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Monday, March 13, 2017

Ume blossoms viewing at Osaka Castle Park, 2017


Temperature has fallen and then risen quickly and frequently like yoyo.  
It feels springtime is still in name only when fluffy snowflakes flutter in the piercing cold,
and then again
it feels springtime has come when you see sprouts and a little brightened up landscape.
During the very short warm spell, I went to Ume Grove at Osaka Castle Park.


Ume, or Japanese apricot, is a floral harbinger of spring
and symbol of perseverance and hope.


You remember Ume Grove is in the middle of a big city 
when the surrounding skyscrapers are visible.



Different species of Ume come in different colors.










Honkobai (本黄梅) is unique yellow one with too long stamens 
which could make you miss to see the tiny petals.

本黄梅/Honkobai


When I heard pleasant chirping above and looked up, 
Japanese White-eyes were calling and foraging for nectar together. 
The olive green plumage goes well with the colors of the blossoms. 





My camera was busy clicking on spotting out quick-moving birds.
Their playful, acrobatic poses are so cute.




White-eyes are rarely found on the ground not like this Dusky thrush.



Gnarled branches, one of charms of Ume, look like dragons freely swimming among the flowers.




The Next day temperature dropped ten degrees,
but spring was at the Ume grove for sure when I was there.


Past post, Ume Blossoms Viewing at Osaka Castle Park, 2013, here.
Can't believe four years have passed. Time is fleeting.

Linked up to Our World Tuesday

Monday, February 27, 2017

Floral fantasy in winter

admission ticket









Our World Tuesday

When the weather gave us a break from the intense cold, 
I went to Kyoto Prefecture Botanical Garden.



Inside the vinyl house was a floral fantasy of spring.


Pink Daisy
Blue Daisy




キバナルリソウ, Cerinthe major or Japanese honeywort 

In the open air outside, I got awaken to the reality of winter.
But soon I was enchanted more magic of nature,
feeling the bracing air comfortable.

“Setsubun-so”, or Shibateranthis pinnatifida Maxim. 
have bloomed since early February. 
Nowadays they are hardly seen in fields and mountains due to environmental destruction. 


The drooping shriveled flowers of Hydrangea look like lace or delicate butterfly wings.




Is this a stairway for dwarfs or gnomes to climb up?


White Ume, or Japanese apricot, bloom nobly under the pearly pale sky.


A bud is about to open.
The baby flower is so cute.


Lots of buds have swollen rapidly to burst open soon.
Spring looks around the corner.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A crisp and snowy walk through Nara Park

General Frost 冬将軍 gripped Japan last week.
The winter climate of  the Western Japan is usually mild
but  his attack was more intense than the one in January.




Snowfall is a rare present from heaven in Nara. 
If it snows, it’s unlikely to stay on the ground for long.
I treasured this special opportunity to take pictures of snowy Nara Park.


Deer suffer shortage of foods in winter,
especially so when the ground is covered with snow.
Some of them try to reach to the leaves, jumping and standing on their hind legs.


This is the place where people appreciate beauty in silence.


A maple leaf was hanging in there adding color.


Blossoms of “Ume”, or Japanese apricot, floral harbinger of spring, were iced.
It is interesting to see representations of different seasons intertwined.


“Kan-zakura” is winter-blooming species of cherry blossoms which blooms in February.





The colorful oil painting of autumn turned into monochromatic Indian painting.

Yoshiki River
Buddha Hall of Todai-ji Temple
It felt so cold though I was bundled in the coat
armed with breath-thermo water-repelling pants and snowboots.
I heard the footsteps of Spring, however, in the midst of the snow.

See you!