August 27, 2017

Bamboo grove: Jochi-ji

The height of summer has already arrived here and the shiny green of trees and plants is spreading all around in the glaring sunlight.

The colorful flowers of early summer, which once sparkled lively in the gardens, have mostly disappeared, which makes me find the steady and rapid transition of the seasons.

In these ever-changing seasons, a bamboo grove continues its constant growth and keeps rising high toward the sun determinedly.

Bamboo grove: Hokoku-ji

Bamboo grove: Jochi-ji

The whole body of a bamboo grove is one single living organism and all of its stems are interlinked underground by its cobweb-like roots.

The subtle divergence of nature conditions in a grove brings about a delicate change in the color and form of each growing bamboo stem.

Bamboo grove: Eisho-ji

When you stand alone in the heart of a bamboo grove, you can sense the silent voice and mind of this huge living thing in a gentle wind rustling in the green shade.

White summer clouds: Yuigahama-beach

Absolutely white clouds are staying as still as immense pieces of snowy stone in the deep azure sky of mid-summer.

Sarusuberi (Lagerstroemia indica) flowers: Eisho-ji

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Stone steps: Jochi-ji

Sacred lotus flowers: Kaizo-ji

Byakusin (Chinese juniper)Bya tree: Kencho-ji

The evergreen needle leaves of this aged Byakusin tree keep growing thick as always for about 750 years since the building of this old Zen-temple.

July 29, 2017

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

In the dazzling sunlight and intense heat, noble lotus flowers vigorously come into bloom high on the muddy water and give off the fragrant aroma of summer over the lotus pond.

The lotus grows out towards the sun from the bottom of dirty water and blooms pristinely on this water. The flower of lotus is compared to a spiritually awakened sage and its blossoming and dying is regarded as a symbol of our transitoriness of life.

In the height of summer, the glorious flowers of lotus bloom devotedly and reveal the blessing of the scorching brilliant sun.

Sacred lotus flower: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

Sacred lotus flower: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

When a lotus flower opens in the bright sun, a receptacle divinely appears in the center of the flower. This receptacle has a round gold stigma which is the pistil of this flower.

Because the countless stamens around the pistil are too short to self-pollinate, this flower invites insect pollinators for its pollination by means of its sweet aroma, nectar and color.

The pistil receives pollen and turns black. The silky flower petals flutter down by themselves after four days from opening.

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Dragonfly on a lotus flower bud: Kaizo-ji