Saturday, December 2, 2023

Autumn magic, 2023

On bright days during the past two weeks, I walked through shining autumn colors
 in the crisp air.
One day, the moon looked peeping through the Crape myrtle leaves.
There were magical scenes unfolding under the clear, blue skies.

Nov. 21st

- Kyoto Botanical Garden -
These Maples start changing colors to orange earlier in the season in the woods of
Kyoto Botanical Garden.

Nov. 15th

Floating leaves and shimmering reflections on the water of the one of four ponds
 surrounding the woods of Nakaragi.

So relaxing to see male and female Mallard ducks swimming together.

- Nara Park -
Chinese Tallow look the most bewitching in the late November at Ukigumo-enchi.
Many of them were cut down and it's one of the few still standing.

Nov. 21st

Ginkgos at Daibutsu-ike Pond
Nov. 23rd

Kagami-ike Pond 

When winter is in the air, Japanese Maples, Acer palmatum, get accelerated to change to fiery red.

Sunset colors of yellow, rose, orange, red and gold, and even green 
can be present on the same leaf.

Grand finale of autumn; the curtain will come down soon.

Japanese Maple leaves are the last to fall to the ground.

Nov. 26th

Do you remember their spring colors of lush, bright leaves?

After bursting with its last beauty, nature gets muted in colors gradually 
into the real winter.

Yellow, red, and green reminded me of Marc Chagall, a magician of colors.
This copy of Chagall's work was painted by my grandson Y on a canvas board.
Y has joined art class once a two months to improve his painting skills
as well as to express himself.

Sunday, November 19, 2023


Cherry tree, Nov. 15th

In Japanese archipelago which is long south to north, autumn foliage season 
starts around mid-September in the high mountains of northern Hokkaido and gradually 
moves to lower elevation and more southern latitudes.
It's peak usually reaches both Kanto (including Tokyo) and Kansai 
(including Kyoto and Nara) regions in the latter half of November and 
continues into early to mid-December.

Now in the latter half of November, coloring is delayed due to the severe,
long lingering summer heat into early November.
And besides, deadly heat of mid-summer made some of trees lose leaves before coloring. 
However, I do love the leaves which have changed colors very slow but steady.
They are not overwhelmingly gorgeous but beautiful with the muted tone of various colors.

  Cherry Trees (the first four images) have displayed soft green, yellow, orange, 
and reddish orange at the same time. 
People love their blossoms in spring, Sakura, but their autumn foliage is not so popular 
as Japanese Maple, Ginkgo, or Chinese Tallow leaves.
It's a shame. Cherry Tree blooms twice a year in spring and in autumn.

Chinese Tallow is one of my favorite trees for its heart or spade-shaped leaves 
and the flamboyant display of colors.

Nov. 15th

The strong wind of yesterday blew off most of the leaves and seeds covered
in the layer of white wax remain.

Nov. 19th

This is Crape myrtle, which I once featured in Autumn colors of Crape myrtle.

Nov. 3rd

The last leaves of the Crape myrtle caught my eye.

Nov. 19th

Tulip poplarLiriodendron tulipifera, changes colors as early as September
and is usually bare in the beginning of November, but green to yellow leaves 
were still dancing on top branches.  

Nov. 3rd

The top part of the quite tall tree receives the last rays of the sun.

Dogwood leaves start changing colors the first among all the deciduous trees.
In my garden, they reached prime time in early November.

Nov. 3rd

The following four photos are the leaves of 南天 Nanten, Nandina domestica.
The tree is believed to bring good fortune when planted in the northeast, "demon's gate".

Nov. 11th

I love the bright red berries and the deep green leaves on the upright shrub.
I had thought my Nanten was evergreen, though learned it "semi-evergreen"
when I found reddish leaves for the first time since we planted it in our garden.
I don't know the science behind the sudden change.
As you see the photo, leaves are mostly green and a little of red is seen 
in the blurred background.

Colored Nanten tinted gold with Dogwood in the background.

On November 7th, it was recorded the highest November temperature in 100 years.
Five days later, winter chill suddenly gripped most of Japan.
 I had repeated "too warm" so often and now I miss those warm days.
I was shivering in 6 degrees C yesterday.
As the temperature goes down, Japanese maples are speeding up their coloring.

Nandina, Cherry tree, Chinese Tallow, and Tulip poplar

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Deer, Chinese Tallow leaves, and reflections

I went to Nara Park riding a cute train of the Kintetsu Railway featuring Deer of Nara Park.
This is a rapid express mainly connecting Sannomiya, Kobe and Nara stations.

By my iPhone

A spacious area of scenic beauty in the eastern Nara City is called Nara Park.
Less than ten minutes after getting off the train at Nara Station, you're in the park.
I walked viewing autume leaves, looking for nice reflections, and meeting deer
in the late afternoon.

鷺池 Sagi-ike Pond

Hello, Deer!

- Along the 吉城川 Yoshiki River -

 I was caught by the shine of the fallen leaves.

On the water, interesting patterns are made with fallen leaves, reflections, and ripples.

Meanwhile, two deer appeared looking for foods.

- At 浮雲園地 Ukigumo-enchi -

 Ukigumo-enchi is ablaze with 南京櫨 Nankinhaze Chinese Tallow leaves.

Leaves grow old beautifully in each individual speed.
Each leaf shines with the color of the moment, transforming from green 
to light yellow, orange, fainally to crimson or to gold.

Unfortunately Chinese Tallows in Nara Park have been cut down as  the tree's invasiveness 
has put the primmitive forest of Mt. Kasuga, World Heritage, in danger.
As far as I know, Nara Park is the only place famous for autumn foliage of Chinese Tallow.
I feel sad to see Chinese Tallows getting sparse every year in the park.
The Chinese Tallows seen from the bench in the old photo below are gone now.


- At 飛火野 Tobihino -

This tall Chinese Tallow is a landmark of Tobihino.
Look at the tree in the golden glow before the sunset.

I was lucky that I could ride "Nara Deer Train" as it runs randomly.
At COLLOSAL, more photos and explanation about this adorably whimsical train.
"The Deer Train is decked out with lush, spotted seats, grassy flooring, 
handles shaped like pudgy animals, and illustrations by Tokyo-based artist Gemi 
that transform the cars into a whimsical, cervine world."

It's November, but the highest temperature of a day is forecasted to hover around
 25 degrees C at least for a week.

Linked to