fruit

Firstfruits 2015

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The second image in a series that began with the Unleavened Days.  The Feast of the unleavened had finished and it is time for firstfruits.

Feel free if you wish to republish, distribute as you like.  Spread the word, sound, image, power.

Shalom

Peace

平和

سلام
שלום

Autumn Festivals with Freshly Harvested Pomegranates

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Autumn Harvest Pomegranate 2013 02

 

The autumn festivals are upon us.  The red spider lilies have shed their wispy petals.  The nights are growing longer, and I have harvested the baseball sized pomegranates from my own patio garden’s tree.

I have been fascinated by the burgundy arils since I was a child.  It was the fruit that was an absolute mission to get at those tiny bursts of goodness.  They always made such a mess, but it never bothered me.

Perhaps my interest in this fruit goes back to my DNA.  My ancestors would split them open, cook with them, and take them on long journeys.

This year I was able to raise some of my own.  Previous years I had been left with one or two golf ball sized fruits.  This year it was closer to about 10 and half of them were the size of a baseball.  I left them on the tree until they split open.  Not sure if this is the way to do it, but it just seemed like the way to go.

They were pretty sour to my tastebuds with only hints of the pomegranate fragrance.  They just burst bursted in there sweet and sour goodness.

I am thankful that I could play my little part in helping to bring some colorful goodness into the world.

 

Autumn Harvest Pomegranate 2013 01

Summertime and Loquats in the City

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Hiro Riverside with Loquat Fruit びわ

 

Its summertime and the loquats are high.  They are bright orange fleshy fruits bursting forth in the midsummer air.  On a rainy day somewhere between Hiroo and Ebisu station.  The broad firm leaves reached out to cross the small stream contained in concrete.  There they came to fruition against the background of a meandering waterway.

Should I have plucked a few and bite into the orange flesh, working my way around the olive size pits?  I didn’t but the beauty of the orange against the gray rainy day stopped me on my quest.

 

First and Only Mikan (Satsuma Orange)

Friday, February 1st, 2013

First Mikan [ 温州蜜柑] (Satsuma, Mandarin 无核桔) Orange

 

My wife alerted to me something that I had completely missed in our garden.  The mikan sapling we had planted in spring had brought forth a single full sized fruit.  It was the only one of the three we planted.

I am not big on winter by any means but the simple pleasure of peeling a mikan and eating it wedge by wedge is one of the most enjoyable activities of a winter in Japan.  I love crushing the skins in my hands and inhaling that lovely citrus fragrance.

Citrus of fragrance has got to be one of the most pleasing scents to my soul.  I am sure there is a connection to mu childhood and having citrus trees in my backyard.  The scent always relaxes me.

I havent peeled this one yet.  I am just enjoying gazing at with my eye.  I will have to post more once i have peeled it and sampled the tender tangy flesh.

Have a beautiful day of rest!

 

 

The Little Watermelon

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The Little Watermelon, Le Petit Pastèque, 少しスイカ

As many of you may remember that a typhoon wrecked my garden a little while back.  Now my patio garden is quite small, but we have been able to pluck a few cucumbers, peppers, eggplants from the potted plants.  Not a lot, but enough to bring some freshness to our table and hearts.

The garden has rebounded from the torrential winds and rains, but I had pretty much given up on our watermelons.  The vines kept creeping along the patio, eventually spilling over the ledge and even became excited when I saw blossoms sprout from the twisting vine.  Eventually all the flowers fell off without further growth into a watermelon.

This all changed yesterday.  I was looking at the vine, and I noticed that there were some oblong shapes where the flowers had been.  I called my wife out to the patio, to show her the budding fruit.  I was wondering how they will survive since the vine had wiggled its way up and around the cucumber poles.  Then, my wife called me back outside to show me three baseball sized watermelons that had tucked themselves away under some leaves.  I was overjoyed to see them!  To be able to pick one up in my hand and feel the warmth of the sun in my palm.  So beautiful.  Such a simple joy gardening brings.

We spent some time cleaning up and weeding the patio today, unfortunately this little one got clipped by accident.  I shed a little tear, and was thankful for the ones that have come, and will come.

This is my homage to fruit of summer.  The lovely honorable watermelon.

 

Redlands, South West Dade County Florida

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

I'm Not in Kansas, Redlands Fruit and Spice Park

Redlands Fruit and Spice Park in south western Dade County. is one of those places that I haven’t visited since I was a child.  I remember wandering around this vast park quite well.  The best thing about Redlands Fruit and Spice park is that visitors are allowed to eat all the fruit that has fallen from the trees.

It was great to wander around this park as an adult.  Thinking back on the park I know that it had an influence on my own gardening tendencies.  And those being that I like to grow plants that I can either smell or taste.  I do believe that this interest in edible scented vegetation can be traced back to my youthful wandering around the many parks of Miami and Dade County.

The sun was blazing as I wandered around the acres of trees and grass.  I opted to not take the tour and decided to just wander where ever the scents and fruit would take me.

I occasionally picked up some fruit off the ground to give them a taste.  A tiny mango, or a sapote.  There must have been more than 30 varieties of mangoes around the park.

I left the park satisfied having smelled scents from my youth even if I had gotten a bit too much sun.

I love my south west Dade county parks.

Rooted, Redlands Fruit and Spice Park

 

South West Dade Skies, Redlands Fruit and Spice Park

There is Fruit at the End of the Path

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The cold winds have been blowing in the Tokyo area.  I myself haven’t seen any snow yet, but others have told me they have spotted some.  I have to don a pair of gloves to go shooting now.  That isn’t so bad, except my fluffily gloves keeping getting stuck on the velcro of my camera case.  I need to switch over to the neoprene gloves that I also use in the winter time.

This all being said that I was wandering down a street in Ichikawa, Chiba the other day when I spotted a small path that I had missed the other 100s of times I had walked down this path.  I felt an urge deep down in my soul to follow this little side path.  It wasn’t very long, only 20 or so meters when the path ended at a metallic gate, that was framed in by a tree full of some winter citrus.

It just made me realize that even a short journey could be fruitful. And then there are other journeys where you seem to get nowhere, and one never really knows which one in life will come your way.  Follow those paths and find your fruit.

7-21 Gate with Winter Citrus

Real Natural Ancient Variety of Mikan (Mandarin, Satsuma, Orange)

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I am not a big fan of winter time here in Japan.  In fact, I would be the happiest if the temperature here would be springish all year round.  I like wearing coats, and scarfs, and preparing myself for the cold weather.  That being said, in general I prefer mild temperatures that accompany spring and early autumn.

The best gift that we receive in the winter time is the abundance of the mikan fruit.  Sometimes they are referred to as satsuma oranges or mandarin oranges.  They are a close varietal to tangerines, yet their flavors are not quite the same.  They tend to be a bit more squared on the tops and bottoms, and their skin is rather loose and easy to peel once you get one of your fingers popped into the air gap between the skin and the flesh.

The one in the photography came from a friend of my wife’s family from the rural part of Chiba prefecture.  They are much larger than the mikans that I can usually find in the store.  They are less perfect.  They are bumpy.  They have green spots across their dimpled skin.  Because of their imperfections, they are more prefect to me.  These are probably what the first variety of mikans were like before they were farmed on a massive scale.

Enjoy this mikan in its natural state.  The best part about winter in Japan.  The simple fruit in its own packaging.

Ancient Variety Mikan (みかん Satsuma Orange) Fruit

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

Red Fruition

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Sometimes it is about putting in the time.  We make investment in ourselves, family, and societies.  We pour our blood into projects that we care about.  We spend countless hours in the hopes of achieving our goals.  Sometimes we set them too high, others too low.  We take chances, or we play it safe.  In the end we can say at least we tried.

I like to think back on what I learned from Yoda as he was instructing Luke in the ways of the force, “Don’t try! Do!”  It is easy to say.  It just rolls off the lips and out into the world. Again, it takes putting that vibration into practice. Making it routine. Making it part of our lives.  Eventually a tree planted, and cared for will bring forth fruit in its due season.

The heat of summer is fading.  The battered leaves are falling, some are changing colors that survived the typhoon.  The red firecrackers are making their last bloom, and fruit is hanging from some trees.

Put in the work.  Work on your dreams.  Squeeze the obstacles that block your path into juice.  Bring forth that red fruition.

Red Fruition

Autumn Firecrackers

Autumn Fruits Pomegranate and Goya

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

According to my metrological sources Friday was the last warm day we are going to have this year.  The weather from now forth will progressively become cooler and cooler.  It will get so cool somewhere down the road that I will be writing how cold I am and I can’t wait for spring to arrive.  This year the weather really did seem to be like an out of control faucet.  One day it was cranked to the HOT and the next cranked to COLD.  I juts got to protect myself to keep from catching a cold.

As I was making my way though a quiet neighborhood in Chiba prefecture I stumbled upon a few pomegranate trees growing wild.  The were short squat yet full of ping pong ball sized fruit.  I thought that it was rather serendipitous to find my all time favorite fruit in the semi-wilds of Chiba.  Also, since many of my family are observing the Jewish new year with apples and pomegranates I was captivated by these little fruits.  These fruits have been enjoyed for millenniums in the middle east.  They are such an odd fruit.  The seeds are  surrounded by the wine like fluid flesh.  In order to enjoy the arils of the fruit one has to work hard to separate them from the bitter white innards of the fruit.  No matter what the difficulties are in getting to the juicy bits it is always worth it.  Having to work at getting the purple pieces is part of the pleasure of the fruit.

As the seasons change so does the why in which we interact with the land around up.  For example, here in Japan citizens were encouraged to grow green curtains.  Green curtains were devised as a way to save electricity by growing climbing vine plants on a trellis over a window.  Many Japanese planted morning glories, goya (Okinawan bitter melon) even saw some grapes.  They were beautiful.  Now those that planted them to cut back on electricity now get to fill a basket with grapes, goya and other vine climbing plants.

We should all take the time to help green our world.  All it takes are are few seeds, water and love to be able to reap the health and stress relieving qualities of greening our planet.

To all my brothers and sisters celebrating Roshashauna I wish you the best of times.  Enjoy some fresh apples and pomegranates for me.

Pomegranate Autumn, Mimomi

Green Curtain with Goya, Mimomi

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

GIft of the First Fruits

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

The first fruits are bright and red.  Plump with the summer rains and the early sunshine.  They are waiting to be plucked and honored as the firsts of the season.

Gift of the First Fruits

Misty Morning and then the Sun Came Out

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

last night was a sleepless one.  I am not sure wether it is my sensitive stomach, and / or all the other thoughts that flood my mind when I try to lay my head.  I try to push that all out of my thought stream so that I can catch some much needed rest.

I was greeted with a misty rain that reminded me more of San Francisco more than Tokyo bay.  The cool mist refreshed my face in the presence of bad news stacked on top of bad news.  The mist refreshed me, and anointed me in the spirit.

By the time I traveled back home the sun had peeked out from behind the clouds.  It didn’t hang around for very long.  It quickly dived back behind the clouds, but the mist did not return.

I came across a small singular fruit.  To my novice eye it looks a lot like a raspberry, but I am not really sure.  It is another sign that the seasons are changing.  I was given some fresh picked kumquats which always begin to ripen at the beginning of the rainy season.  Those fresh flowers of spring are now bearing fruit.  Or at least the petals have fallen away to reveal little immature fruits.

Misty

Fruit

Sunshine

Thankful

Is It a Raspberry

Misty and then the Sun Came Out

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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