Friday, January 4, 2013

Like a Sasanqua

The year 2013 started with a sunny, bright, and breezy weather and then turned to the chill.  We are having days with single digit temperature at the highest for a week in Kansai regionIn the frosty morning or in the freezing air, my eyes are caught by 山茶花, or Camellia sasanquas, blooming fresh and lovely.  Sasanqua is a species of camellia native to the mountains of southeastern Japan.

Likewise, this little girl brightens my home up and warms and cheers my heart up (and makes me busy, too) when it is dreary and cold.

She likes running.

She likes playing with a ball.

She likes height and looking up at the sky.

Camellia sasanquas are autumn-winter flowering: they start blooming when autumn foliage start muted in colors. From late November to January they add lovely pink, red, or white to the pale wintry landscape. 

Sasanquas are trained to grow flat against a wall or fence as a hedge.  The flowers in the photo below are  "otome (maiden) sasanquas" growing against the fence in my garden. 

There is spring-flowering camellias, 椿, or Camellia japonica. They bloom in late winter through early spring after Sazanquas are finished.  It would be difficult to tell them apart, but apart from the blooming time, Sasanqua flowers fall away petal by petal, while Camellia japonica flowers drop off whole.

Camellia japonica

乙女椿 Camellia japonica

So, how did you enjoy the holiday season?  I hope everything is fine with you.

As for myself, I’ve been with my granddaughter since early December when she turned 2 because her mother (my daughter-in-law) is in hospital to stay quiet and take treatment for the threatened premature delivery.   Expected time is three months ahead but I’m not over concerned as this could happen and both mother and unborn baby are fine at the hospital.  We families are doing our best to do each one’s own role.  Now I’m having a break from grandparenting for a week while she is at another grandparents’ in Kobe.

Time is like a flowing water, so I cherish every moment that life gives me.  For the time being, I’ll  enjoy this cute, curious, adventuresome little girl with bundle of energy.  Please be patient with my tardiness in blogging and commenting. 

Wish you a happy, prosperous, and healthy 2013, my dear Friends.


  1. there is nothing better than little granddaughters and flowers!

  2. Hej Yoko, how lovely to see your post popping up, and Wanda was there too today. Your little granddaughter is so cute. It must have been a joy to be with her for so long,that little energy bundle. Maybe you're a little exhausted now? Don't be sorry - experiments have shown that even a master-boxer cannot endure six hours following every move of a little child without "falling apart"!

    Those camelias are so beautiful. I've always found that camelias are some of the most romantic flowers. In literature - and in movies, esp. from the 1930s. I once bought a plant for the house (white camelia), but the flowerheads fell off, and I was crushed. Maybe I would succeed today? The camelia has a fine, fine scent. The red camelias are so wonderful.
    I love your photos. As always.
    Happy New Year, Yoko.
    Grethe ´)

  3. she is really sweet. i do hope her mother and new sibling will be okay!

  4. Hi Yoko, beautiful camelias and granddaughter. Best wishes to her mum for a full recovery and a smooth delivery. Happy New Year.

  5. These photos are so beautiful and your granddaughter is so cute I hope her mother and new baby will be fine. Happy New Year.

  6. Unas imagenes preciosas. Las fotografías son realmente muy bellas. Agradezco mucho la información que nos das. Asimismo deseo que todo salga bien en las cuestiones de la salud.
    Feliz año.
    Un abrazo.

  7. Flowers and children - there is hope for the world.

  8. Piękna wnuczka i śliczne kwiaty, to radość. Mam nadzieję, że drugim dzidziusiem będzie wszystko dobrze. Życzę szczęśliwego Nowego roku i pozdrawiam cieplutko.
    Beautiful granddaughter and beautiful flowers, is a joy. I hope that the baby will be the second fine. I wish you a Happy New Year and greetings warm.

  9.  新年おめでとうございます。 本年も宜しくお願いします。美しいサナンカやツバキが素敵です。

  10. You captured the curiosity, energy and sweetness of this little girl very well. She is like a blossom herself in your home. Her mother must feel comforted and secure knowing that her child is being so well looked after by grandmothers. Wishing you and yours a healthy and joyous New Year, stardust. :)

  11. What cheerful and sweet things you have to view and keep you company in this new year,Yoko. Sweet smelling camelias and an adorable granddaughter. Hope all stays fine with her mom and the new expected little one. Like Grethe, I had a potted white camellia years I'm inspired to get another!

  12. Best wishes to you, you sure have your hands full at the moment. Your granddaughter is beautiful as are the winter blooming camelias. I hope your daughter is well and able to take her pregnancy to term.
    Happy New Year.

  13. I wish you a very happy+lucky+smily 2013 dear Yoko! your little guest is so adorable, happyto hear she loads u with here energy, the connection grandparents-grandchildren is amazing one, good start in the new year from me:-)

  14. Beautiful, both the flowers and your granddaughter.
    Best wishes for your daughter and the new expected little one.
    I have to check to see if the camellias you share are able to grow in
    my garden.
    Wish you a Happy New Year.

  15. 降って下りてきたエンジェルとの生活、周りに山茶花のような愛らしさを振りまいてくれているでしょうね。彼女にとっても、パパ、ママが一緒にいない生活、2歳なりにどう理解しているのでしょうか。尽きない好奇心、エネルギーに付きあって、グランマもバタン、キューの毎日かも知れませんね^^でも、こんなめったにない機会を与えられた事は幸せですよね。ママのお腹の赤ちゃんが皆の協力で健やかに育ち、無事出産を迎えられる事、心から祈っています。

  16. My dear Yoko! i wish you a very happy and sweet new year! with your lovely granddaughter, my best wishes to your family!!!

  17. Hello Stardust!
    You are absolutely right! One must enjoy every minute, especially when grand-parenting!
    My 2 little ones, 5 and 6 are born and raised in Australia and I hardly ever see them.
    I wish so hard we could manage to sell our place and move there!
    What an adorable face she has!
    The Camellias are gorgeous!
    Happy new year to you too and love from France!

  18. I am so envious of your gorgeous flowers in the depths of winter. The few flowers I have are small and hidden away. But spring will come!

    What an adorable grand daughter you have. Enjoy your days with her, as I am sure you will.

  19. Yoko,this is a lovely post.....winter flowering camellias and a beautiful energetic little girl.You are so right about enjoying every moment,they grow up so fast.

    Best wishes to you all!

  20. Thank you for visiting our blog and your greetings! It is wonderful to hear from you and to experience this superb post. The flowers are gorgeous, as is your granddaughter! But what makes it all so very nice is the fact that your photos are so sharp and colorful and easy on the eyes!

    Re your question: No, the only person I know to drink sake is our neighbor Tsurumi. The developers of this community have set up the model homes to reflect a multi-cultural/racial perspective. One has some Japanese accouterments, another is Hispanic flavored, etc. :-)

    Our best wishes to you and your family for a healthy and prosperous new year. We'll be thinking of your daughter, also, while trusting your judgement that she will be just fine!

  21. お孫さん、随分しっかりさんですね。それにしても目離しできない年齢のお相手は大変!stardustさんもしっかりおばあちゃまです。わたしならもう、じきにグロッキーです。周囲の方のご努力、ご協力、2子を出産されるママも心強いことでしょう。可愛い写真とサザンカの花、ありがとうございました。

  22. Yokoさん 
    新年おめでとうございます。 すっかり遅くなりした。

  23. Dear Yoko,
    Im sending my positive vibes from the other side of the globe to your daughter and baby. I wish you and your family all the best and may God be with you.
    As for your granddaughter, what a beautiful baby girl! She seems to be exploding with energy! How is grandma coping with this?
    As for the flowers... they are gorgeous!
    Cheers to you and your family, Yoko!

  24. 新年おめでとうございます。今年もよろしくね。
    可愛い天使とのお正月は、とても素敵な経験ですね。今が一番かわいい頃なのかな。外で遊ぶのが、すきなのかな。おばあちゃま たおれないでね。

  25. Dear Yoko, thanks a lot for this charming post! It does not look like a "winter post" at all - more like a post with photos taken in late summer (seen from a German point of view). Here in Germany you hardly find flourishing blossoms in December or January. One of the first mentionable winter blossoms flourishing in our latitudes will be Helleborus niger, showing its beauty end of winter (March) at the earliest. And: Snowdrops starting blooming end of January- if we have a warm winter with not too much frost, followes by some crocusses beginning of March.
    All the best for you and your whole family,

  26. Yoko,thank you for your appreciative comments,it's always good to have positive feedback. Also I love the idea of likening your little granddaughter to a whirling rose.......I imagine red suits her very well!

    Enjoy your year!

  27. Oh, your daughter is the most gorgeous flower of them all! What fabulous shots.

  28. Sorry, I meant to write: your granddaughter is gorgeous!


  29. あけましておめでとうございます。



  30. Bonitas fotos para empezar el año nuevo. Un colorido fantástico y una nena muy tierna y feliz.
    Muy buen trabajo.
    Un saludo.

  31. Dear Yoko, How did I miss this post? It has brought smiles to my day here in CO. The blossoming of Camellia and also of a wee spirit! I hope your d-i-l and the unborn child rest quietly until it is safe for birth. Meanwhile, enjoy your time with that sweet granddaughter. My grandson, Caden, was born 9 weeks early and although he had to stay in the intensive care unit for newborns for a month, he is now 5 and a smart, rambunctious boy. Wishing all good things for your family.

  32. What a beautiful little granddaughter you have. Enjoy every minute you have with her, she will grow up so quickly. Hoping that all goes well for your daughter-in-law and the new baby.

  33. For anyone is need of a dose of happiness and pure beauty, your blog is the one to visit. How nice to have such lovely flowers to view during the winter season. Your granddaughter is a most precious little girl! Viewing the photographs of her brought a big smile to my face. Best wishes to her mom and new sibling (when she is born). I hope all are healthy in 2013. Yoko, wishing you a happy new year filled with peace, joy and meaning.

  34. Also, I wish for you and your family all the best in the new year, good health and good luck. Beautiful, sweet girl. I have a granddaughter about the same years. She loves water ...
    Camellias are very nice. They remind me roses on trees. Thank you for the nice comment and I send many greetings. Peter.

  35. お孫さん、とても可愛いですね。今が可愛い盛り! お世話が大変かもしれませんが、それもきっととっても楽しいことでしょう! 二番目の赤ちゃんがお生まれになるのが楽しみです。山茶花、なんともいえないきれいな色あいでうっとりします。

  36. まあ、可愛い!!お孫さん大きくなられましたね。以前見せて頂いたお写真ではまだ赤ちゃんでしたものね。この辺り歩いていける公園がたくさんあるのでお孫さんきっと楽しく遊べる事でしょう。


  37. I missed you so much Yoko!
    And I was some time away from the blog, because my granddaughter was born.
    What a beautiful grandchildren, how GROW! It is very cute!
    I hope everything goes well with your daughter and second grandchild!
    I wish you a HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR for your family!
    The picture of you with camellias, as always, wonderful!
    I send you my love and many kisses

  38. Your granddaughter is definitely more beautiful than the flowers!

    Happy 2013 to you and your family, Yoko-san!

  39. I wish you and your family a wonderful 2013. The camelia and your grandchild are so beautiful. All the best wishes too for your daughter in law in the hospital.

  40. Bloghopping! :)

    I'm going to Osaka in March and might go to Nara as well.
    Been looking through your photos and getting more and more excited!

  41. How wonderful to have flowers outside all winter. And how delightful to have such a cute and curious granddaughter. She must bring you a lot of joy.

  42. What a cutie your granddaughter is! She looks like she has a lot of energy and keeps you busy. We are also lucky in the South to have camellias in winter, sasanquas too, and other varieties. A garden not far from my house has a “camellia garden” with many types and colors – it is very pretty. I bet the best varieties come from Japan.

  43. She is a treasure, able to brighten anyone's heart! Soon she'll be big enough to listen to Little Prince. I used to read it to my son when he was under 4, and he asked incredible questions. And your stories of blooming nature always mesmerize me!
    Welcome back, Yoko, and have loads of fun with your Sunny Ray! )))

  44. Imagens belíssimas!
    Bom dia!!!!
    ░ Beijinhos do Brasil. ✿⊱彡

  45. Beautiful! Could you tell me which kind of the Camellia Japonica you pictured here? It looks great! Thank you!

    1. The 12th image is Camellia Japonica and the 13th image is Camellia japonica f. otome (Otome Camellia in Japanese).


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