Monday, May 16, 2016

Where have gone the nostalgic flower carpets?

Chinese milk vetche (Astragalus sinicus) is naturalized in Japan.
The flowers used to be seen in mass around paddies, fields, meadows, 
and along brooks in spring in my childhood.

"Spring has come and the small stream flows babbling between its banks
The small stream goes whispering between the violets and milk vetches
Wishing the grace, color and beauty, all blossoming on the stream banks"

Excerpts from the popular children’s song “The Small Stream in the Spring”
(Lyrics translated by YAMAGISHI, Katusei)

At the Manyo Botanical Garden of the Kasuga Grand Shrine

Until chemical fertilizer came to be used,
Chinese milk vetches were used as green-fertilizer.
The seeds of them were sowed in the paddies drained of water right after harvesting rice
 so that milk vetches bloom in the next spring.
The paddies were plowed with the plants as fertilizer before planting rice seedlings.

Near the Amakashi Hill at the Asuka Village

The flowers used to make a beautiful sight spread out before your eyes like a spacious tapestry.
As far as my husband and I drove in early May, 
we couldn't find pink carpets but only a few patches of pinks 
even in the Asuka Village,the ancient capital of Japan, now a laidback beautiful rural village.

In the past the pale-purple to pink carpets of the flowers brought people the real feeling of spring,
nowadays bring the nostalgic feeling of spring.

Linked to Through My Lens

Monday, May 2, 2016

Wild Azaleas at the Rokko Mountains

ヤマツツジ. Rhododendron kaempferi

At the Rokko Mountains,
mass of small flowers of the Wild Azaleas with their tiny fresh light green leaves
in the sunshine, in the cool shade of trees, or in the spring showers
from April through May.

小葉の三葉躑躅, コバノミツバツツジ, Rhododendron reticulatum
In the mountains, they grow into quite high.
Wild Azaleas come in various many colors
from pure white to pink, salmon, orange, and purple
and grow into 1 to 5 meters high.

フジツツジ, Rhododendron tosaense

白花雲仙つつじ, or Rhododendron albiflorum

I like to walk along the mountain path viewing at the wild azaleas 
basking in the fresh shades of green. 

Azaleas pair perfectly with the light greenness of this season.

Fresh greenery is gentle on my eyes and makes me feel refreshed.

So free and comfortable that I feel like my heart gradually mellows into a pink shade.

 I also like Azaleas at the edges of the pond.

 Not only Azaleas but also Rhododendrons are in bloom.
Like Azaleas, Rhododendrons belong to the genus Rhododendron of the Ericaceae family.

My third grandchild and first grandson Y,
who came to this world with the rebirth of leaves,
 is growing so quickly
with a blessing and a wonder.

At 2
He turned 3 on the first day of May.
I look forward to seeing his growth including more clearly budding personality
 and newly skills learned.

 Linked to Through My Lens

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tulip time at Umami Hills Park

When Sakura was almost going to be over, Tulips were in full bloom.

♬"Flowers in bloom, in bloom
Tulips are out
Lined up, lined up
Red, White and Yellow.
Every one of the tulips is really beautiful."♬

Tulips have come out!  
Why don't you come out to enjoy the springtime?

About three hundred thousand tulips bloom on the rolling hills 
of the Umami Hills Park (馬見丘陵公園). 
The Tulip Fair was held from April 9th to 17th.

Orange, red, pink, white, yellow, ....
row after row、
far and near,
numerous tulips!

Dogwood flowers started blooming while cherry blossoms were ending.

Curving streams of soft colors

A maelstrom created by a flood of colors!

Only this photo is from the Tulip Fair, 2014

It was a lovely tulip time. (I went on the 9th of April.)
If you missed it, why don't you come next year?

Large scale earthquakes(the biggest is magnitude 7.3) occurred directly underneath the land in Kumamoto prefecture on the 14th of April. I’m in a somber mood to see frightened or panicked people in the many big aftershocks continually happening. Kansai region, where all my families live, is not affected. I reexamined the backpack filled with emergency provisions. In Kansai region, a great earthquake of plate boundary type is overdue which will cause massive tsunami. My home is far from the coast line but it's uncertain where I will encounter the earthquake. I also think of Ecuadorian people hit by another massive earthquake. Prayers for all the victims and the trapped in any disasters both natural and man-made.