Monday, October 11, 2021

At the Heijyo Palace Site

It has been like summer days these weeks, too warm with the temperature topping 
32 degrees C despite the early arrival of cool air one month ago.
July, 2021, was the world's hottest month on record.
I wonder how would be October?

I walked around the Heijyo Palace Site last week.
As is introduced in my post Moody weather at Heijyo Palace Site (October, 2014),
the remains of the ancient capital of Japan is a vast fields of wild grasses.
Japanese pampas grasses, ragweeds, reeds and other grasses wave in the breeze.
There are a brook and ditches I'd like to look for reflections.

The sky of the site is as spacious as the eye can reach.
In November, 2016, Blue Impulse, an aerobatic demonstration team of 
Japan Air Self-Defense Force,  flew in the skies of the old palace site.
The flight was one of the events to celebrate and commemorate the 60th year of 
the opening of the Nara Air Base.

Blue Impulse was founded in 1960.
At the opening ceremony of the Summer Tokyo Olympics, 1964,
the team performed drawing five Olympic rings with colored smoke in the sky.
The most recent performance was on the previous day of the Tokyo Olympics, 2021,
following the last year's flying over Tokyo to thank medical care workers
for their tireless efforts to fight against COVID-19.

Blue Impulse and Mt. Fuji from this Website

About one and a half hours before the sunset,
the sky was aglow rose and Japanese pampas grasses were shining.

Shukuro Manabe's Nobel Prize is seen heightened sense of crisis over climate change together with the successive intense abnormal weather worldwide.   His prediction about the future of our home Earth was made half a century ago.  The world cooperative works against the climate change looked starting years later in 1988, but have been disrupted because of the long raged controversy on whether global warming is real and whether human activities are causing the phenomenon.

Using Manabe's method, a certain abnormal climatic incident in decades can be proved that it wasn't happened without climate change. Regarding the long-term prediction, it is easy to cause skepticism with short words in people's mind even for the theory based on scientific data. On the contrary, it requires long time (with more and more evidence in the process of discovery) and elaborate explanation to prove it real.  Anyway, we lost about 30 years to tackle this issue.  It's good for the world to cooperate at last, but the sudden drastic change of policy in short term could cause energy shortage and other type of environmental destruction by random development for alternative energy.  Keep my fingers crossed for the better future guided by the wise policies improving one by one.

Today it's still hot here, 30 degrees C, but is forecasted to become autumnal in a couple of days.

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Monday, September 27, 2021

During the equinoctial week of autumn

After the season of admiration, excitement, and alertness on COVID-19, 
autumn quietly entered through in my heart.
Before I knew it, “semi shigure/ powerful chorus of cicadas like shower” was replaced 
by the sporadic solo singing of "Tsukutsukuboushi ", Meimuna opalifera,
which signs end of summer.
The fragrance of Osmanthus is wafting out of nowhere about half a month earlier than usual.  
Meanwhile,  the decreasing of infection has steadily continued since late August.

In Japan, there is an equinoctial week in spring and autumn called "Higan",
when people customarily pray for departed souls.
"Higan-bana", Lycoris radiata, is called so for blooming around the Autumnal Equinox,
but most of them passed their peak on the Equinox Day.
The fiery red backdrop of the first photo is withering red Lycoris radiata in mass.

I walked around the Umami Hills Park on my way back from the visit to ancestors' grave.

Stars are more clearly visible in the clear air of autumn.
I look up at the night sky more often.

The rocket reminded me of the recent heated move for space tourism.
The view of our Blue Marble is awe-inspiringly beautiful seen from the outer space,
either from low Earth orbit or a little far away.
I simply wonder, however, how the upper atmosphere of the Earth 
would be affected by the frequent rocket emissions like alumina particles or black carbon.

This is one of my favorite paintings (or perhaps the best) by my grandson Y.

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Monday, September 13, 2021

Memories of summer, 2021

A windowpane covered with raindrops and green foliage outside

It's been a weird summer - life with COVID-19, extraordinary Olympics and Paralympics played in empty stadiums and arenas, and extreme weather difference. The Olympics must have been the hottest ever, but with its ending, there came unusual much cooler days with too much rain for the consecutive two weeks, and then with the start of the Paralympics, heat wave came back with vengeance.  During the Olympics, I felt like that I was choking in sauna. After that I wanted to send our rain to the areas suffering extreme heat and wild fires. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics was held in the cool, crisp air of October before the Games was overly commercialized. If the IOC values “diversity”, the various different climate of the host countries should be considered about the holding period of the events. 

Two weeks of rainy days in high summer is the first thing I experienced in my life. While fearful of the violent rains, I liked the coolness, nonetheless, and enjoyed capturing the lovely scenes created by rain.

The Lotuses and a Heron were taken at the ancient Fujiwara Palace Ruins near Asuka Village.  The aqua plants looked dreamy and harmonious in each process of life under the leaden skies.

On our way back

The Paralympics ended about a week ago. The performances of the Olympians were so moving and inspiring, and still more the Paralympians’. How many times was I moved to tears?  I’m happy for the athletes that they could play to their full potentials  protected in the parallel world of the bubble.  I'm also grateful to the volunteers who practiced "hospitality" tirelessly on behalf of the citizens. Outside the bubble, COVID-19 case number recorded highest every passing day. 

I like myself best when I'm with my grandchildren.  Especially so, when I can't escape from  sadness and grimness of daily news worldwide. They returned to school late August.  Now that the declining trend of infection continues, school lunch started today.  A little over 50 percent of the 120,000,000 population finished full vaccination in my country.  Acquiring herd immunity is said to be difficult regarding RNA viruses like corona. Can we catch our breath, or as is often the case, will the loosened tension for more freedom trigger another big wave? 

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