Monday, January 21, 2013

Dignity of winter austerity

Winter is my favorite season next to autumn.   In my place, days with single digit temperature are not rare, but on a sunny day, outside temperature could reach above ten degrees, which makes me feel easier to go on a walk.  I like to walk feeling the cold and crisp air except windy days when the freezing wind feels like a razor cutting through the streets.

I like winter for its austerity, its plain and simple appearance.  Bare tree branches are reaching into the blue Sky where I believe simple truth exists.

南京櫨 Triadica sebifera

Maybe we could discern things more clearly in winter as there are less distractions like flowers or colorful foliage.  

Ara-ike Pond, early December

Ara-ike Pond, autumn

Further, maybe we could see simple truth more clearly in winter when we can see the reflection of the blue Sky with bones of trees only.

Yoshiki River, early December

Yoshiki River, autumn

When surface beauty fades out, the inner beauty is revealed shining.  

 枝垂れ桜, Weeping cherry tree

 Bare trees are praying to the Sky with their whole soul and whole body.

梅, Japanese apricot

A carp is almost inactive floating in the icy blue sky.

I like the stillness of winter garden.

Winter is the best season for me to watch birds at waterfront... in a reflective mood like a heron, embracing the bracing air in the shivering cold.

Umami Hills Park

Japan’s winter is not just pale wintry color but some winter flowering trees add colors, not so brilliant but modestly and warmly.  Winter flowering cherry, or Prunus subirtella ‘Autumnalis’, and Japanese allspice, or Chimonanthus praecox, are two of them.  The former colors up the landscape with sporadic flushes of small pale pink flowers high up on the bare trees from November to March, while the latter brings about fragrant light yellow flowers in January and February.

Enjoy your winter.

I will be online till my granddaughter comes back from her another grandparents' two weeks later. 
She left my home yesterday and her sweet voice is still resonating in my ears and heart.

Visit Our World to learn more about our world!


  1. Hello Yoko:
    We do so agree with all that you write here about the joys of winter. It is a season which very much appeals to us for exactly the same reasons as you give. In looking at your, as always, wonderful images we feel ourselves at one with you in your beautiful country. Prunus subirtella 'Autumnalis' has long been one of our favourite trees and one which we always had in our Herefordshire garden.

  2. Es un foto-reportaje soberbio. Dentro del mismo hay unas fotografías realmente bellas de ese gran país que es el Japón. Agradezco mucho el que compartas estas magníficas imagenes que nos das a conocer, así podremos conocecer más en profundidad al Japón y su gente.

  3. Your poetic description of winter and the images you captured have given me a fresh outlook on a season that many people say is their least favorite. I can clearly see the beauty of it in the truth of your words. Yes … the wind can be “razor” sharp and as you said … the bare branches like bones. But winter is clear of the clutter in life and allows us to contemplate deeper meaning.

  4. Es un reportaje muy bello, con unas definiciones muy acertadas y de gran belleza.
    Un abrazo

  5. Zdjęcia zimy na Twoich zdjęciach podobają mi się. Ja jednak nie jestem miłośnikiem zimy. Ja kocham kolory, dlatego zdjęcia kwitnących drzew sprawiły mi radość. Pozdrawiam cieplutko.
    Photos of winter on your photos I like. But I'm not a fan of winter. I love the colors, so flowering trees pictures made ​​me happy. Regards warm.

  6. I love winter too! It saddens me when I post a winter photo and so many people say "but it looks so cold." There's so much beauty in winter and so many people just don't see it.

  7. What a beautiful post---like poetry :)

  8. Utterly beautiful shots. I too love the bare branches and truthfulness of winter.

  9. Hello Yoko, As you know, I love winter, too - it has a quiet beauty and stillness that appeals to me. My favorite is the photo of the mottled Carp, floating among the reflected stark trees. Rest now with silence until your small granddaughter returns. I hope mother and unborn child are doing well.

  10. Dear Yoko - I like the language you have used to explain why you love the winter. Your description makes me realise that the reason I like to see the snow edging the forest trees is because of the plain and simple appearance, and as you say its austerity.
    For me I like the contrast between the winter and the coming spring. The new green buds and the blossom seem so much more luscious following in the wake of the bareness of the winter.

  11. Good morning, Yoko
    Have a good day

  12. for someone who hasn't experienced real winter, i find it desolate, not to mention cold.:p but i always love the silhouettes of bare trees--they're sad yet beautiful. i think you're right, winter gives us a better perspective.

  13. A beautiful post celebrating winter! So many lovely images! Adore the fine trailing branches of the weeping cherry tree and the wonderful stillness of the winter garden!

  14. Great shots, indeed I also like the dignity of winter

  15. Wonderful shots of your winter. I too enjoy the dignity of winter, although our winter is not like yours.

  16. 冬はきらいでないけど、今年のように寒いとちょっとね。鼻かぜがなおりません。なおりかけるとエアロビクスにでかけるからなんですけど。我が家の庭の木も寂しいかぎりですが、よく見ると新芽をもってました。
    Enjoy winter!

  17. Your wonderful photos illustrate the melancholic beauty of the starkness of winter. I like the photo of the carp in icy waters with reflected tree branches. The puffed-up ducks look pompous indeed.

  18. こんばんは。stardust 様は Birder でしたか、知りませんでした。木の葉が落ちた冬は絶好のBird watching の季節ですね。 最後の美しい写真はキンクロハジロですか。

    1. 逆光気味に撮っているので黒く見えますが、他の写真にも写っている鴨です。キンクロハジロ、見たいです。

  19. 凛とした冬の気がstardustさんはお好きなんですね。冬景色はこころに響くものがあって好きです。でも寒さは苦手。厳しい季節にも耐えて、木々も鳥たちも見る者を励ましてくれますね。

  20. Beautiful sequence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  21. Right this morning I accidentally met Matsuda-san, a Japanese consultant, in our company. He's a kind of process optimizer and with the help of an interpreter he gives advice to our management. Although he speaks only a few words in German, he greeted me with "Guten Morgen". He was positively surprised to hear a "Ohayo gozaimasu" as a response from me...
    Then he put out and raised a big green button out of his pocket with imprinted German words "Sehr gut" (very well)... ;-)
    You see: even winter time keeps many pleasant incidents and coincidents available.

    Currently Germany is absolutely free of flourishing tree blossoms. The whole country is covered with snow and ice. Last week we had days with continuous snowfall, recent Sunday we got "black ice", so freezing rain on the undercooled ground. We didn't set a foot in front of the door sill, it was extremely slippery outside.
    The atmosphere in your Japanese winter scenes is a bit different from the winter impressions we currently have in our part of planet Earth. But both the character of your photos and accompanying commentary is shaped by fine and subtle wintery quiet mood.
    Enjoy your silent days before exuberant life is going to come back when your little granddaughter returns.


  22. Beautiful words to accompany your beautiful photos.

  23. Beautiful pictures, I also love the bare branches reaching up to blue skies, such a beautiful image. Great post.

  24. Really beautiful winter shots!! I love the winter ponds shimmering with lights. They look so serene and lovely! I agree with you. I prefer winter to summer!

  25. I am not a winter person, in fact I put this one season right at the bottom of my favorites in seasons. But then, I did never see the season in such a beautiful perspective as you have shown us today. Simplicity, stillness, the reflections without any burden and baggage - stark and clear - so as to reveal the real beauty within, this is such a wonderful way of looking at it. I loved this post Yoko, very beautiful!

    PS: I read your last post a few days back and it soaked me in warm nostalgia with moments I spent with my grandma at a time when I have lost her, forever. The lil angel is very adorable and I can only imagine how much you must be missing her chirps right now. My best wishes to your daughter and the to be born baby. Happy winter and happy new year 2013, Yoko.

  26. Hello Yoko! As you know I love your pictures of water and reflections and these are so beautiful.In your part of Japan you seem to have a constant flow of colour throughout the year.My favourite images are the last one and the fish pond,I like the way the branches are distorted in reflection. Here,there's a lot of snow around the country at present but so far it has avoided us.For me winter doesn't feel right without at least one beautiful snow fall!

  27. 冷たさに映える水の煌めきがきれいですね。鯉の写真、南京ハゼの固いはじけた白い殻が降る雪のようで、絵に繊細な風情を醸し出していますね。ほんとに日本画のようです。冬はすべてが静かに眠っているのかと思っていましたが、新たな生にむけて闘っているのだとか。そうなのでしょうね。現実には、雪が降って凍ってしまうと、独居の父の所に通う大変さを思うとどうか寒すぎる冬よ、早く通り過ぎて!と願ってしまいます。

  28. Those were beautiful winter scenes, Yoko!
    In order to see and feel the winter, I have to travel halfway across the globe. Or I can visit your blog and feel the cold breeze from Japan!
    Cheers, my dear!

  29. Lovely post and beautiful photos from your world. Such a pretty place, thanks for sharing. Have a happy day!

  30. Your winter photos feel so peaceful. It must be nice to have some flowers still outdoors. I like the silhouettes of the trees. Lovely photographs.

  31. I'm too much of a sunny South African to really enjoy the northern winter, but I do love the cobalt blue winter sky!

  32. Supremacy the pictures you my dear friend Yoko
    And I loves the fall and winter!
    Glad you had a granddaughter near you!
    Is a blessing!
    A hug and many kisses

  33. I don't much like winter, even here in central Florida, as it can get too cold for these old bones. But you have artistically and beautifully shown the beauty of winter in your land. So many colors even in this season and there can be beauty in starkness. I like the way all the little birds are kind of scrunched down as if trying to stay warm in the cold.

  34. My favorite FRIEND Yoko
    Do not fret spaced from the blog. With two daughters who are expecting a child is difficult.
    And I the summer, from June to October, not involved with the blog.
    It is really hot, have children (this year and litlle Magda) and did not have time.
    I wish everything goes well with the girls and you will become grandmother of many grandchildrens!
    A big hug and many kisses

    I'm sorry for my My English. I do not know much and is from translated.

  35. Lovely blog... the image of the carp 'floating' in the sky is amazing! I'm your newest follower and rss subscriber...


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