July 24, 2012

The bamboo grove of Jochi-ji

The luxuriant green foliage of the bamboo grove is glistening with joy in the bright sun of early summer.

The subtle gradation and tonality of the greenness are drawing an exquisite miniature painting of life with the help of the mild breeze and dazzling sunlight of this shiny season.

In our culture, bamboo is considered as one of the most auspicious plants because it has vigorous vital force and grows rapidly and upright with abundant vivid leaves.

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers in Engaku-ji

The flowers of Ajisai change their colors beautifully as time goes by.

When these flowers bloom freshly, they are greenish-yellow due to the rich chlorophyll contained in them.

With the passage of time, this chlorophyll continues to be decomposed and blue or red pigments such as anthocyanin are synthesized in the flowers to progressively color them blue or red.

Approaching the end of the flowers, they become tinged with red increasingly because of the organic acid resulting from their aging.

A praying mantis on the Ajisai flowers in Engaku-ji

I saw an infant praying mantis staying calmly on the flowers of Ajisai which were already past their prime time.

A praying mantis is a typical insect of summer.

This infant insect will pass through life in the burning sun of midsummer.

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers in Engaku-ji

Moss-covered stone steps in Sugimoto-dera

The old stone steps which had been worn and abandoned are mossed densely with age.

The shining deep green of the moss is adorning the quiet beauty of the wavy stone steps which nobody goes up and down any more.

The bamboo grove of Hokoku-ji

A moss-covered stone image of Kannon is standing still in the thick bamboo grove.

In this quiet place, the passage of time suddenly disappears and the foreverness comes in gently.

The bamboo grove of Hokoku-ji

In the height of summer, these young bamboo trees are eager to reach the glaring sun.

The bamboo grove of Hokoku-ji

The sunshine filtering through the leaves of bamboo are flickering softly in the lazy wind of summer.

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers in Jochi-ji

The blue and white flowers of Gaku-ajisai are blooming modestly by the small pond in this peaceful garden.

By the presence of the forbidden stone-bridge arching over the pond, the tranquil beauty and subtle meaning of this old garden are deepened still more.

Ajisai (Hydrangea flowers in Jochi-ji

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers in Jochi-ji