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Thursday, March 30, 2017

This and that recently



In spite of the saying "Neither heat nor cold lasts beyond the equinox.",
weather has been weird and unstable with windy cold air in the strong sunlight.
 Colors of water, however, have changed for sure.
What do you see in the photo above?
Water lily pads, reflected bare cherry trees, of which blossoms will start blooming in a week,
blue skies, and soft yellow Sanshuu, or Cornus officinalis Sieb. et Zucc.



I heard from my daughter H who had a trip to Miyama-cho, northern part of Kyoto.
Miyama-cho is famous for more than 200 traditional, thatched roof farmhouses
where people still live and work.
(My post of the year 2011 about the hamlet, here.)
H's lodging was one of the old traditional houses.
Her family experienced simple and slow life.

i-Phone photo taken by my son-in-law
H's family monopolized three rooms (totally 50-jyo, or 100 tatami-mats),
a kitchen, and a bathroom.
The old but not dirty, uncluttered house has been well cared for throughout the years.
The dinner was “hot pot dish” of vegetables picked in the neighboring fields and chickens.

Photos sent to me by my daughter







These two dolls made of Japanese papers or straws were created
by my husband's late grandmother.
They became in bad condition after about 40 years.


As they get older, they've come to radiate more and more mysterious aura.

Meticulously-made bouquet

This plant has an attractive soft shine before crumbling away soon.



One day, I tidied the storeroom.
On finding some of the paintings by my son S in his lower grades,
memories came back instantly
though I had been completely forgetting about the paintings.

At the age of 8
In a few years, S's eldest daughter will become the age 
when he painted these paintings.

From seven to nine






About three-week spring break before new academic school year 
is time to be spent with grandchildren.
It's time to be realized their personal growth.
It's an eventful period including graduation of kindergarten and a concert in March,
entrance to elementary school or kindergarten and ballet performance in April.




I am not a minimalist but in some years I’d like to pare down my possessions
until only things that are necessary for their utility or beauty alone are left.

A container made of milk carton and Japanese papers by H

After enough interaction with grandchildren 
or works of cleaning and tidying up,
there's nothing more like a relaxing coffee time with a cake.



My next post will be Sakura (cherry blossoms) in mid-April.
Keep tuned!

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.