October 21, 2012

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Engaku-ji

The white flowers of Higan-bana are blooming quietly in the mellow illumination from the gentle October sun.

At the outset of autumn, its flower stalk having no leaf grows high above the ground and then five to seven slender flowers bloom sideways in a cyclic manner at the tip of the flower stalk.

Late in autumn, after such a flower scatters, deep green leaves appear and pass the winter. In spring, this plant disappears totally from view and live as a bulb in the ground until next autumn comes. 

A Hozuki (Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii) fruit in Engaku-ji

After the pale yellow flower of Hozuki blooms, its fruit begins to grow and its calyx develops to envelope the fruit like a vivid orange pouch.

When the fruit ripens, this pouch decays and finally becomes a finely woven basket for the vermilion fruit.

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Kaizo-ji

The red flowers of Higan-bana are blooming like immobile crimson flames in the sunny corner of the garden of late October.

Higan-bana is a poisonous and bulbous plant and bears no seed. Although its flower displays glaring colors and a magical figure, insects never visit this spectacularly flamboyant flower.

Hototogisu (Tricyrtis hirta) flowers in Tokei-ji

This plant is named "Hototogisu" because its flower petals have the scattered dots which resemble the marking on the abdomen of the migratory bird with the same name.

Hototogisu birds, which warble serenades beautifully in the midnights of early summer, had migrated south long before.

In the sunny quiet garden of late autumn, these small flowers with purple polka dots seem to be warbling inaudibly for trying to prevent this crisp season from leaving too soon.

Shumei-giku (Anemone hupehensis var. japonica)flowers in Tokei-ji

The name "Shumei-giku" means "a plant which bears chrysanthemum (Kiku)-like flowers in autumn."

Winter is drawing on bit by bit. Soon the bright colors of flowers will fade away from this garden.

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Kaizo-ji

The garden of Engaku-ji

Shoki-ran (Lycoris aurea) and Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Jochi-ji

A Shumei-giku (Anemone hupehensis var. japonica) flower in Jochi-ji

A bamboo grove in Jochi-ji

October 5, 2012

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Tokei-ji

The long summer ended finally and autumn has come round again.

In this deep green garden where every summer flower had disappeared, the vivid vermilion flowers of Higan-bana suddenly appear like bright torches flaming beneath the sky of crisp blue.

In a little while, as autumn quickly deepens, the beautiful colors of the season of ripeness will lend calm elegance to this peaceful garden certainly.

Bamboo trees in Jochi-ji

Bamboo trees are evergreen even in the severest winter and reveal different graceful appearances in every season.

The uprightness and the sword-like blades of them always touch my deepest emotions as a metaphor for a sincere and pure mind.

Sunset at Kaanapali beach, Maui Island

This photo is a favorite souvenir of my recent trip to Hawaiian Islands.

In the moment the sun had just sunk below the horizon, I seemed to see the green flashes of the setting sun.

According to a legend of Hawaiian Islands, such green flashes are believed to bring good fortune to those who see them.

Murasaki-shikibu (Callicarpa japonica) berries in Engaku-ji

This plant is named after a Japanese women author, Murasaki-sikibu, who wrote the daynastical love story titled "The Tale of Genji" in the Heian period (about 1000 AD).

The name of "Murasaki-sikibu" means "a court lady in purple."

The noble purple color of these berries, which is called "Murasaki" in Japanese, is said to bring up the image of this highborn elegant lady of romance.

A Hototogisu (Tricyrtis hirta) flower and a bee in Tokei-ji

A chubby bumblebee is flying into a small polka-dot flower of Hototogisu to seek its nectar. Soon such a buzzing bumblebee will disappear from view in this garden as autumn quietly deepens.

Mosses in Tokei-ji

Beautiful green mosses are growing peacefully on the stones in a corner of the garden without being seen.

Sion (Aster tataricus) flowers in Kaizo-ji

The light purple flowers of Sion are in full bloom in the bright and transparent sun, indicating the arrival of autumn spectacularly.

Hototogisu (Tricyrtis hirta) flowers in Jochi-ji

Endearing little polka-dotted flowers of Hototogisu are beginning to bloom one after another like newborn infants to bring the fast-fading joy of autumn to me.

Huyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flowers in Engaku-ji

Although summer has already ended, the graceful summer flowers of Huyo are still blooming brilliantly.

These flowers seem to be bidding good-bye to the bright summer sunlight which is swiftly receding into the distance.