natural

Intersection of Natural and Man’s Creations

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Concrete Slab, Drainage Pipe, Hydrangeas Hillside

June is quickly drawing to an end.  The rainy season has come, and without many downpours it has seemed to have already moved on.  There was the unseasonably early typhoon and the heavy Friday rain of last week, but that is about all that has really intensely fallen.

The weather still has been quite odd.  I even had to pull on a sweater on Monday due to the chill.  I am NOT complaining!  I am only observing this oddity. I am thankful for a bit of cool summer weather because, I know that the sticky hot months of July and August will be upon all the city dwellers soon enough.  Those days where the humidity is so high that walking out one’s front door is like getting slapped in the face with a hot wet blanket.

As I stroll around in the spare moments that I have I am more attracted to the way nature and mankind’s creations interact with each other.  Sometimes that interaction one of the two is winning the battle; however,   there is often quiet détente playing out between the uncomfortable neighbors.

The large blooming hydrangeas cast sharp shadows over it’s concrete neighbors.  The concrete prohibits the flowers’ roots from seeking more fertile ground.  There they both exist influencing each other.  No one wins no one truly looses.  In the camera’s mixing palette both gain an non combative posture.  In the lens they acknowledge each others presence.

We must deeply love the natural world.  Without love we will never be able to survive as a species.  Our interactions must be done out of love and respect for nature.  Let some areas be completely wild, while we attempt to tame others.  Let us bring some of that wildness into the spaces that we occupy with our homes, offices, and public spaces.

In the meantime I continue to inhabit this détente between the two dynamic spheres.  My heart sees the two clearly, and I search out those frames where there isn’t a struggle it is only cooperation.

That is the intersection between the leafy green and the poured concrete. The delicately balanced harmonious interactions between those worlds that enter my heart by way of a piece of ground glass.

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

Seeking Balance between Natural and Built Worlds

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Since the March 11th Tohoku earthquake I have been exploring my relationship to the natural world around me through my photography.  How do I fit into this world?  I came to photographing nature partly because I had been on a mission to explore the geometrical structures that are built here in Japan, and how that space is created for humans to inhabit.  I found it fascinating how these manmade structures could conform and fit so elegantly within the framing of a square.

After the earthquake I found the geometry uninviting.  I couldn’t find myself to use my lens to seek out those wabi sabi interactions between the places humans inhabit and the squared world I had been putting them into.  I wanted to explore the revival and survival natures of man, and this manifested itself though the training my wide angle lens on the flora and fauna.  The roots seeping into the soil and sprouting forth new leaves among the dust and hustle of post quake Japan.

Now, I am beginning to see an integration between these two seemingly oppositional forces.  However, they do compete for the same physical space, and then they also inhabit the same space peacefully.  I want to explore this element more.  I look forward to see what I shall see.  Also, who knows where the next great theme will come from.

Ivy Creep, Mailbox Communist Party Food

Gate and Weeds, Mimomi, Chiba, Japan

Got Cats, Get a Nekko Jelasi

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

They are here.  And they are everywhere.  They are growing up in between cracks on the side of the pavement.  They are sprouting all over the empty lots in my neighborhood.  In Japanese they are called Nekko Jellasi.

A great natural cat toy.  Pick a fresh one and drive your kitty wild.  When the kitties are through with them they can just be tossed into your compost pile.

Play with your kitties today.

Double Neko Jellasi

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere