Sunday, March 23, 2014

Early spring changes at Umami Hills Park

There is Equinoctial Week both in spring and autumn which include three days before and after the equinox in Japan.  During the week, many Japanese people pay a visit to their family grave customarily and my husband and I did so as usual. On each of occasions to my husband's family grave, we usually stop by Umami Hills Park in the vicinity on our way back.  (Last year's post: Vernal Equinox Day Joy)

January 3rd

The appearance of Sanshuyu  ( 山茱萸) changed dramatically from the brilliant red color to the soft yellow in less than three months since my last visit on January 3rd.

March 22nd
Sanshuyu, or Cornus officinalis, is a species of dogwood known also as Japanese cornelian cherry, native to China, Korea and Japan.  Soft yellow flowers appear in late winter to early spring.  In autumn, the tree bears oblong red fruits. 

At the nearby pond, the pinkish baby lily pads look like floating flowers on the reflected bare trees in the icy blue sky.

The yellow blossoms brighten and spice up the landscape or waterscape all the more.

Ume, or Japanese apricot
The scent of air and the color of the water have changed. 
Cool breeze is comfortable in the warm sunshine.

Cherry trees typically bloom between late March and early April while there are early-blooming species as well. Kawazu cherry is one of the earliest-blooming ones with larger and deeper pink blossoms.  I've had taken lots and lots of pictures of cherry blossoms of any species, but it was almost impossible to pass by ignoring these beauties.

Some are withering after about one month bloom, but still they are so beautiful.

 According to the weather forecast by Weather Map and Weathernews, cherry blossoms will start flowering at the end of March in my region.  Spring will be in full bloom soon.

 There is something about this time of year with uplifting sense of freshness, pleasant surprises, and hope. 

Enjoy the seasons changing wherever you are, my dear Friends.


  1. How lovely! I like the idea of photographing the reflections. Sanshuyu looks like a beautiful plant, and worth planting in our garden for the variety of colour it brings.

  2. Full of delicate beauty! Lovely!

  3. Beautiful pictures. Your species of Dogwood is very different from the one in my front yard.
    I agree with you about Spring, it brings back hope.

  4. Your photos show so perfectly how life never ceases to amaze with its infinite variety of plants and the different looks a single plant has depending on the season. It makes me wonder if we would recognize ourselves in the different seasons of our lives. :)

  5. just marvelous colors. i love the reflection shots. beautiful.

  6. The beauty surely blossoms around you . Beautiful shots .

  7. Your pictures are delighted ! Poetic and so peaceful...
    Have a nice week !

  8. Dear Yoko - isn't nature wonderful? After the snows and winter weather she still turns up trumps with her beautiful blossom - I love the happy yellow flowers of the Cornus officinalis against the blue sky.

  9. Så vackert körsbärsträden blommar och det gula är ju bara så underbart. Här är det mest blommor som slagit ut Krokus, snödroppar, skilla, busken tibast. jag har lite på bloggen om du vill se.
    Ha en fin vecka
    Kram Meta

  10. Such blossoming beauty makes me smile on this cold day in Colorado! Happy yellows and blushing pinks - I'm glad you're sharing your spring with me, Yoko. I hope your Hospice home care is working out for your Mother. I send your family hugs.

  11. Spring is very slow in coming here this year so I particularly enjoyed seeing yours. The blossoms are so delicate and beautiful. I love to see both the differences and similarities in what grows in your part of the world. The reflections are also gorgeous. Happy spring.

  12. Καλημέρα αγαπημένη μου Yoko
    Τι υπέροχες φωτογραφίες!!! Ελπίζω η μητέρα σου να είναι καλύτερα!
    Σας στέλνω μια ζεστή φιλική αγκαλιά και πολλά φιλιά!

  13. こんばんは。サンシュの花の移り変わりを楽しく見させていただきました。河津桜もとても綺麗です。ひえつき節の「庭のサンシュの木に、、、」あれは山椒の事らしいです。 河津桜が発見された後、河津町は、熱海や伊東に売り込みに行ったそうですが、何所も買って呉れなかったそうです。 これは本当の話です。それでこの桜は「買わず桜」という別名があるそうです。これは俗説です。

  14. Dear Yoko,
    your pictures are fascinating! The blossoms and a lovely couple of ducks, and most of all the reflections of trees, admiring themselves in the water mirror. These ones made me remember the game we used to play with my son - to peep in pools after rain and marvel at their depth. Thank you and have a lovely week!

  15. Oh Yoko, your photos! They are taken masterly and their content is so gorgeous, so wonderful and so full of wonder, so fantastic, so soft and always depicting peace and quiet! I LOVE visiting your blog and I immensely enjoy each and every one of your posts! I admire your happy relation to nature and your devotion to aesthetic and beauty! :-)

  16. Dear Yoko,

    Did you have a camera or a paintbrush in your hand? With all the colors of spring blooming forth, this is like a beautiful painting bursting in new energy, full of sun shine and hopes! I love those watery reflections and the way you capture them - gorgeous! Thank you for sharing all the beauty in your part of the world, always leaves me wanting for more.

    Have a great week ahead, Yoko!

  17. 桜をみると、なぜかほっとします。やはり私も日本人。梅や桃とは違う何かが漂います。ここの桜の色、とてもかわいいですね。又池へのリフレクションとサンシュウのコラボがすてきです。
    Have a nice day!

  18. Hi Yoko, thanks a lot for your kind comment. The last years I was quite jealeous about your early spring time in Japan. This year in 2014 it looks like there's nearly no difference between Germany and Japan (much more in the south) in time of flowering. Even some of our cherry trees already started to blossom out. But unfortunately I havn't found the time to praise the cherry blossom season so far...
    In some of our parks you find the Japanese cornel as well. Like in Japan the bloom already starts in late winter.
    Currently I'm not able to get enough taking photos of all these spring beauties, but unfortunately my time is limited to persue my hobby all day long... ;-)
    So I focused in the magnolia bloom here in Lauffen where I work. Sometimes, when the weather is good, I take my camera during lunch break and drive to some of the most beautiful magnolia trees I know here to take some photos.
    All the best for you and your family in this season of hope and freshness,

  19. XDelightful spring scenes.
    I hope you will be able to savour the beauty of the milder days to your heart’s content.

  20. What lyrical and poetic spring shots. I especially like the reflections.

  21. Gorgeous springtime series, Yoko!
    I have enjoyed it very much...
    Warm greetings from Netherlands,
    Anna :-))


    You dropped by my blog a couple of months ago.

    Oh my, these are beautiful! I went to Osaka and Kyoto last February. It was still too early so I never got to see any cherry blossoms. I did see plum blossoms and they were beautiful! So my next target is to go to Japan during springtime. And your post just motivated me more!

  23. Yoko, What a joy to visit your lovely blog. Your reflection photos are so beautiful--very nicely done. Have a lovely weekend. Mickie :)

  24. Fabulous reflections Yoko...... I love image 8 for it's abstract quality. It's lovely to see Japanese blossom again,there's a sense of renewal and happiness in the air. Thank you for sharing this.

    Happy weekend!

  25. Hi,Yoko,お久ぶりです。
    よく馬見公園に行かれるなあと思っていましたが、ご主人のご家族のお墓が近くにあるのですね。Yokoさんのポストを見せて頂き、季節の花が欠かすことなく咲く見事な公園だなあと思っていました。お天気が良くて水面に映る青空と白い雲、そして木立がきれい!!この春休み東京に行って,始めてこの時期、父、弟が入ってるお墓にお詣りをしました。いつもは暑い夏に帰ってました。梅の花が咲き乱れて父が生前 ”春になったらお墓の回りに梅の花が沢山咲くんだ” と言ってたことを想い出しました。


  26. 山茱萸の変化、ほんとに見事ですね。線画のような木々の映る水面。端正で繊細で、黄色の花と空の澄んだ水色の映る景色に早春の空気を感じます。最後の桜、なんという優しさでしょう!

  27. You are so fortunate to have so much beauty in your "backyard," so to speak. In central Florida we do have a slight change of seasons which is nice, as the dogwood and azaleas and other plants and flower begin to bloom. In south Florida it was lush and green all year which was nice, too, if a little boring! :) Love the reflections here.

  28. W moim kraju też jest święto zmarłych, kiedy chodzimy na cmentarz i składamy kwiaty na grobach naszych przodków. Ale pogoda wtedy jest bardzo deszczowa, zimna i często jest ponuro. Tu , widzę przepiękną naturę. Urzeczona jestem pięknem.
    Dziękuję, że tak pięknie przedstawiasz swój kraj. Pozdrowienia dla Rodziny.


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