Monday, February 26, 2018

Warmth and joy in the coldest winter in half a century

Hello, dear my Friends!  
It’s been a long time since I posted the last post. 
Then again it also feels like only yesterday as I write now. 
Time is a magical thing. 
So belated, but I hope you welcomed in a happy New Year 2018.

In my part of the world, this winter season has been the coldest in a long time.
When the cold loosened its grip a little, I went to Hannyaji Temple, 
where Narcissus were blooming around Stone Buddhist Statues 
clean and fragrant.  
They flower as winter turns into spring.  

As you might know, the disruption in the Polar Jet Stream brought snowfall
even into Florida and to Japanese southern parts.
Outrageous 4 meters high snow was recorded in a region along the coast of the Sea of Japan.
What matters to me is not how cold but how "long" the cold has lasted
with temperatures hovering between -3 to 4 degrees C.
There were many days when my garden was covered with frost in the morning
 since mid-December which is like late autumn usually.

As I have written every year, it rarely snows in Nara no matter how cold it is.
However the city was blanketed in snow a couple of times.
These photos are the first snowfall of the season which soon melted into rain.

February 1st

More wonder of nature due to the unusual cold wave.

Feb. 12th
My fourth grandchild, M, was born in such a record cold winter. 
About one month later her birth, we celebrated her “Omiyamairi” at Kasuga Grand Shrine, 
the first visit to shrine to pray for the baby’s healthy growth and prosperous future.  
We were so fortunate that the day was one of the few warmer days.

Mid-December to late January

As it is nearing to March, temperatures have come to rise over 10 from time to time.
Ume blossoms, the floral harbinger of spring, started blooming one after another.

Happy with the fresh feel of the bracing cold air in sunshine.

Narcissus in the sunshine with the backdrop of early-blooming pink Ume blossoms.


  1. I congratulate my fourth grandson. You saw the snowfall and now you can see blooming flowers. Regards.

  2. A beautiful post full of gorgeous flowers and exciting family events, the Ume blossoms are so striking. Welcome back to Mosaic Monday, Stardust, it's good to have your company once again.

  3. Congratulations on the birth of your grandchild! A beautiful winter you've had; more so, maybe, because it's so unusual for there. We have had a warm winter in my part of Washington state, just getting our first snowfall of the year last week!

  4. Αγαπημένη μου Υoko, πόση χαρά μου έδωσαν οι υπέροχες φωτογραφίες της πανέμορφης οικογένειας σου!
    Να χαίρεσαι τα παιδιά και τα εγγόνια σου, να είστε όλοι υγιείς κι ευτυχισμένοι!
    Σε μας χιόνισε χθες για πρώτη φορά. Στην αυλή μου άνθισαν οι νάρκισσοι, όπως και σε σας!
    Σου στέλνω μια μεγάλη αγκαλιά και πολλά φιλιά!

  5. What a pretty baby! Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter!
    Love the flower photos. Glad you are well in your part of the world. Stay warm!

  6. Oh my...what a beautiful baby and wonderful family photos! Interesting to see the snow scenes too! Hope it's nice this week!

  7. It is so nice to hear from you again and to share your beautiful photos. And I'm glad that spring has sprung to some degree in your area. I did not realize that it was so cold there. Here we had some cold and a couple of freezing days which is a bit unusual. But now it's hot - 85 degrees F. In February! Something's terribly amiss! :)

    Congratulations on your fourth grandchild! It appears you had a wonderful celebration. May she grow into a strong and honest adult and live in love with her family, and her grandmother, and the world!

    My best wishes to all your family!

  8. Congratulations! I find that we appreciate the nice weather all the more when there has been a storm/bad weather. And now you get the reward of the springtime blooms .... so delicate and lovely! Welcome back!

  9. Welcome back! I am looking forward to read your coming posts as you have a unique and beautiful way of writing besides all the lovely photos.
    Congratulations to your 4th grandchild which looks beautiful and cute. I am sure you are the happiest grandma in Japan.
    The weather has been unpredictable and even the Sahara Desert snowed! My country also experienced 'no sun' for many weeks and we had chilly temperatures. I would welcome snow anytime!

  10. So good to see you back here with such magical shots of the snow, the flowers and your new grandchild! Congratulations.

  11. Happy that i heard from you after quite a time dear Stardust!

    The temple is marvelous!

    4 meters snow sounds SCARY to me but glad that nara is not much snowy .Lovely photos of your magical area my friend!
    .this is amazing that in spite of such extreme cold and snow flowers are spreading their beautiful colourful smiles in Nara!!!

    I am happy you fourth grandchild is perfectly alright and healthy ,these family photos are such treat and heartwarming :)

  12. Lovely pictures !!!!! The snow is magical but so cooooold...
    Congratulations to your growing family ! Your grandchild is adorable !
    Have a happy and shinny Spring !

  13. I'm glad to read you again Yoko! First congratulations for your new grandchild and then happy new year.
    Lovely photos with new flowers being born. By Béjar we have also been very cold and snow this winter.
    Buen martes amiga.

  14. 新しい家族のお誕生おめでとうございます。お孫さんたち皆すくすく成長されて賑やかそうですね。



  15. Dearest Yoko, welcome back! Blog community missed your exquisite style and pictures.
    I wish our winter turned into spring that way) Nara under snow looks more magical. Reading this post I realized how much I would like to see again the park, tame deer and you in the first place. I do hope your nicest tiny granddaughter is growing strong together with her “big” brother and sisters.
    Wish you warm sunny spring!

  16. lovely to see glimpses of your winter and now spring.
    We are far from flowers, still too cold and over knee high snow.
    Congratulations on your new baby. So lovely as all your grandchildren are.
    Wishing your family blessings.

  17. Welcome back Yoko, also welcome the spring flowers, and a very special welcome to your little granddaughter M - what a lovely baby she is.
    We too seldom have snow - the Jet Stream is playing tricks with us as well by endeavouring to send us snow from Russia, so far it has missed our little corner of world out, and I hope that continues.

  18. I’m not sure if it’s hand painted or not but one of your photos, the child and shadow running, has great composition and is worthy of framing. So nice to see you back, stardust, and I agree time IS magic. It seems as if you and I have been experiencing similar winter weather. It doesn’t happen often but we, too, had a recent snowfall. In the midst of it all, it is lovely to see the new little life in your family. I join in all the good wishes sent to the baby for healthy growth and a prosperous future!

  19. So wonderful to see a post from you, Yoko. All the grandchildren are so beautiful, but the serene new granddaughter steals the show! She is a gorgeous new blossom along with the others you've photographed. Happy and healthy 2018 to you and your Family.

  20. Oh, look at little baby M, she is perfect! Congratulations on the birth of a sweet granddaughter.
    I like your photos of the deer in the snow. I think the deer appreciate the food that the people bring to them.
    We have a few warmer days this week, but snow will come again in a few days, so no spring flowers to enjoy yet!

  21. Congratulations for your new grandchild!

  22. Congrats to your new grandchild, Yoko!
    I heard that this winter in Japan was cold! In Germany we had very cold weather the last 2 weeks. The last days we had even -10°C in the morning and it felt nearly like -16°C.
    I travel to Japan again this week to visit my husband who still works there and expect a wonderful spring time in Japan! I am so tired of snow and frost here. Can I still see plum blossom somewhere?

  23. wow great post dear,i love these beautifull pictures.. online shopping in pakistan

  24. With new life, the seasons are not as important as usual and I'm sure you have been very busy and preoccupied with a fascinating new grandchild. 4 metres of snow would be unusual even in Canada - I did wonder if the people in that area are used to snow? if not it would have been a catastrophe. Without snow ploughs, suitable clothing etc. it isn't even possible to carry out normal everyday tasks. Here in London we have some snow every few years, not every year. Each time there is more than about 5 cm we have cancelled trains and all kinds of problems.
    I would love to visit Hannyaji Temple. Something about the combination of those peaceful old stone faces and the new bright faces of the narcissi is very appealing. I wonder what variety of narcissus that is. I have been looking for some with very straight "trumpets" to plant myself. Obviously it would have to wait till next year, but I didn't find any like that last autumn.

  25. Gorgeous daffodils!! Wonderful photos! Thank you and have a grand weekend1

  26. It's been a while. こんばんは。4人目のお孫様の誕生日おめでとうございます。般若寺の水仙、気品があって綺麗です。 今年はとても寒かったですね。

  27. Hello Dear Yoko!
    I am very happy that you are with us.
    I congratulate with all my heart on my wonderful granddaughter.
    I admire your fantastic family photos.
    Hugs and greetings.

  28. お宮参り、おめでとうございます。



  29. My dad's birthday, March 11, and it always reminds me of the Japanese Tsunami that was so destructive a few years ago. My thoughts are with the Japanese people today.

  30. As an unabashed lover of winter, I love that snowy car mirror pic <3


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