red

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.

 

Greeted with Flowers and a Skewed Wall

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Bushy Flowers with Skewed Wall

 

Today was one of those days that never really went anywhere other than a bit of frustration.  I did let myself down and the stress got to me.  However, I resolved that I wouldn’t let me down for long.

On Tuesdays I usually walk through an old Buddhist temple on my way to the station.  I enjoy those few moments away from the rush of people, and just the quiet serenity of the area.  I rounded on the outside of the large gate and stood at the top of a stone stairway and just breathed.  The sun was out stronger than ever today but this little spot in the shade atop a hill was ultra pleasant.  I just stood there looking at the shadows, taking in the scents, letting go of whatever stress had got of me.

After a few moments I walked down the steps.  There was a man halfway down the steps in front of me taking pictures, and and elderly gentleman on his way up as part of an exercise routine.

Once I reached the bottom and was out in the sun again, it hit me how intense the sun was.  I wandered around on my way to the station.  Just taking my time, and pausing now and then to snap a photograph.

A patch of red caught my eye, and I entered into a small urban park turned around and saw this clump of red flowers.  Never had really noticed them before.  That is the challenge.  To walk the same streets, and still be amazed daily.

There is nothing more therapeutic to my soul as framing a photograph, pressing the shutter, and now writing an accompaniment.

Standing Solo in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

I am definitely on a learning to survive so that the next stage one can thrive these days.  And on this day of rest my thoughts return to the natural world.  Nature has a way of coping with pretty much anything that it encounters.

In the dead of winter, a succulent has the ability to keep on growing.  Lifting up its fleshy leaves up to the warm sunshine.  Not only are they reaching up, but this one was sending out new shoots.

New life is sprouting forth in the middle of winter in the deepest backwater suburbs of Ichikawa, just east of the sprawl of the Tokyo metropolis.

We all got to find our ways to thrive in adverse environments.  My way and your way most likely will not be the same.  But, we will find our style of thriving!

Solo WInter Succlulent

Lost Smile Found

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

This lost and found object really caught my eye today.  I haven’t taken many of the lost and found images over that last nine months or so as I have been exploring other subjects.  This little caught me by surprise.  He was just there.  Perched on the edge of a high brick wall in Ichikawa.  He was laying on his side, with a house key attached to him.  Even though he was lost, on his side and out and the cold, he still managed to smile.  His smiling made me smile.  Because of these chain reaction of events I knew I needed to take his portrait.

We need to never loose our sense of humor.  The unique human quality to laugh and refresh ourselves though our laughter.  I needed a good laugh today.  And this little guy gave it to me.  Even though he is made of plastic, he does not have a plastic smile to me.  His smile was genuine.  His smile was from the heart.

Laugh and smile.

Lost Smile Found

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

Pomegranates and Spiked Headed Pinkness

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

The weather continues to be changeable.  I never quite know what to expect from day to day.  The skies in Japan are so clear this time of year that I can often see all the way to Mt. Fuji.  Sometimes it is just a lofty silhouette in the setting sun.  It is a reminder that I am in the land of the rising sun, and not anywhere else on this planet.

Strolling back to the station in the afternoon sun I came across a pomegranate tree with its fruit so ripe that the pomegranates were bursting open and spilling their juicy arils on to the ground.  These succulent red hues were filled with the potential to bring forth another life.  They all have the chance, under the right conditions, to grow into a lovely mature tree.  As I looked up at the fruit still hanging from its branches I wondered what will happen to them.  Will the owner come out and harvest them to feed his family and others?  Or, will they just be left to rot on the branch?  What about the seeds that fell onto the asphalt?  Surely, they won’t be able to sprout into a new tree.  Will the local wildlife in this quite suburb on the outskirts of metropolitan Tokyo come along for a juicy snack.

I find myself thinking about these issues these days and how they relate to my life.  How I try, and many people I know, go out into the world trying to spread goodness.  How much of that goodness will find the fertile soil to be able to grow into a fully formed accomplishment.  Will our labors of love be able to bring forward fruit from the tiny seeds that they came from.  It always feels good to know that the seeds one has planted gathers the water and nutrients to return with fruit.

Just some issues, topics that are wandering around in my lucidly communicating mind.

Pomegranate Arils Bursting

Urban Ledge Cluster Flower

Spreading Pomegranate Seed

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

Tiny Autumn Berries

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The light is really changing.  That autumn light that streams down that falls somewhere between yellow and orange hues depending on the exact time of the day.

As the world is cooling off my eye is still ever searching for nature that thrives no matter where is might has grown its roots.  Roots that seek out the nutrients in the soil as the leaves catch the rays of sun.

Today these tiny berries caught my eye.  A small bush near the ground that had clumps of these autumn red hued berries.  I have no idea if they are edible or not.  I just stood there amazed by their minute stature.  These little berries spoke of joy to be out in the sunshine.  They are signaling the autumn hues that will fill the parks soon enough.

Tiny Autumn Berries

Pre Autumn Burst of Red

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The temperature may have dropped in Tokyo, but the autumn leaves have yet to arrive.  I am not complaining, I am immensely thankful for the cool weather that I have breezing in through my windows.  I am, however, anticipating the changing leaves.  Those colors that dance on my lens as the long rays of autumn light struggle to reach earth.

Today I kept my eye peeled for any signs of the changing leaves to come.  Have the tips of any leaves started to morph into those autumn hues?  Not yet.  They will come soon enough.  In the meantime I found a bush of these flowers tucked behind a huge hydrangea bush at a small buddhist temple.  They are just a taste of the colors that are to come.  I give thanks for all the bursting colors of summer that are still hanging on into autumn.

Autumn Red Flower Burst

Wild Wet Rose, and Nuclear Fuel Rods

Friday, July 29th, 2011

These items are what sandwiched my day today.  I woke up to news that the Chubu Nuclear power plant in Shizouka, Japan, has been unable to remove a melted nuclear rod for over 17 years since an accident occurred at the plant.  For 17 years, the power plant hid the truth that they have been completely unable to remove it for reprocessing.

It is so sad and utterly frustrating, to see the situation here develop, and at times worsen, and they only response is an “Oh, well.”  As an artist I feel really torn.  At times I want to make protest art, but at others, I want to celebrate the beauty and in some ways use art as a soul searching escapism.  I do feel that protest art is an important for artist to become involved in.  It never has been something that I have felt comfortable with; however, I will support artist that choose to protest.  Go ahead!  Please make some noise.  It is unfortunate that here in Japan, the arts are so marginalized that protest music and art gets pretty much zero attention from the press.  I guess my neighbors, much rather watch baseball, or another AKB 48 special.  UGHHHH.

Then there was the other side of my day.  This lovely water droplet covered rose in someone’s garden.  It was so beautiful, it did make me forget the terrible news I read in the paper this morning.  I could loose myself in the twirling petals, and watch the droplets slowly roll down the thorns.

All in one day.  Just another day in Japan post March 11th.  Not sure when it’ll ever end.  Rise up! Celebrate life in all its shapes and forms.  And to all those artist out there that see fit to raise a voice, slap a poster, or paint out your anger!  I salute you!

The Wild Wet Rose of Mimomi

Learning to See, Again

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

This thought crossed my mind today as I was taking some pictures of a tree with funky fresh red blossoms.  I was thinking to myself, I have never seen this flower before.  But, what I started to realize that it wasn’t that I hadn’t seen the flowers before, it is more that I never really took the time to explore, and see the flowers with all my senses.

This is the challenge for artists, and for me especially as a visual artist we are constantly learning to see again.  I just took nature for granted.  It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate nature, far from it, I love nature.  I love being out in nature.  It is more that I never took the opportunities that presented before me with my camera until I came to face the awesome power of the earth that contrasts with it’s diverse beauty.

I now see nature in my daily commute like I never have before.  The colors, the shapes, the varieties, the phases from bud to bloom, to shedding of the petals.  And now I am beginning to witness the flowers that are becoming the fruits of summer and fall.

I will continue to challenge myself through my art.  I must grow as an artist or what is the point.  I can never be truly satisfied.

Strive for that beauty out there in the world.  Let it envelope us in those kodachrome colors.

Reaching Into It

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

Red Bloomers and Faux Stained Glass

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

After a long exhausting day, I was glad to get out into the fresh air on my way home.  I came across this little front side garden with these amazing red bloomers, that were perfectly countered by the faux stained glass.  All and all it was a good day in the neighborhood.  I feel lucky not to be going through the heat that the east coast of America is feeling now.

Everyday is a day to give thanks.

Red Bloomers with Faux Stained Glass

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