The rainy season set in about two weeks ago. Though it will last till the middle of July, the rainy season is not depressing to me at all. I’d rather say I like this period before the summer comes with its full force.
First of all, Japanese rainy season has a poetic name “梅雨" or "apricot rains." Our rainy season coincides with the season when ume, or Japanese apricots, ripen, so it is written 梅雨 which literally means apricot rains.
Soon Irises (hanashobu in Japanese) will be flowering gregariously. We can see them along the edges of ponds in almost all the Japanese gardens as seasonal plants have been planted to signify the passing of seasons. Wet irises look more attractive with their purple glow.
Japanese “ayame”, “kakitsubata”, and “shobu”, all are called irises in English. “The hardest choice to make is whether to pick ayame or kakitsubata” is Japanese phrase to show difficulty to distinguish. This site (in Japanese) explains how to tell apart them: the center of "hanashobu" is yellow, "kakitsubata" white, and "ayame" a mesh design. Ayame bloom on the wet grasslad earlier in May.
Water lilies also bloom during wet season and often make good collaboration with irises in the water garden. The scene reminds me of Monet's painting.
Hydrangeas are beautiful under the leaden skies or in the softly falling rain. These soft pink hydrangeas are new variety in my garden. The young plants were passed along by my friend with a green thumb two year ago. Don't they bloom nicely this year?
Another exciting thing during the rains is newly born fawns in Nara Park. Deer childbirth period is from May to mid-July. This year's first baby was born on May 12th. There are about 60 fawns so far and totally 200 fawns will be till mid-July. While about 1100 deer freely roam in Nara Park and surrounding areas, babies, their mothers, and pregnant deer are protected at deer pen together with the injured by Deer Protection Organization.
|A baby is suckling.|
The rains is indispensable for rice cultivation and I like to see rice paddies filled with water. If we don't have enough rain this season, we will be troubled with water shortage in August. With each rainfall, green color becomes deeper and brighter. Smell of falling rain mixed with soil and leaves, pattering sound, occasional drumming sound accompanied by thunder and lightening, pretty flowers like irises, hydrangeas, and water lilies, and new life of bambis..., Apricot Rains is such a nice season.
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