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Monday, June 29, 2020

Deer and fresh verdure in Nara Park


Sansha-ike Pond at Kasugano Park




All the travel restrictions were lifted June 19th.

Two days before it, I visited my favorite places of Nara Park not using public transportaion.

All the places including Kasugano Park (the photo above) were so sparse 

that I could almost monopolize the views. 


Ukigumo Park

At Ukigumo Park, many deer were grazing or were rested in the shade.

I was cautious as I was told a herd of deer would come around rather in an aggressive manner 

in stead of familiar bowing for deer crackers once they see a tourist.

One of the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan was a bus driver from Nara prefecture,

who guided tourists from Wuhan end of January.

Nara governor informed that they stopped by Nara Park,

which was followed by the sudden drastic decrease of tourists to Nara Park.

 Deer might have been hungry for snacks for a while but gradually

 they seem to have adapted their new normals.

They didn't ask me crackers, and even didn't pay attention to me.



Ukigumo Park is the place where I admire Chinese Tallow leaves in autumn.

 (Fabulous coloration of Chinese Tallow Trees)

The fresh green leaves were glinting in an interlude of sunshine during the rainy season.

The scattered seeds rarely germinate trampled by many tourists, but due to few visitors, 

they have grown into young plants here and there.

Chinese Tallows are invasive by nature.






New fawns are born from late spring to June.  (Meeting new fawns)

The babies are protected at the shelter of Roku-en Deer Protection Center 

with their mothers until they get enough old to follow mothers.




This curving road is a road bridge over Ara-ike Pond.


Chinese Tallow trees or Cherry trees, various trees line up on both sides of the road.




On the slope between road bridge and pond, I spotted deer.


I saw a family; a mother, a fawn, and a bambi.

They looked hiding under the Chinese Tallow tree to protect themselves.




A bambi was suckling while mother and elder fawn were rubbing cheeks together.



Of course I was attracted not only by deer but also the reflections on the pond.


The first weekend after the lift of travel restrictions,

many people seem to have surged to Nara Park mostly by car.

I hope people are on their guard acting responsibly with the new social behavior. 

It's wonderful to feel un-winded and relaxed by the natural, affectionate, 

and charming behavior of deer and the fresh verdure.


Linked to Mosaic Monday

Monday, June 15, 2020

A past walk through alpine flowers


Here is a memory of my walk around the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden in 2016.

June 10th, 2016

At the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden opened in 1933, approximately 1,500 species of rear alpine plants worldwide and plants in cold climates are cultivate. Wild plants of Mt. Rokko grow as well. Located at 865m above sea level, plants grow in a near-native environment.


The Alpine Plants District is composed of three, Hymalayan, European, and Japanese district.

- At Hymalayan district -

I was looking for Himalayan Blue Poppy, knowing its season is almost over, 
but some lingering flowers caught my eyes. 
Since I saw a spectacular landscape of Blue Poppy on my blog friend’s blog, 
I’ve had a longing for the blue flower.
This is the only place in the western Japan where you can see Blue Poppies outdoors.

A blue tissue-paper flower.
There are apurple ones, too.

 -At European district -

"Small and white, clean and bright...."
Leontopodium alpinum, or edelweiss 



Geranium dalmaticum

- At Japanese district -

Ezo-ruri-so, Mertensia pterocarpa var. yezoensis, or Japanese Blue Bells
Pink buds open to sapphire-blue tubular flowers. 
Koma-kusa, or Dicentra peregrinak
"Koma" means a colt. The flower looks like the face of a horse

Some other charming flowers of which name I don't know.

"Ko-ajisai", small Japanese Hydrangea, or Hydrangea hirta,
grow wild in the dappled shadow of the Rokko Mountains.


Small bluish purple flowers don't have ornamental flowers
different from other Hydrangea genus.

"Kurin-so", Japanese Primrose, at their final stage.
The green stems with seed pods were shining in the late afternoon sun.










Dripping green essence from the green ceiling.


Finish of the tour was a nice tea time in the shower of green.



Now, June, 2020, it has been like late July with temperature soaring to 32-22 degrees C.
The rainy season set in five days ago will last till mid-July.
It is forecast rains of this year won't be gentle but downpouring mostly.
Hydrangeas, floral symbol of Japanese rainy season, are in full bloom.

From my garden

Linked to Mosaic Monday
Thank you, Angie, for hosting.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Roses and reflections

When I visit a park at this time of year, without a visit to a rose garden is not perfect.

- A rose garden of Tottori Hana-kairo Flower Park -
Part of my trip to Tottori prefecture, end of May, 2019
Therapeutic time at the mountain stream of Oku-Daisen

I was 19 when Lynn Anderson’s I Never Promised You a Rose Garden was released.
It was constantly on at my favorite radio program featuring Western pop songs.
I enjoyed listening to it though I couldn't hear full lyrics back then.




“Along with the sunshine, there's got to be a little rain sometimes.....”
As a naive, happy student, I didn’t think about future rain when the sun was shining.
I thought my generation in Japan were so blessed without wars or destructive disasters.
1995 Hanshin Great Earthquake which hit my loved home town Kobe and its vicinity
 was a stark realization to me that my country is prone to massive earthquakes.



- My garden -


My concern about natural disasters are not only earthquakes 
but also typhoons or torrential rains which has gotten much more powerful in a decade.


 I think that always normal is abnormal, but can't I say
 "more windy days due to the violent collision of warm and cold air during the warm winter
or cold April with sleet or hails or occasional summer days" abnormal?
The talks of abnormal weather has been overshadowed by the overwhelming news about COVID-19.

Along with the sunshine, rainfall is also a blessing to roses.

Why don't people see the same direction regarding the climate change?
When imminent danger of COVID-19 was informed and then perceived,
so many people could imagine and understand of the full consequences of our actions.
Majority of people changed their behavior to slow down the spread of infections.
Without that attitude and respect to nature, what would happen near future,
whatever the reason, anthropocentric, natural cyclical change, or combination of the both.

Reflection on the wood-deck mirror on a rainy day

BTW, the plant below is not a rose but called “California Rose” in my country. 
It is double petaled impatiens, Impatiens wallerana. 
The rose-like flowers bloom profusely May through mid-summer. 



State of emergency for COVID-19 was lifted across the nation a week ago.
But our battle against the virus still continues with utmost cares.
Rainy season is coming soon followed by top summer's unbearable heat wave.
I hope high humidity and temperature decrease the force of the virus
so that we can prepare enough to stop or face efficiently the second big wave 
which is supposed to come, probably autumn to winter at latest.



The kind, cheerful, playful, and curious boy Y turned 7 the first of May.
I hope bright future for him but no one is promised a rose garden.
At only 7, he seems to be coming to know things sometimes don't go his way
and has to accept it, which is surely part of his growth.
I hope he'll enjoy his first school life started today.
Wish him grow healthy and develop personality with love, wisdom, and courage
so that he can rise to the future challenge of life.



I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Linked to Mosaic Monday
Thank you, Angie, for hosting.