cloudy

Hidden Rainbow Over Urayasu

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Hidden Rainbow Over Urayasu

Today was a beautiful sabbath day.  The thunder came early in the day and threatened to rain for the longest time before the drops fell.  The clouds scattered and the sun came out once again.  In the late afternoon I noticed some dark clouds heading in from Chiba, so I hopped ob my bicycle to se what there is to see.

Sometimes it is just the act of picking up a camera that will get me out of the house.  I wanted to see the clouds.  Not only did I want to see them, I wanted to photograph them as well.  Clouds are a subject that I would have rejected in my youth but if they were good enough for Alfred Stieglitz, then I might as well be able to enjoy their mystical shapes too.

I even got caught in a little misting as I rode along the rivers edge.  In a completely urban setting I am never utterly removed from nature.  Looking up is sometimes all that it takes.

There is a little pot of golden pixels out there somewhere, for us all.  You just have to have an open heart to find it.

 

Getting Comfortably Lost in the Chiba Countryside

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Rice Paddy with Twist, Yorokeikoku, Chiba, Japan

I am fortunate to have a friend like Tomo.  He and I take a photographic journey every summer.  Each year we go someplace different and wander around with our cameras chatting away as we go.  This broiling summer Tomo suggested that we head to Chiba Prefecture’s country side.  A place called Yorokeikoku Valley.  We were blessed by some cloudy weather, so it wasn’t as hot as it could have been.  We even got caught in some rain, but it didn’t dampen our mood one bit.

It was a bit of a challenge to just get to, but the journey is what makes it so magical.  I met up with Tomo at Shin Urayasu station and boarded the Keiyo Rapid train out to Soga.  At Soga, we transferred to the Uchibo Line until we reached the little station commuter station of Goi.  There the real journey began.  We bought an all day pass to ride the Kominato line.  It is known for its one or two car trains.  The train otakus (geeks) love to ride and photograph this line.  There was even an old fashioned train girl who would sell, inspect, and punch the traveler’s tickets.

We got off about 3 stations before the last one and started to walk some of the old country roads.  It was a great feeling to be out of the heat of the city, and be surrounded by farms, cicadas, and trees.  We passed though some tunnels which here in Japan have the reputation for being haunted on our way to the next station.  We had to wait a good 45 minutes since the Kominato line comes only about once or at the most twice an hour.

Being out in the country I am reminded how much more there is to Japanese society than the city.  In fact, most of Japan was an agricultural society up until very recently.  Most of the society were subsistence farmers  just a few notches above.  The rural life was the Japanese life.  Walking along the old roads and coming to a rice paddy that tucked into one corner is the family cemetery.  The hillsides were dotted with tiny Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.

In an odd way I was reminded of the parks between the hills Berkeley and Contra Costa County.  They are very country, even though you are only 45 minutes from San Francisco  there are reminders that the city isn’t that far away.  There were still signs of Japan’s industrialization at just about every turn we took.

All that is true, but the country is the country.  The loud tranquility was a beautiful excursion from the hustle of Tokyo Life.

I look forward with an open heart to wander Japan’s rural side with camera in hand.

Rice Paddy with Cloud Hole, Yorokeikoku, Chiba, Japan

 

Cedar Forrest, Yorokeikoku, Chiba, Japan

 

Country Road, Yorokeikoku, Chiba, Japan

 

Le Petit Rapids, Yorokeikoku, Chiba, Japan

 

The Cloudy Ring of Fire Eclipse Over Minami Kasai Tokyo

Monday, May 21st, 2012

RIng of Fire Eclipse Over Minami Kasai Tokyo

Beep Beep Beep, went the alarm this morning at 6:30 a.m. to get my wife and I up early.  Today was the day of the eclipse, and we didn’t want to miss it.  The astronomers said that the next ring of fire eclipse visible from the Kanto (Tokyo) area would not happen for another 300 years.  It was definitely one of those once in a life time chances.

We scrambled out of bed my wife grabbed the special eclipse watching shades and I grabbed my cameras.  I had made no special preparations as far as equipment.  I am of the mind that whatever I am able to capture with my lens than that is the way it is to be.

The sun was actually higher in the sky than I had imagined that it would be.  It had cleared the Nagisa New Town Danchi complex down by the river side and was being a bit shy as the sun hid behind puffs of clouds.  It was a bit frustrating not being able to see the sun clearly though the clouds.

We donned our special shades and tried to have a look.  At first we really couldn’t see anything through the shades, then suddenly we could start to see the moon passing over the sun.  It would only last a few seconds before the clouds would chase it away.

I remember back in Leewood Elementary School in Miami we once tried to observe the eclipse by using the pinhole technique.  It wasn’t that exciting but it was better than going blind by the sunlight.

Now with the new materials available we were actually able to watch it happen.  The sky grew dark.  We weren’t alone either.  Our neighbors could be seen hanging from their windows too.  We were all up early to catch this celestial spectacle.  It will be be as an afterimage in the collective mind of all those that witness this wonder.

The pictures I got weren’t the greatest.  That isn’t a problem for me, because getting to witness this event with my wife, my heart and all of our neighbors was golden.

 

Truthful Happy Ending

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

One positive event in the morning was that I saw Mt. Fuji with its first dusting of snow.  That is always a good sign.  It is a reminder that I am actually in Japan and not anywhere elese in the world.  The day quickly went down hill from there.  Overall it was quite a rough day.  It seemed like no matter what I do I was on the verge of just loosing my voice.  My throat ached and ached.  I wasn’t really able to get into the swing of things.

All of that changed as soon as I looked out the window at about a quarter to four.  The sky was filled with puffs of clouds with rays of gold spinning down to the horizon.  I just paused and stared for a minute.  I let the truth of this beautiful scene wash over all the troubles of the day.  They just melted away as I focused again at how beautiful, crazy, lovely this world is.

Truthful Happy Ending

Sunflower Shadow Dance

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

The sun played a game of hide and seek with the clouds today.  The bright sun shone down upon the earth for a while, then darted behind the clouds as if it were a shy Japanese child.  The temperatures were on the cooler side today. A sign that this long summer is going through a transition.  According to the Japanese way of counting the seasons we have already moved into autumn.

This sunflower was deciding whether or not to bloom.  It felt as if it were holding something back.  Could it be aware that the long days have shortened, and that the leaves will soon be turning into autumn hues?

I don’t know.  But I sure enjoyed watching the dance.

Sunflower Dancing in the Shadows

Sunflower, New Day, New Direction

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

First I must apologize for my absence over the last three weeks.  I had a project that needed finishing that left little time or energy for artistic pursuits.  Now that it has been finished I can happily return to working on my photographic craft.

Been thinking a lot about sunflowers.  These massive beauties that start off from lovely zebra-esque seeds.  They quickly grow reaching higher and higher for the sun.  They are one of the few flowers on the planet that I often have to look up at to enjoy.  I can not quite illustrate what it is about these yellow beauties that I am so attracted too.  Their size is amazing.  The speed in which they grow and bloom seems unreal.  The fact that the seeds make a tasty treat.

They are the new sunshine in my life.  They represent that energy that can renew the spirit.  That light that can uplift the mind and feed the soul.

A new dawn is coming.

Infinite Sunshine

New Dawn

Smiling Skies and LOVE

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Yesterday was the first day of July, and the weather and the skies reflected it.  The skies that greeted my morning commute in Chiba, Japan, was wide blue and full of wispy clouds.  It just warmed my heart at the same time that the sun was heating up my physical body.  The sky was so blue, and seemed clean.  Even though at the same time I know that Fukushima is releasing radioactive particles into the air.  I still have hope that nature will trump this man made disaster.

Love is out there.  Love needs to spread wider and farther than all the radioactive particles that we are now experiencing here in Japan.  Love needs to be written upon our hearts as the same some wrote in upon the wall in Chiba.

More love

Let the love spread over all the masses of the Earth.

Love Wall Hydrangrea

Morning Greeting Sky

Overcast, Humid with some Explosive Colors

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

I made my way back to the station in a light drizzle.  I was lucky because as soon as I got to the station the rain just started coming down.  The one amazing thing about rainy, or overcast days as a photographer is the the way the colors come out so saturated.  I guess I should get used to this more because rainy season is just around the corner.

It also seems like the aftershocks have been calming down in the last  two weeks or so.  The was one last night right before going to bed at about 11 p.m.  I’m still worried about the prospect for a large earthquake that could hit much closer to Tokyo, but in the scheme of things I haven’t been loosing sleep over that.

I will continue to take comfort in the flowers that surround my daily comings and goings, and keep my faith that the big one won’t come.  And if it does come, then so be it.  I will be spiritually, mentally, and physically prepared the best I can.

Pachi Pachi Pachi with Wire

18-5 Wall Flowers

Lots of Yellow on a Friday Afternoon

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

The skies were overcast and the winds were blowing out in the somewhat countryside of Narashino, Chiba.  The pollen was flowing as freely as the the cherry blossom petals drifted though the air.  As I walked along the road with rows of vegetables to my right I was overcome with the flowers.  There were yellow buds all over.  They were on the trees, on weeds, and ever so low to the ground.

Yellow is color that has never really appealed to me.  I have always gravitated to the cooler hues of blues, purples, and greens.  However, on this day, I was so drawn in to yellow.  From the weedy dandelions that were having a picnic on a hill to a tree that was full of yellow blooms so bright that they glowed under the overcast skies.

After being back in Japan for nearly one month, I just can’t help myself to enough flowers.  To celebrate this beautiful world even down to the overlooked weeds.

So today, on this rainy, cloudy Saturday I livicate this blog to the wonderful hue of yellow.

Yellow Blossom Mimomi

Yellow Weed Bush with Tracks

Mini Ones next to the Tracks

Dandelion Spring Party on a Hill with One that Has Gone to Seed

Flowershine on a Cloudy Day

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The purple evening skies of yesterday continued over to today.  The clouds hung low, and the colors were allowed to develop into such rich hues.

I have been wearing a surgical mask when I go into Shin Urayasu for two reasons.  Firstly, my hay fever has been atrocious, a secondly the dust just blows around with no place to go.  I kind of hate when I am wearing the mask, and my glasses fog up, but I guess it is better than being all full of sniffles and sneezes.  However, today the pollen was so strong the mask didn’t make any difference.

I am amazed at some of the pathways and sidewalks in Shin Urayasu.  Because of the liquefaction on some parts they just became piles of bricks, and others, they rhythmically all tilted by 15 degrees.  It was by watching the paths that led me to a Cherry Blossom tree at an entrance to a townhouse like development.  The voluptuous pink blossoms were such a contrast to the dirt filled sidewalk along the main street.  It was so tranquil and seemed so far removed from all the construction going on just meters from this tree.

It again reminded me of the dual nature of the society we are living in.  We are so desperately wanting to return to a stable home life, but the constant aftershocks, the construction, and the Fukusshima nuclear power plant are all there like a fog that wont break up in the morning sun.  Yet, here there was this tree.  It paid no difference to the dust, construction or other worries.  All the tree knew was that it was spring and it was time to bring forth it’s blossoms.

As I continued to make my way home, I caught another flower.  This time it was just a weed.  It was growingly  singularly in some space between a wall and the sidewalk I was on.  The flower just appeared to be shinning.  It was radiating warm light that filled my lens to with warmth.  This images just sandwiched my day.  The tranquil to the mundane.  All full of beauty and full of such promise.

Cherry Blossom and Brick Pathway

Aubergine Tree, Shin Urayasu

Flowershine on a Cloudy Day

End of Another Day in Tokyo

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

As I was ridding the train home the purple clouds were rolling in, with the promise of more rain.  The skies and the hushed hues made for a lovely end to a day that seemed to keep on going.

After being awoken twice in the night by aftershocks that were relatively close to where I live.  And also being awoken by nightmares of more quakes, I was so pleased to see the velvet skies on my way home.

The skyline in the distance seemed to stretch from one end of the earth to another.  The clouds seemed heavy as they pushed down on the skyline, and the ground was still, for once.

I figure that the days, and weeks ahead will be like this.  Sometimes I will not be able to get a good nights sleep, but others I will be blessed by catching a snow capped Mt. Fuji on my commute.  There are still things to learn, and to explore.

In all it was just another end of a day in Tokyo.

Sky Hole in Tokyo

Just the End of the Day in Tokyo

The Edge of Florida, Everglades City

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Just back from the edge of south Florida.  The part of Florida that drifts into a Thousand Islands and then into the Florida Keys.  It was a beautiful place to sit with the family and have a refreshing dinner.

Sky Water Docks, Everglades City, Florida

Delray Beach, At Least I saw the Ocean Blue

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

I finally made my way to the east at I was able to dangle my toes in the Atlantic Ocean.  It felt so good to be down at the beach.  The wind was ripping the safety flags, and Portuguese man o‘ wars covered the beach.  It was good to be down at the waters edge; however, the water was too cold for me, and the the Portuguese man o‘ war littered the beach like venomous land mines.  I hope that the next time, I can actually bathe in the salty waters.

Clouds into Waves into Sand, Delray Beach, Florida

Widow onto the Sky with Manequins, Delray Beach, Florida

Two Sides of Yesterday

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Well the rain is just pouring outside.  The weather has turned down right nasty, with the probability that a typhoon will hit tokyo in the couple of days.  We are bound to get lots of rain and wind.  Didn’t get the chance to take some images, so I am showing two sides of yesterday, which was cold, but the light was gorgeous.

Stepped Up Fence

Lone Rider, Under Overpass

Miami My Sky

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Thinking about the city of my birth Miami.

Blue Skies,

Blue Oceans

Blue

Miami My Sky

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere