Now that I have seen lizard sex for the first time, I know that it’s contorted and violent enough to be mistaken for predation. Unless of course you’re a trained herpetologist, which I’m not.
The highest mountain in Western Japan is not unlike the highest mountain of the Western Hemisphere: in Eastern Japan, where the high mountains are, it would be an unremarkable speck in a sea of snow peaks. But in its natural environment, Mount Ishizuchi is a singular pyramid capping a long ridgeline, a tiny Matterhorn or Minya Konka, obviously the highest point of the land. Dizzy with hunger, my fingers chilled to the bone, I walked up the long road leading to the pass below its summit, and slept under a cold, sparkling mountain sky, a mile above the Inland Sea.