first fruits

More First Fruits on the Vine

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

The vineyard is a time old tradition going back thousands of years.  Growing the grapes that will become wine.  Wine used in celebrations and rituals around the world.  The vineyard holds a special place in my heart. I am not exactly sure why.  When living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I used to love to drive about an hour north into the Napa and Sonoma Wine Valleys.  The golden tinged dusty hills were alive with row upon row of vines.  It was always a great get away from the hustle of the Bay Area.

I really know nothing about the wine making process, other than the fact that the final product I like.  I can never remember the varietals, vintages or vineyard’s wine that I like.  Only that when I open a bottle, either I like it or I don’t.

It was a friendly little reminder to come a across a tiny urban grapevine growing up and over a door in an urban setting.  To see the purple hues of the grapes as they start to produce those desired sugars.  Made me think back to my life before Japan.  My life when I could jump in the car and in less than an hour I was riding among the vines.  Or I could turn east, and drive up into the Sierra Nevadas.  California really does have it all.

A big shout out to all my peeps still in Cali.  Genie! JJC!!  Shay!!  Dubfly!!

Grape Vine pon Wall

Before the Wine

Loquats Ready to be Plucked

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I have been wanting to snap some images of the ripening Loquats for a few weeks now, but I haven’t been happy with any of the images until today.  I actually love this fruit as they are a really early bloomer, and the fruits ripen on the trees usually in June.

It has such a unique flavor that is slightly citrus with a fleshy peach fragrance.  I remember having a tree of them when I was growing up in Miami.  It always was such a pleasure to reach up into a tree, pluck a fruit, and just munch on it.

The hardy Loquat trees seem to grow everywhere, and propagate from seed quite easily.  This explains how they can just pop up in the middle of a field, or by the side of sidewalk just from a tossed black seed.

One other thing I always get confused between Loquats and Kumquats.  I know them in Japanese and I keep them straight; however, I always have to look them up to see which is which.

If you see a plump one on a tree, pluck and have a taste, but watch out for those huge pits.

Loquat Trio Plus One

The First Fruits of Summer

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

As the spring is slowly giving way to summer.  And along with the coming summer heat we are being treated to an early rainy season.  The rainy season to me is a lot like Miami weather.  It rains everyday for days on end.  At least the temperature stays a bit cooler.

As I was making my way to Mimomi station out in Chiba, I wandered upon a little frontside garden that had a few potted plants.  My eye quickly saw a bright red tiny strawberry.  The first fruits of summer.  Time to give pause and thanks for the fruits that are coming to fruition.

All the flowers on the trees and plants that I have been photographing are beginning to bear fruit.  Some of them will be edible like this deep red strawberry, seeds, of just giving way to the new ultra green leaves.

I strive to maintain my positive attitude. I am reminded daily by the earthquakes that there is much in my life that I have absolutely no control over.  I need to let those issues slide from my spirit so as not to weigh me down with doubt and negativity.

Enjoy the fruits of the season.  Even if those fruits this season will be a bit bitter sweet.

First Fruits:  Strawberry

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