Terimachidori, Nakogyo,-KU, Kyoto. Denise was a bit iffy on the choice….

We started off by sharing an order of vegetable samosas that Denise had ordered. They are fried pastries with a savory filling, in this case potatoes and peas plus tons of great Indian spices. Everyone was blown away by the taste. I had a mutton meatball appetizer that was so good that I shared it with no one. Dish after dish came out of the kitchen: saffron chicken masala, malai kabobs, palak paneer (a spicy creamed spinach), chicken masala kabobs, and vegetable curry and Tandoori prawns for Denise. The Liliichs got two orders of garlic naan, a tender moist Indian bread. Each piece was giant so we all volunteered to help make it disappear. It was a very quiet meal….

Who’da thunk that you could find great Indian food in Kyoto, Japan?

Our saving grace after each meal including our last one in Kyoto, was a visit to Handelsvagen, a killer ice cream shop with lots of way- out flavors. Denise had Macadamia Caramel Coconut every night. I started with Maple Syrup Nut on the first two nights, strawberry on the third, and Sea Salt on the last two. Please do not ask me what a well-controlled diabetic is doing eating ice cream every night. All that I can say is that I cannot wait to get home, to get back in the pool, and back to eating healthy, balanced, low carb meals. Soon.


If you’ve ever had a great ethnic meal in a totally unexpected location, please feel free to share your story with us by leaving a comment below.


If you’d like to learn from the two folks who created the images in the composite above do consider one of the trips below. Denise Ippolito’s images: Japanese leaf painting, skimmer in flight, curved Keukenhof paths with tulips, copulating terns, & pink dahlia. Artie’s images: Snow Geese snowstorm blur, crane landing silhouettes, Leopard with prey in tree, King Penguin, & vertical tulip.

A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours (IPTs)/Two great leaders: Arthur Morris & Denise Ippolito.

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART www.BIRDSASART-blog.com for the latest images, info, & education
Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure www.deniseippolito.com: get yourself out of the box!

Denise’s e-books: Bloomin’ Ideas, A Guide to Filters & Effects, The Softer Side of Macro, & more. Free Monthly Creative MiniMag: www.deniseippolito.com/magazine

Nickerson Baby Beach-nesting Birds IPT, Long Island, NY: 3-Full Days/July 22-24, 2014: $1199.

Black Skimmers, Common Terns with chicks, American Oystercatcher & Piping Plover families; breeding behaviors including courtship feeding, display flight and combat, and copulations. Gulls and shorebirds.

UK Puffins IPT. Early July, 2014.

Details TBA. Please e-mail to be placed on the interested list.

Tanzania Serengeti Summer Safari: Leave US: August 9—return: August 24, 2014: $12,999.

Co-leaders: Arthur Morris & Todd Gustafson. Wildebeest/The Great Migration, cats, elephant, giraffe, zebra, birds & more. Please e-mail for brochure.

Swan Island Dahlia Farm IPT, Canby, OR, September 8-12, 2014: 5 FULL DAYS: $1699.

Leader: Denise Ippolito. 40 acres with 350+dazzling varieties of dahlias in a plethora of colors, shapes and sizes. Sharpen your technical skills and boost your creative juices. Daily assignments, image sharing, and Photoshop sessions.

Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour.” (IPT). NOV 24-25, 2014. 2-FULL DAYS: $729.

Leaders: Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/23. This IPT is perfect for folks who want to learn to think outside the box, to create new and different images. Learn to unleash your creative juices at the wondrous Bosque del Apache, NWR in San Antonio, NM.

Bosque del Apache 2014 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT). NOV 29-DEC 3, 2014. Totaling 4 FULL-DAYS: $1449

Leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/29. Tens of thousand of Snow Geese, 10,000 Sandhill Cranes, ducks, amazing sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. Live, eat, and breathe photography with two of the world’s premier photographic educators at one of their very favorite photography locations on the planet.

Antarctica/The Extended Expedition Voyage: Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland Islands: December 13, 2014 to January 10, 2015.

Please e-mail for details.

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IPT Info

Many of our great trips are filling up. See especially info on the Holland, Nickerson Beach, and Bosque IPTs. Two great leaders on most trips ensure that you will receive individual attention, have all of your questions answered, and learn a ton including how to think like a pro, see the situation, and get the right exposure every time. In addition you will have fun, and make lots of great images. Click here for IPT details and general information.

7 comments to Go Figure…

  • Leonard Malkin

    If you liked “When We Were Orphans” by Ishiguro, I’m sure you’d enjoy the movie of his “Remains of the Day” with Anthony Hopkins, a remarkable film.

  • Thanks for sharing the journey and your wonderful images! Safe home!

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW and thanks. Made it home at 6:00pm on Tuesday. In Florida. As Peter Kes would say, I am knackered! later and love, artie

  • Great Indian food at the Speke Hotel, downtown Kampala, Uganda. And as we were walking away, well down the street, our waiter came running after us ……….with my camera bag that I had left under the table!!!

  • Ron May

    Art, it has been very interesting following the travels of you and your group as you made your way through the various Japanese settings. I will have to see if it is in the cards for me next year.

    I wish both you and Denise a very safe journey home.


  • Ted Willcox

    Thanks for the write up. Safe traveling. Ted

  • Have a safe trip home!