mushroom

Red Temple Fungus of Ichikawa

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Red Temple Fungus Returns

 

I had spotted this fungus a little more than a year ago growing on the lowest part of the trunk and roots on a tree in a temples courtyard.  It’s brightly colored orange ears creating a patchwork, families, against the dark tree bark.

I was captivated by the hues.  I had to get in for a closer look.  I wanted to know what shapes it had taken.  What makes it grow?  Why does it only grow on one of the trees in the temple’s yard?

I don’t know.  These little fungus blossoms help me to focus, to be on my watch. For no one knows when the return will come.

 

To Pause, Sit and Watch

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Mt Fuji Mushroom Mature, Homage to Mt Fuji 富士山のオマージュ

Typhoon #18 was heading our way the other day.  The meteorologists were predicting that it would only barely touch the Tokyo area, as it was way out in the Pacific Ocean.  I usually don’t put too much trust in what they say, but  the wind was blowing a bit harder than usual, but other than that there wasn’t much sign that possible stormy weather was on its way.  The clouds had woven themselves into a a patch worked sky.

I did something that I rarely do on my lunch break, I went outside.  I just felt I needed to be alone and in the fresh air.  All the air was drenched in ocean aroma, as I wandered outside and found a single tree in a park near.  I just sat.  I attempted to do nothing.  I just listened to the breeze speak through the rustle of the the trees, and watch the clouds quickly unfurling across the the blue skies.  I seemed to be the only one for 100s of meters.  I know there were other people outside enjoying this wonderfully warm autumn day, but they had completely dropped out of my sphere of acknowledgment.

The colors were ultra vivid.  The sounds crystal clear, I could even see the mushrooms as they sprouted up out of the soil.  I hadn’t sat so still for a long time.  Time folded in on itself as I observed the tree’s shadow ebb and fade with each passing cloud.  My own personal natural cinema vérité flickering there at my feet.

It was a beautiful moment that wove itself directly into my soul.  Tapping in to that higher power of the creator when you allow your heart to syncopate with the world.  Each heartbeat flashed images as the natural celluloid natural cinema vérité continued.

A wonderful collection of moments that made up a fabulous day.  I saw the heavens and the earth, and even a mushroomed Mt.  Fuji.

Never Pausing

Typhoon Lessons Learned

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Typhoon Mushroom Thrive

Coming from Miami, Florida I am one that is pretty accustomed to stormy weather.  As a youth I remember storms that would blow through town, knock out the power, and leave trees upturned.  Many of these storms weren’t even hurricane strength.  They were just storms that packed a lot of punch.

I have now been in Japan for more than a decade.  I have seen typhoons come and go.  I have yet to see one hit Tokyo with as much force as some hardcore Miami thunderstorms.  This is not to say that the Japanese typhoons are weak, they surely aren’t.  I wouldn’t be writing this if I lived in Okinawa, or more southern Japan, where the majority of the gale force storms come ashore.

In some ways I usually look foreword to the storms.  The howling winds and the gushing rains bring me back to those humid day of my youth in Miami.  I keep an eye out for the bustling winds.  I peek out my window to see how the storm is progressing.  This storm I learned some lessons the hard way.

My wife and I decided to start a patio garden this spring.  It had been something that we had talked about but never had put it into action until this year.  We have always had plants, but they were mainly large potted fruit trees that have been on our patio for many years.  Actually, they really aren’t that large.  The are more like giant bonsai, because of being restricted to growing within the boundaries of their white pots.  This garden was different.  We were trying to supplement what we eat with fresh herbs and vegetables from our own garden. We put many hours in to the garden.  My wife in fact had become a bit obsessed with gardening and I could often find her out on our veranda tending to our plants.  We had to fight back infestations of bugs with soap and oil.  Cut off leaves that seemed to catch some mysterious ailment.  We had planted baby carrots, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, all sorts of leafy veggies that made our way into our dinner table.  We even had a little bit of excess that we started to pickle from scratch.

This all changed this typhoon.  Our garden was decimated by the strong winds.  Stems snapped, green tomatoes were thrown about the patio.  The eggplant leaves were so battered that they look as if they had been nibbled on right on down to the spines.  The meter high corn stalks were all laying flat out on the container next to them.  I was a bit upset and at the same time I knew that there was really nothing we could do.  There was no way we could have brought the plants inside.  I had to have faith that they would survive at least some of them would.

On my way in to work the morning after the storm I got to think about most of the world that are subsistence gardeners.  They grow food so that they have something to eat.  I was came to a realization that our garden only supplements our diet and I should be thankful that no one in my family was injured by the storm.  If this had happened in a land of farmers who very live depends on what they are able to reap from the earth they would be facing hunger after this storm.

I am sure that our plants will rebound.  Nature has a way of fighting back against itself.  Already my mint plant has started to sprout some new leaves out of the blackened sufferers. The rain also brought out a field of mushrooms at field on my way to work.  The spores had managed to spring up inspire of the torrential rains and forceful winds.

Somethings have to wither so that others can grow.  I am thankful that I have access to food and I can spend time gardening as a hobby.  My heart goes out to the farmers in Japan that lost crops because of the typhoon.  My heart aches for those that would have gone hungry if a powerful storm had hit their farms.

 

Stop and Smell the Fungus

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Verge of Orange, Temple Fungi 01

I almost missed these orange hued wonders as I made my way back to the station.  On Tuesdays, I like to cut through a buddhist temple in Ichikawa as part of relaxing end to my day.  It helps to put the world back into perspective as I come out of the fluorescents and into the sunshine.

The temple building itself is pretty new but its grounds must be a few hundred years old.  They include a hand hewn stairway that passes through an old wooden gate making the entering of sacred ground.

After being in a building for most of the day I like to get out into the small garden of this temple.  Last week the park was crammed full of cherry blossom watchers, whereas today the grounds were still.  I walked past a large tree when a few blips of orange caught my eye.  They were tiny in size but bold in the color they spoke, orange.

I had to turn around and get down on my knees in order to get the fungi into my view finder.  They were well worth the time.  The short pause after a long day is necessary.  The selfless act of noticing something so tiny that most walked straight on by with out even giving these little ones any thought or admiration.

They are on the verge of being.  They are there if we notice or don’t.  It is really up to us to take the time to breathe in the world around us.  To take in these lovely orange wonders for our stimulation.

Please take some time to stop and smell the fungus.

Verge of Orange, Temple Fungi 02

Firehouse Takeout Mozzarella and Mushroom Burger

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

This post in Lucid Thoughts will be my first that doesn’t explicitly cover something in the photographic world.  In fact this just fall into the category of something that I am just crazy about, and I wish all could get a chance to try one.

I am not a big burger fan, but I do enjoy a good burger.  In fact I never really cared much for a burger until my brother-in-law found Firehouse burgers written up in a magazine, and brought them home about 7 years ago.  Firehouse forever changed my mind about what a burger should be.

The first time they came home 7 years ago, they were packaged in these ultra nostalgic white paperboard boxes.  The name Firehouse had been stamped by hand along with a check off list of what treasures laid inside.

From the look alone I was amazingly impressed.  Then once I got my first bite I was hooked.  I have been to their shop in Hongo 3 Chomei many times, and on rare and special occasions my wife picks some up as takeout.  Firehouse always makes it onto the best burger lists in Tokyo and usually the owners of new restaurants often had learned the ropes by having worked  there.

The owner never really seeks the limelight, and nowadays there is so much competition in the burger market.  Firehouse can lay claim as being one of the first and the best.

This was one of those  occasions.  Their takeout boxes have changed to a more custom red box that I suppose is to remind the customer of hot red fire engines.  I preferred the more nostalgic white boxes, but the treat that awaited me on the inside was as good as ever.

The combination of the grilled mushrooms mozzarella, 100% beef and the homemade buns really hit the spot on a winter evening.  The amazing burger was joined by a side of fries and onion rings that the wife and I split.  To be honest I loved it, even if  I don’t really want to eat burger all the time.  For special comfort food occasions, Firehouse is the best.

For those of you in Tokyo and have never been check them out.  And for those of you who are on your way, If you get tired of Japanese food, try the best burger I’ve ever had, in Japan or America.

Firehouse stop by!

Firehouse Take Out Burger, Best in Tokyo

Double Shrooms in the Morning

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

I am always happy to find some fungi.  They are amazing bits of nature.  They grow so quietly.  They often sprout up overnight.  One minute there is nothing and the next morning there are two little mushroom sentinels standing watch over a small hillside in Chiba prefecture.

I love having to enter into their world.  This means, it is rather rare to run into some fungi that are at my eye level.  I need to lower my eye line down to the shrooms size.  Getting down on my knees and into the blades of grass to photograph them.

I want to see what those shrooms are seeing.

I want to feel what they are feeling.

In order to do this I need to enter into their micro world.

Double Morning Mushrooms

It is good for all of us to be able to change our perspective on the world.  The world looks mighty different when you are eye to eye with blades of grass and these two little sentinels.  The macro and the micro go hand in hand and shape our view of all the stimuli that makes up the world.  We learn to perceive, process, and interact with that world.

Shrooming in the Morning Sun

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

The rains seem to come and go these days.  We are suppose to be having a rainy season now, but it looks like mostly the southern islands of Japan have been getting most of the rain.  We have had some, but nothing like it should be.  However, one of the upsides of the rain, are the proliferation of little mushrooms that just sprout up over night .  I am always amazed at how quickly nature works.  One day there is nothing, the next there is one that is just shrooming in the morning sun.

Shrooming in the Morning Sun

Mushrooms are Amazing

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

These little ones just sprouted up overnight.  It is amazing that these little ones are just passed by most.  I guess it is my challenge, and to keep my eye open to catch whatever I can.

Sprouting Mushroom, Just in a Night

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