Sunday, February 24, 2013

Floral beauty in growing old and weathered

Click on the photo to enlarge.

What do you think the name of this plant is?

When I started taking pictures of Ume, or Japanese apricot blossoms, my eyes were glued through the lens to the withered plants at the foot of the Ume trees.  I spent all my short limited time on photographing them in stead of Ume.

You must know it by now.  Yes, Hydrangeas.   How hardy they are!  They must have been through scorching sun, gusts of wind, torrential downpours, frost, and snow since the blooms of June and still they retain the elegance of frail beauty. 

lace-cap hydrangea

I’m so fascinated by these color tones, shades and tints, and elegant looks.

mop-head hydrangea

I don’t know how to call this color..., sienna or light umber?  
I like it when the calm grayish brown acquires a gold tint in the light.

Weathered hydrangeas will crumble into dust soon, while young shoots grow.

Nature holds the balance of coming and going. 

- Apologies in advance-
My visit to your blog would be delayed about a week as my granddaughter is staying with us for a week.


  1. Una bonita entrada muy elegante. Las fotografías son realmente muy atractivas y bellas.
    Que disfrutes de tu nieta mucho.
    Un abrazo.

  2. Such gorgeous blossoms, even in the dead of winter!

  3. Very pretty. I should go out and take similar photos!

  4. I just love these sepia coloured images - they are beautiful. Things when they become old do not necessarily lose their beauty - perhaps there is a lesson in there for us to learn.
    Enjoy happy times with your lovely little granddaughter.

  5. Pięknie to wygląda na zdjęciach i pewno w naturze. Ja jednak marzę już o wiosnie i kolorach. Pozdrawiam.
    Beautiful it looks in the pictures, and certainly in nature. But I already dreaming about spring and colors. Regards warm.

  6. Such elegant beauty … I used to cut down my hydrangeas each autumn but this past year I left the curled and faded petals standing and have truly enjoyed seeing their soft woodsy hues in my garden. Wishing you and your family great joy as spring approaches, stardust!

  7. The hydrangeas are always welcome in the wintergarden with the flowers of last year. They are beautiful. Your last photo is a beauty with in the background new flowers to see.
    Have a wonderful day Yoko.

  8. They look like old cotton or linen lace to me. Fascinating beauty indeed! And fabulous pictures as well! I especially like the sixth one, a great composition, as if the Sun is weeping tears of honey through delicate, little bells.
    "Nature holds the balance of coming and going" sounds very poetic, just like Nature is in general, no matter the season.

    Have a great week Yoko, with lots of laughs and happy moments with your dear Fu-u! Also good health to her mother and the new baby to come.

  9. Dear Yoko,
    Nature holds the balance of life, and it also delivers beauty to all stages of our existence...
    Wonderful shots!

  10. Lovely pictures...
    Have a great week.

  11. Beautiful photos as always.

    Enjoy your granddaughters visit


  12. Somehow, yes, it's more beautiful than plum blossoms!

    What's the colour? I was reminded of old-fashioned sepia photographs. So that's what I'd call it: a light sepia. Or maybe a silverish sepia?

    I want to go to Kameido Tenjin this morning to photograph plum blossoms. I need to get back into a Japan frame of mind after my African visit, but it's SO COLD in Tokyo today that I wonder whether I shouldn't just stay home. Ah well. I have evening classes tonight, so I might as well get going! :)

    Enjoy your family!

  13. Nice... the plant looks similar to a cotton plant (although I haven't seen a cotton plant in a long time)

  14. OK, Yoko, the 320 HPs under the hood of the white Porsche Boxter Speedster will guarantee you a great appearance at every junction with traffic lights in the streets of Nara!
    Keiko in the red cabrio, you in the white one... the way: what was the in-town speed limit in Japan???


    I strong contrast to your dream to drive a German sportscar in the streets of Nara is your today's post about the wheatered nature photography. Like me you always try to make the best out of a situation: there's beauty (hope, strength,...) everywhere. You just have to open your eyes and look for it.

    I like the wonderful and calm atmosphere of your floral photos!

    Have a great and pleasant week!


  15. 庭の紫陽花をドライフラワーにしたのを戴いたことがあります。このポストの紫陽花たちも枯れているというよりは乾いている風情ですね。次の命が芽を吹くまえの姿が美しく捉えられています。

    1. そうなんです、枯れていると言うより、全くの自然環境の中でできたドライフラワーだと思うのです。

  16. Hydrangeas are not fashionable in England but I grow many varieties because I love them. Mine have all lost their seed- and flowerheads by now. There are no green shoots yet either but I will keep on looking for them.

  17. Very pretty :) Did you take the pictures yourself? I'm looking to add some of my own to my budget travel blog

    1. Thank you. I’m glad this post got noticed through cyberspace. Yes, I took these pictures myself as always. Please be patient till I visit you.

  18. How elegant and graceful they are, I also love the earthy muted tone of these hydrangeas. All your pictures are amazing and one can clearly sense the floral beauty in the weathered - it reminds me of the saying 'Old is gold'. Your post reflects it so beautifully well.

    Wish you a wonderful time with your sweet lil grand-daughter Yoko, please dont worry about the visits.. enjoy the fun times with her. :)

  19. That's the way it should be. Appearing-disappearing, coming and leaving. That's the Wisdom of Nature. Thank you for reminding of it again, Yoko. The pictures are perfect!
    Have quality time with your little cutie!

  20. Yokoさん
     枯れても美しい、愛おしいと思える 植物たち。 

  21. Beautiful, stylish pictures! Have a great Wednesday!

  22. うちの庭にもあじさいのドライフラワーが毎年梅の木の陰で頑張っています。見る度に不思議を感じています。今は、下から二番目の写真と同じくらいの新芽が今年の花を想像させてくれています。

  23. Lucky you to have your grand-daughter with you. These are beautiful photos.the colour that came to mind for me was sepia. I love finding the beauty in decay

  24. こんばんは。 これが「わび、さび」の世界でしょうか。とても素敵です。お孫さんと忙しく過ごすのは至福の時間ですね。

  25. Each of these photos is like a rare treasure; the colors like molten gold; the texture crisp and cool! Superbly done!

    Thank you for your comment on Creative Confections. You are right. Eating well is desirable ... but in this country the portions are huge and we have a growing population to prove it (people are growing bigger and bigger). I'm not sure what can be done. And every hour watching TV brings you numerous commercials involving delicious and tasty foodstuffs. It takes a lot of willpower not to head straight to the refrigerator! I've always said I have lots of "willpower" - I will eat anything. What I need is more "won't power," so I won't eat as much.

    I think I'm shrinking, too. Height-wise. Getting old is really awful!

  26. Hi again! No, you read it right. Victor Stengel, a well-known physicist and author notes that all of the God-gaps have been closed. Everything in the universe can be explained without reference to a deity. Lots of people haven't accepted that yet, of course, because it means we are responsible, not some distant god who demands we follow arcane and archaic rules which make no sense whatsoever, which is one reason human moral and ethical evolution has stagnated. At the same time, much mystery remains, and may never be fully explained.

    In this poem, I was expressing the feeling that life is random and can be very cruel and brutal. I've always been struck on the randomness of existence; how some of us are born into a culture and class where we can thrive, while so many other, through no fault of their own, find that the accident of their birth precludes them from most of the joy life can offer.

    But the universe can still be beautiful and glorious. Richard Dawkin's explains that well in his book, "The Magic of Reality," in which he notes how much more exciting and beautiful is reality compared with the old, musty, decadent mythologies.

  27. such lovely photographs!!

  28. Strength and fragility stand side by side in these old hydrangea blossoms. You are so right- they have weathered wind and rain and sun, and still stand. Magical images, it is wonderful you allowed your self to be distracted from the Ume. Enjoy your grand daughter.

  29. Oh, how lovely and what a miracle - to think that new life comes from these old roots!

    Enjoy your granddaughter's visit.

  30. Such a beautiful, thoughtful post!

    I prefer flowers like hydrangea that not only bloom beautifully, but are also strong and stubborn.

  31. These are beautiful Yoko,they look as though they've been cast in fine bronze.


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