Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Freshly verdant vegetation of May

Spring has been deepening as trees come alive with newly sprouted foliage.

Grass grows lush and bountiful fast.

I am partial to reflections on the water.
These are reflections of viridity of grass or leaves.

During the Golden Week, I went to Tofuku-ji Temple for 青もみじ Aomomiji, 
young green maple viewing.
Tofukuji is so popular for its colorful display of Japanese maples in late-November.
I prefer much quieter temple grounds during the off season.
The view from the Gaun-kyo Bridge where I stand toward the Tsuten-kyo Bridge 
over the ravine is a sea of green. 

Azaleas dot the freshly verdant garden.

An exuberance of young foliage!
An exuberance of joy!

Below is Japanese maple “Nomura”. 
The brownish red leaves become very bright red in autumn. 

After or between exploring, 
there's nothing like sitting on veranda to view the garden for a while,
enjoying the stillness, feeling the balmy breeze of May.

At the 一華院 Ikka-in, one of 25 sub-temples surrounding Tofuku-ji

Other time in Nara Park, I enjoyed creative vegetable cuisine with my friends from college years.
We have cherished friendship twice a year, spring and autumn, to keep it sparkling.

6 dishes out of 8-course dinner including dessert
Not true vegan because eggs, heese, yogurt and the likes are used.
Wish you joyful May, whether springtime, early summer, autumn, or everlasting summer,
depending on where you live.

Linked to Our World Tuesday
Wednesday around the World

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mount Rokko laughs

山笑うYama warau/Mountain laughs” is spring kigo in haiku poems. 
It tells soft, bright air of spring mountains.
From late April to early May, Mount Rokko looks laughing
in verdure, soft colors, and the energy to be born into.  

Branches look purplish before budding of leaves.

“To laugh” is written 笑うor 咲う in Japanese.
咲く(to flower) was 笑う(to laugh) in ancient writing.
The whole mountain looks enveloped in peaceful laughters with laughing flowers here and there.

The tunnel of Exochorda racemosa.
When walking in fresher, sweeter air, you’ll find yourself smiling. 

The soft shades of green of tiny baby leaves.

The pink of peach, rhododendron, or azalea flowers reminds me 
of F’s tutu on her first ballet recital.

At the Hase-ike Pond, ripples make distorted pastel reflections 
of fresh maple leaves and azalea flowers surrounding the pond.

The pads of aqua plants have just emerged.
 The baby pads of water lilies are so lovely and serene with purplish hue.
They change colors to green by the time when the aqua plants bloom.
In summer, they spread across the water’s surface, filling it with colors and vibrancy.

The newly born pads of Nuphar japonicum are pink.
The glinting pads in the sun look like jewels of the pond.

コウホネ Nuphar japonicum

The branches of soft yellow Yamabuki, or Kerria japonica, are so slender 
that can be easily shaken by the winds.
Lovely to see them softly swaying in the breeze.

By the way, a darling, opening bud in my family, turned 4 on the 1st of May.

Having attended kindergarten only two weeks, 
Y seems to have developed greater self-control. 
He wants to try new experiences. 
Since last winter, he enjoyed helping his mother to make pizzas.
He makes small holes and pastes olive oil thinly on the dough prepared by his mom, 
and top the one with sausages, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and cheese
and the other with apple, ham, and cheese.

Here you are, homemade pizza is ready.

What made you smile or laugh recently?

Linked to Our World Tuesday

Monday, April 17, 2017

In Praise of Sakura, 2017

 My first photos of this year's Sakura (cherry blossoms) season in Nara Park 
were single-petaled weeping cherry tree blossoms.
Their graceful cascading branches are covered with soft pink flowers.

On a chilly, cloudy day after the rain, I walked around Nara Park.
This is 紅豊 Beniyutaka at the Japanese Garden of the New Public Hall of Nara.

April 9th
八重紅枝垂れ Yae-Benishidare, multiple-petaled weeping cherry tree, 
was just starting to flower.

One week later on a warm, sunny day, the Yae-Benishidare was at its best.

Back to the chilly, cloudy day,
under the pearly grey sky, 染井吉野 Somei-yoshino were blooming
 in all their glory at Kasugano Field.

April 9th

The view of the Five-storied Pagoda of Kofuku-ji from Ara-ike Pond
on my way back to Nara Station.

Blooms of Somei-yoshino indicates full arrival of spring,
because their buds open when temperature reaches 15 degrees
and burst into bloom at 18 degrees.

However, winter-like chilly weather has made the bloom time longer as well as 
delayed it by several days to a week this year.
 On the day of the entrance ceremony to her elementary school,
F was happy walking proudly with her brand-new raspberry pink "randosel"
under the canopy of cherry blossoms.

April 10th
The youngest Y has entered kindergarten.
He is a member of the youngest Sunflower Class.
Since Somei-yoshino is the most widely planted flowering cherry in Japan,
you can see the blossoms almost everywhere during Sakura season.

At the park in my neighborhood
 Swing, swing, up to the sky ...♬

This week, Sakura is going to be over at last in my part of the world.

Sakura has the most beautiful way of saying farewell.
A soft breeze stirs pale-pink snow of petals from the branches.

Along the Saho River, April 15th
In the photo below, most of the flowers have gone and leaves appeared
while flowers are seen on the thick branch.
I love falling petals as much as fresh blooms.

Pale pink confetti on the green carpet.

 April 16th

Thank you, Sakura, for spreading beauty, elegance, grace, and courage.
See you next year!

Linked to Our World Tuesday