March 31, 2013

Wat Pho, the temple of the reclining Buddha (Bangkok, Thailand)

I traveled in Thailand last week. This photograph of the Buddha entering nirvana is one of the unforgettable souvenirs of this exciting travel. 

When I returned to Kita-kamakura, cherry blossoms and other spring flowers had already come into full bloom to adorn the gardens with their dazzling colors.

Because the life of a flower is very short and seasons are changing rapidly, I have to busy myself over recording the fleeting beauty of living things on photographs in this bright springtime.

March 16, 2013

Mitsumata (Edgeworthia chrysantha) and Ume ( (Prunus mume) flowers in Tokei-ji

The enchanting colors of flowers are returning gradually to the gardens of Zen, together with the delightful spring warbles of birds among the leafy trees and the pleasant fragrances in the balmy breeze.

Every flower blooms and scatters for letting us wake up to the transient but precious beauty of our world.

In Buddhist culture, a flower symbolizes the infinite mercy and wisdom of Buddha.

Ume (Prunus mume) flowers in Engaku-ji

Ume (Prunus mume) flowers in Tokei-ji

Ume (Prunus mume) flowers in Engaku-ji

Kawazu-zakura (Cerasus lannesiana Carrière, 1872 'Kawazu-zakura') flowers in Engaku-ji

Ume (Prunus mume) flowers in Engaku-ji

Ume (Prunus mume) flowers in Jochi-ji

Mitsumata (Edgeworthia chrysantha) flowers in Jochi-ji

Ume (Prunus mume) flowers in Tokei-ji

March 1, 2013

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

The long gloomy winter is over and spring has returned quietly together with its fragrant beauty.

The fresh bright colors of flowers and leaves are coming back to our gardens with hurried steps one after another to remind us of the true joy of life.

The countless buds of flowers and leaves, which have swollen fully in the cold of winter, are momently looking forward to the long-awaited days for their bursting out in the mild spring sunlight.

Suisen (Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis) flowers in Engaku-ji

The flowers of narcissus are in full bloom in the spring gardens of Kita-kamakura. 

Usually these flowers bloom in midwinter and give off a pleasant fragrance in the chilly scentless air.

In the sunny gardens where spring has awakened, the delightful aroma of ume flowers is pervading the warm air and innocently concealing the precious fragrance of these late-blooming narcissus flowers.

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

This bright azure blue of the clear sky was eagerly expected in the long gray winter.

The pure white flowers of ume are vigorously beginning to bloom with one accord to genuinely welcome the arrival of spring.

Otome-tsubaki (Camellia japonica f. otome) flower in Engaku-ji

Without being seen, a flower of Otome-tsubaki is in bloom secretly under the leaves.

When the cherry blossoms bloom in April, such tsubaki flowers, which consoled us with their bright colors in almost flowerless winter, disappear mostly from our gardens.

The word "otome" means "a young lady," which well suits the elegant figure of this double-petal flower.

Jyugatsu-sakura (Prunus subhirtella Miq. var. autumnalis Makino) flowers in Tokei-ji

The pale pink flowers of Jyugatsu-sakura are blossoming inconspicuously on the the leafless branches arched across the narrow grove path.

"Jyugatsu-sakura" means "October sakura" and its flowers modestly blossom in October and April.

This flower can be seen throughout winter as a humble but precious flower in this cold gloomy season.

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

The scarlet flowers of ume are gorgeously blooming as if to express their joy of meeting the spring again.

Until next winter comes, as the seasons change, the gardens of Zen are successively decorated with the bright colors of various flowers and leaves.

Fukujyu-so (Adonis ramosa) flowers in Engaku-ji

The vivid yellow flowers of Hukujyu-so are blooming in a rush as if to be surprised by the early arrival of spring.

These flowers generally bloom in the cold season (in February and early in March) before the warmth of spring spreads through the air.

For standing the coldness, this flower closes when it doesn't get enough sunlight and it opens again when it catches the sun once more. 

The word "Hukyju" means "happiness and longevity."

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

The silky white flowers of ume are smiling with joy in the pleasant spring sunlight. 

Soon ume flowers will come into full bloom and fill the bright gardens with their graceful beauty and sweet fragrance.