May 30, 2012

Lotus leaves in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

The numerous new leaves of lotus are rising to the calm water surface of the pond to prepare for its blooming season.

In the transparent morning sunlight, the water drops which the night rain left behind are shining clearly like precious amulet gems for these newborn leaves.

Soon summer must arrive here to let lotus bloom gloriously.

The garden of Chojyu-ji

The new leaves of hair-cap moss (Polytrichum juniperinum) , which densely cover this small garden, are growing vigorously and adorning this garden brightly with their fresh green.

The weathered rock encircled by the young leaves is basking in the vibrant sun of May joyfully.

The garden of Engaku-ji

The flowers of iris were blooming modestly along a grassy pathway in the pond garden.

A common bluebottle butterfly in Kaizo-ji

Under my eyes and paying no attention to me, a common bluebottle butterfly with intact and beautiful wings was flitting from flower to flower rejoicingly in search for nectar.

A stone image of Shokannon in Tokei-ji

A small stone image of Shokannon in the thicket was softly illuminated by a ray of sunshine coming down through the branches of trees.

Shokannon is one of the six Kannons (the Buddhist deities of mercy) and, as a manifestation of the infinite wisdom of Buddha, rescues all living things from Hell.

In the left hand of this Kannon, a lotus flower which is beginning to open is held as the symbol of his supreme wisdom.

Maple leaves in Tokei-ji

The beautiful gradation of greenness in new leaves is one of the most delightful gifts from this bright season.

The garden of Kaizo-ji

The various spring flowers which once delighted our eyes had already faded away.

In exchange for them, fresh green leaves are glittering brightly in the sun to make us perceive again the particular beauty of this vital season.

May 18, 2012

A Suiren (Nymphaea) flower in Kita-kamakura

Every flower speaks to us silently of the beauty of the universe where we live.

After the morning rain, this flower of water lily was decorated exquisitely with shining raindrops.

The floating flower of water lily opens in the morning and closes in the early evening for three days or so until its short life comes to end.

The name "Suiren" means "sleeping lotus" because its flower seems to wake up in the morning and fall asleep in the evening.

The spring grove of Tokei-ji

The fresh green leaves of an aged maple tree are sparkling delightedly in the crisp sunlight of May.

The greenness of the leaves is deepening with each passing day and will turn red and yellow at last before their falling in autumn.

This tree is standing still in this quiet grove like an old sage who knows the hidden truth of the changes of the seasons.

Haru-botan (Paeonia suffruticosa) flowers in Kencho-ji

The magnificent flowers of Haru-botan (spring peony) were blooming in the garden of the old Zen temple to triumphantly declare the true height of spring.

After the ending of these majestic flowers of spring, the gray rainy season approaches moment by moment.

Hime-utsugi (Deutzia gracilis) flowers in Engaku-ji

These small white flowers, which also let us know the peak of spring, are blooming discreetly and emitting faint aroma in every thicket here in Kita-kamakura.

In the clear morning light coming into the dense thicket, they seem to modestly express their heartfelt joy of flowering.

The spring grove of Tokei-ji

The new leaves filling this quiet grove dazzled our eyes with their beautiful and subtle gradation of greenness in the transparent sunlight peculiar to this season.

Haru-botan (Paeonia suffruticosa)flowers in Kencho-ji

The thin silky petals of Botan overlap each other and show exquisite shades of colors.

The flower of Botan blooms magnificently as if to be aware of its designation as the king of all flowers.

Kodemari (Spiraea cantoniensis) flowers in Jochi-ji

The quiet spring garden of this temple were decorated with the cascades of small flower balls of Kodemari.

Kodemari means a "small handball" because its white flowers (about 1 cm in diameter) gather together to form the cascades of handball-like flower clusters.

This flower is one of the typical spring flowers which are arranged in the tokonoma (alcove) for a traditional tea ceremony.

Shaga (Iris japonica) flowers in Kencho-ji

Tsutsuji (Rhododendron) flowers in Kaizo-ji

May 7, 2012

Shidare-zakura (Prunus pendula f. pendula) blossoms in Ryoan-ji (Kyoto)

The sprays of brilliant blossoms of an aged Shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) tree, which were drooping down to this side of the old weathered wall, adorned exquisitely this famed Kare-sansui garden (dry landscape garden).

In the open sea expressed by the glittering white pebbles, the mossed stone island was shaded by the pink cloud-like blossoms in the bright sunlight of April.

The elegant harmony between the eternal beauty of this dry landscape and the transient grace of these spring blossoms presented a true moment of wonder to me.

Sakura blossoms in Ryoan-ji (Kyoto)

The pale pink blossoms of Sakura were mirrored in the calm surface of the pond.

Yama-zakura (Cerasus jamasakura) blossoms in Arashi-yama (Kyoto)

In the sun which had just begun to decline, the blossoms of Yama-zakura were creating an exquisite mosaic in the quiet woody hillside of Arashi-yama.

Shidare-zakura (Prunus pendula f. pendula) blossoms in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

The countless pink blossoms of the Shidare-zakura were shining brilliantly against the sunlight of that spring afternoon as if to quietly burn themselves out.

Sakura blossoms in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

The white blossoms of Sakura were blooming modestly in the "Sogen-chi" pond garden of Tenryu-ji.

Sakura blossoms in Engaku-ji (Kamakura)

Yama-zakura (Cerasus jamasakura) blossoms in Engaku-ji (Kamakura)

The buildings of the old Zen temple are standing quietly in the spring grove beautifully colored by various flowers and leaves.