In northern Japan, beech trees dominate the forest. They've evolved a strategy of living long, growing taller than the other trees, and reacting quickly to the lengthening days of spring.Throughout the forest winter begins to lose its grip. But this interval between seasons is still dangerous for th...Read More
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Meadows Under the Sea

The only flowering plant that can live underwater are appropriately called seagrasses. This means that even flowering and pollination occur under the waves. Most species have distinct male and female individuals. But they can reproduce vegetatively and can form large meadows.These meadows in the Sol...Read More
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Tapa cloth (or simply tapa) is a bark cloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily in Tonga and Samoa, but as far afield as Java, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. In French Polynesia it has completely disappeared, except for some villages in the Marquesas.The cloth is known by ...Read More
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Oomurasaki Butterfly

Oomurasaki, the Japanese Purple Emperor, is the National butterfly of Japan.A tiny caterpillar climbs up from the leaf litter where it hibernated over winter.But the colours that were a perfect camouflage in autumn will soon be dangerously conspicuous, for the caterpillar is climbing back into a cha...Read More
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Monkey Dance

The island of Bali. A bewildering patchwork of colours and contrasts. An intricate Hindu civilisation prospers based on a strong belief in the cosmic cycles of the gods. Temples dominate the Balinese landscape. Strangely these places of worship are protected by troops. Troops of monkeys the sacred d...Read More
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Icebergs and sheep! A strange combination even for New Zealand, renowned for its woolly quadrupeds. This footage results from two rather unusual events.In November 2006, icebergs were sighted 60 kilometres off the Dunedin coast, on the eastern side of New Zealand. This was a rare enough event in its...Read More
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Spot the Lark

Last week's blog posting was about camouflage, well so too is this week's. I defy anyone to spot the lark's nest in this Himalayan landscape.In a treeless place all birds nest on the ground. The nest lies just beneath the flat stone in the middle of this still frame taken from one of the NHNZ Images...Read More
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Camels at Christmas

The desolate Gobi is home to the world's only wild camels - the bactrian camels. Little more than a thousand of these two-humped nomads remain, roaming the deserts between China and Mongolia.Two females and their month old calves have joined forces to be safer from predators such as wolves. The fema...Read More
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Hibernating Dormouse

A Dormouse may only live for two or three years, and whether it survives for another season will depend on how much weight it gains before going into hibernation, a winter sleep that may last five months.If the dormouse does not put on enough fat, it might never wake up. Deep in the litter, curled...Read More
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Dance of the Cranes

Demoiselle cranes have their own strategy for surviving the extremes of the Mongolian steppe. They escape every winter, and return in spring to re-establish breeding territories.The arrival of a male joining his mate ruffles territorial feathers. During the breeding season each pair defends an exclu...Read More
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