Shinto prayers at nearby empty lot. Will a house replace this summer-time bat field?


I did a double take on my bike as I passed this portable Shinto ceremony on a nearby empty lot. Ostensibly, they are praying to the local gods in advance of constructing a residence. But I think this is not the first year they’ve done the ceremony here.

This summer the weeds were rampant, and the empty space became a bat colony. Somehow the Mercedes in the foreground of a Japanese religious ritual no longer surprises me, even in Nakano.

Coyotes in Manhattan

Coyotes have recently been spotted in New York’s Central Park, and at Columbia University. It’s funny to see these reports while I am reading Marie Winn’s charming book about urban wildlife called Central Park in the Dark, in which she chronicles her and other amateur naturalists’ obsessions with city bats, birds, moths, mice and other creatures. Her website includes “latest news”: