fall

Sitting, Biking by the Park by the Bay, Tokyo Bay

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Le Jette (The Jetty) Kasai Rinkai Park

The day couldn’t have been a lovelier autumn day.  A day, on the sabbath, was a perfect spending out in the fresh air, strong sunshine, and blasting breeze.  I am fortunate to live right on the edge of Tokyo bay and within walking and biking distance of Kasai Rinkai Park (葛西臨海公園).  A lovely park run by the Tokyo city  government.  It is a great hidden secret and smack in my backyard.

Today the air was so clear I could sit on the edge of the bay and to my right see the snow capped Mt. Fuji, Straight ahead I could imagine seeing all the way to California and to my left to the very tip of the Chiba Peninsula.  I quickly shed my layers of clothing as the sun continued to warm my entire being.

The sunshine penetrated down to my soul.  I could refresh and be one with the Creator’s wonderland.  The park where the sea, greenery and people meet was the perfect to be able to meditate on just being myself.  A reconnecting with the natural world on the edge of the ever growing concrete jungles to my back.

The park was filled with its citizens doing a park cleanup.  Young old families walked the park with metal tongs in one hand and a garbage bag in the other.  It was a beautiful day no mater what you were doing to be out in the park.

They say, it is always they, isn’t it?  That tomorrow and Monday will be damp, cold and rainy, I feel as if I’ve been able to soak up the rays as much as I could before the weather hits.

Sit in the sun, let the sunshine warm the soul, look out to the horizon and wonder.

 

 

 

Costal Japanese Pinetrees, Kasai RInkai Park

 

Ascending Autumn Sun over Tokyo Bay

 

Kasai RInkai Salt March with Horie Danchi

The Scent of Autumn, Fragrant Orange with Smelting Butter

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Autumn Scent, 金木犀, Orange Osmanthus

Being in tune with the natural surroundings makes the coming of the seasons so pleasurable.  It is one thing that Japanese culture is in sync with, nature.  It may not seem it, but if you could ease drop in on a conversation in a tea house one of the appropriate subjects for this time of year would be the blooming of the  金木犀 キンモクセイ(kinmokusei), Orange Osmanthus, also known as fragrant orange.

This tree is not beautiful.  It looks the epitome of completely ordinary.  Through out the seasons it is just a tree, with branches, leaves and roots.  One would walk by it and not even give it a first thought.  It is a tree that is just there.

This is when the magic really happens.  For about a week to 10 days the minuscule blossoms of the fragrant orange osmanthus open and release their scent into the world.  I always smell the fragrance before my eye spots the tree.  The sweet orange scent with hints of cooking butter waif through the breeze.  I like to search for the tree once the aroma hits my brain.  I love to let it fill my nostrils in the cool dry air of autumn.

This little unassuming tree becomes extraordinary, if for only a few days.  It is well worth the effort to track them drown and let your mind drift on the buttered orange waves of autumn.

Landscape Dusted with Yellow Gingko Leaves

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Even though it is winter here in Tokyo, the autumn leaves are still coming. It seems that they arrived so late that the gingko leaves are carpeting the ground in their warm yellow hues.  The leaves are splattering over the land and bringing some much needed color to the often dreary grays of the urban life.

It is rather simple, isn’t it?

Leaves change and in do time they fall from their branches and drift down to the earth.  They will blow this way or that way for a while before some one comes along and sweeps them all into a plastic garbage bag.  But I have chosen to see them in their glory.  As they stick closely to the ground.  They cover, changes, and become part of my urban landscape, intermingled with those yellow hues that only the gingko tree can bring.

Dusting of Gingko Leaves with Bench-0010221

The Japanese Maple are Exploding with Color

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

The autumn colors have been super late arriving this year in and around where I live.  I has very happy to have found that the Japanese Maple trees around are finally displaying their explosive colors.  These five-pointed leaves are alive rich hues that bound from the deep wine burgundies to multicolored mix and matched colors of yellows and reds.  The hues awaken my senses and I am always amazed at how vibrant these colors can be.

I found these all at a little temple complex on top of a small hill in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan.  There were all amazing hues that teased my Ricoh GR IV out of my pocket and into my hand.  I searched out those hues that pulled me like a magnet towards them.   I wasn’t the only one wandering around this small complex looking at the autumn leaves.  There were several groups of mainly older Japanese looking at the trees.

Just another reason to be thankful.  I am thankful to the Creator for splashing my cold gray day with the explosions of color from the Mimoji trees.

Burgundy Japanese Maple (Momiji 紅葉)

Starbust Japanese Maple Leaf  (Momiji 紅葉 )

Autumn Red Japanese Maple Leaf (Momiji 紅葉)

Violet Vribrant Autumn Beauty

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

This little one, actually, very little one was dancing in color sound vibrations.  All around him the browns, yellows, and earthen reds abound.  This little one was just shinning.  The purple hairs on the small buds that are about to open, to the flaming violet reds that color its petals.

Living and loving the colors that never cease to surprise my soul.  In the midst of all these earthen tones, I stumble upon these colors that light up my soul.

Sit back and let the meditative vibrant colors of this little on wash over your soul.  Let them soothe your troubled spirits, and see the light at the end of that tunnel.

Violet Vribrant Autumn Beauty

The Yellow GIngko of Autumn has Arrived

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

It has been a long wait this autumn season, but the beautiful yellow of the ginkgo trees has arrived.  So many trees were damaged in the typhoon that came through in October, that many trees just went to brown rather than change to their gorgeous autumn shades.

The tall gingko trees were shining in the late afternoon sun.  Their paper backlit as the sun started to dip down behind the building for the day.  I got out and walked around for a bit.  The trees were rather large as their upper branches reached up to the skies.

Yellow, yellow, yellow, has arrived at last.

Ginko Autumn Leaf Shadow Play

Truth in a Shade of Blue

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

As I was walking through a buddhist temple on my way back to the train, my eyes drifted to the roof of the temple.  My eyes kept on wandering over the roof until I encountered a sky so blue that I thought that I might be dreaming.  The sky was an amazing shade of blue.  Like those caribbean seas I swam in down in Jamaica.  The sky was painted this hue.  And across that sea of blue were rows of white clouds.  They had been pulled by the wind and stretched into long rows like that of planted garden.  It was an amazing to just be still and look up into the sky.

It was a surreal moment.  Was I really there?  Was it just a fragment of dream that surfaced in my waking hours?  Does it matter if it was?

I do not have the answers.  All I know is that there was truth in that shade of blue.  A truth that touched my soul.

Chiba, Ichikawa, Japan October Sky

October Firecrackers

Two Sides of the Same Bush

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The weather peaked at a high of nearly 25 (77) today.  It actually felt a lot hotter than that.  We are back to having that schizo weather that afflicts Japan in its transitional seasons.  The light from the autumn sun was beautiful and hitting at just the right angle as I was making my way back from the station to my home.  The walk back always gives me some time to reflect on my day.  The walk also gives me a challenge by training my eye to seek out something that I had not seen before.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that I haven’t seen today’s focus on a urban bush before, but it is more in the way that all of the photographic elements of light, composition, color and subject all align themselves and move my spirit to photograph the scene.

The combination of these elements have to speak to me as a human being first and then I must be able to communicate what moved me to those that view the images created.  Today was about how the light were hitting these tiny fruit on urban bushes.  These were plain bushes that had been planted as a hedge to hide some of the industrialness of Kasai Rinkai Station.  But here they were; one blue and one red.  The setting sun was just hitting them with that autumn glow and moved my spirit.

The idea of change began to bubble up in me as I observed these two stages of fruit.  One in it blue hue that has yet to mature into its red cousin on the same bush.  How does it feel to change?  Do we, as humans, change as slowly or quickly as these fruit? Or are they (we) just two sides of the same bush?

Blue Fruit, Autumn

Ripe Fruit, Autumn

The Season’s Wheel is Spinning

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

This just in!  After much anxiety in my own mind I was pleasantly surprised to come across some of my first true autumn leaves today.  There is a lovely old buddhist temple in Konodai Chiba that is home to a very old weeping cherry blossom tree.  In the spring time it is a favorite spot for photographers and families come and take in the splendor of the waterfall of cherry blossoms.  Now we fast forward from spring to autumn and the same beautiful tree is starting to express itself with a display of earthen oranges and reds.

I was so elated to see the cherry blossom tree teasing me with bringing forth such beautiful colors.  The location of this magnificent tree must have been protected from the punishing typhoon winds of two weeks ago.  In reality, only one part of the tree has started to change its colors.  I look forward next week to see the colors engulf the tree in fiery reds.

I thought back to the unnerving anxiety when I last enjoyed the tree in April.  It was only a few weeks after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami disaster.  Most Tokyo dwellers were quietly observing the cherry blossom. So many Japanese had lost their lives just a few weeks before.  Most people felt it was too soon to celebrate.  However, my feeling was somewhere in the middle.  My heart felt that we needed to mourn those lost, and at the same time we needed to come together as a community and use the beauty of the changing seasons to focus our energies.  We needed to lend a helping hand to each other.  We needed to sit under a tree with our friends and family and engage in some heartfelt communication.

Where are we as a community now?  Has Japan come together to lend those helping hands to each other?  Have those conversations that started in spring continued into autumn?  I do not have the answers to these questions.  I can only offer up my hope and appreciation of the Japanese people to come together and change their country for the better.  I am just a humble outsider who loves his adoptive home.

Let the changing of seasons remind us of those that lost their lives.  Those brave souls that risked their lives to help others.  If we haven’t renewed our own personal commitment to leading a fruitful life it past time to begin.

Take stock in our surroundings.  Notice that leaf that yesterday was green yet today it has begun to shift into red.  Say hello to your neighbors.  Smile at the children on the train.  If we don’t the world will just spin on by.

Ruffled Cherry Blossom Autumn Leaf

Holy Cherry Blossom Autumn Leaf

Golden Leaf, Will We Have Autumn Leaves?

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

I was talking with a mate today about the glorious weather that we have been having and he remarked that he had taken a stroll the other day and was a bit dismayed.  He said all the Ginko trees, which turn a brilliant yellow in autumn, leaves were dead or dying.  He was worried that there wouldn’t be much in the way of an explosion of colors that we usually get.  The leaves in our collective neighborhoods took a battering in the typhoon 15 (Moke) that rolled through last Wednesday.  The trees for the most part survived.  It was the bashing of the leaves on each other that damaged them.  I hadn’t noticed it too closely, other than my own plants on my patio, until I was walking home from my station today.  A Ginko tree near the station looked as if all the leaves were pretty much been beat into brown submission.

I am going to be positive about this.  I am sure we will get some autumn leaves even if I am unsure of how intense it may or may not be.  It will just sharped my vision.  I will have to hunt out those colors that soothe my soul after the heat of Tokyo’s summer.  The trees that survived with their leaves intact are going to shine.  They will pop out across the urban landscape.  Those yellows, reds, oranges, mixed hues all there inviting the residents to gave up into their autumn hearts.

In the meantime, I was stopped in my tracks yesterday when I snapped this image.  The sun has right behind the leaves and it caused them to go from hunter green to an neon lit yellow.  For now I will have to be content with this hue.  A magical hue, and a magical time of day and year.

Golden Leaf

It was 2 Degrees in Downtown Ginza

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Getting ready to make that trip back to the states, I went into Ginza to do some souvenir shopping.  It wasn’t the best day to go to a department store it being, both a holiday and the Friday before Valentines day, so it was a bit packed.

We had lunch at an Okinawan restaurant, as we watched the snow fall to the city streets below.  Kind of a weird feeling eating warm  Okinawan, food inside while we watched snow fall from the 12th floor of the Mitsukoshi Department store.

Sweet

Snow

Food

2° Degrees C in Ginza, with a Helping of Snow

Red All Over

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

As many of my friends throughout the world snuggle up next to the fire as the snow falls to the street, we here in Tokyo are in full blown autumn.  It seemed to arrive a little bit late this year, after all we are already into December.  There is that lovely transitional period that happens twice a year, in the spring and in the autumn.  The colors just illuminate the concrete and the corrugated metal, if only for a few weeks.

Breathe in the clean autumn air, and let those colors soak into your soul.

ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, and then repeat.

Wall or Changing Disguise

Linear Natural Reflection Urban

Double Posting

Autumn Walls

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Autumn has come.

The colors are here.

For soon they will fall,

and be swept up.

Autumn Pipe Window

Autumn Wall House

Bursting Forth with the Good Seeds

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

And then the good seeds shall fall from the heavens.  They shall take root and grow strong.  The roots will seek out the nutrients that nourish them and will make them grow tall and strong.  Those beautiful red arils filled with all sweetly sour juice.

Grow long and prosper!

Bursting Seeds, Pomegranate

Blossoms on My Mind

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The mercury dropped today to mimic the falling petals of the cherry blossoms.  I guess you can say I have a bit of spring fever, waiting and wanting the warmer weather to return.  So, for those of you who want spring to brighten your day, enjoy the last of the flowers.

Fall, Falling, Fallen . . .

Over Steady Waters

Red Dot Cherry Blossoms

Petal Path

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