September 28, 2021

Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach

Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach


Without my noticing, the sky has become filled with countless shredded clouds. The slowly sinking sun is casting the gradations of vermilion glow and gradually dyeing the sea, the sky and the clouds with its remaining fire.

Clouds always appear from out of nowhere in the sky and float away on the wind. Like having their own souls, they constantly change their shapes and, then, suddenly disappear into thin air.

The dusky night has just begun to descend in the sky, and the soft brilliance of the evening sea continues fading out moment by moment.


Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach

Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach


As the sun sinks into the sea, the gradually fading sunlight illuminates the sky and the sea with a variety of subtle colors and shades.

The intense sunshine of summer weakens, and the crisp atmosphere of autumn gradually takes over. The decrease in air moisture brings the transparency of the sky and makes the sunset glow shine more vividly on the western horizon.

Before sundown, the cool sea breeze keeps blowing gently as if to murmur that autumn evening has just returned now.


Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach

Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach


The sun has already sunk beyond the cape, and the golden afterglow is spreading through the gaps between the dark low clouds covering up the sky.

Although the thick lower layers of clouds have lost their brightness and have turned into dark blue, the upper layers of the torn clouds are still shining softly with the few remaining light emitted by the setting sun.

The calm waves are unceasingly washing the sands to make them sparkle dimly in the deepening dusk of the evening.


Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach

Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach

 

Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach

Before sundown: Zaimokuza-beach

 

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Kaizo-ji

 

Higanbana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Engaku-ji

Higanbana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Engaku-ji

 

Higanbana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Engaku-ji

Higanbana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Engaku-ji


Tama-ajisai (Hydrangea involucrata) flowers: Jochi-ji

Tama-ajisai (Hydrangea involucrata) flowers: Jochi-ji

 

Bamboo: Jochi-ji

Bamboo: Jochi-ji

 

Tsumagurohyomon (Argyreus hyperbius) butterfly (female): Kaizo-ji

Tsumagurohyomon (Argyreus hyperbius) butterfly (female): Kaizo-ji

 

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers ; Kita-kamakura

Hagi (Lespedeza); Kita-kamakura

 

Skipper butterfly: Kita-kamakura

Skipper butterfly: Kita-kamakura

 

Takanoha-susuki (zebra grass): Jochi-ji

Takanoha-susuki (zebra grass): Jochi-ji

 

September 12, 2021

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)


The soft vermilion light that the setting sun emits is increasingly blending with the blue-gray of the floating cumulus clouds to create the ever-changing violet sky above the tranquil evening sea.

The tender brilliance of the sky is reflected on the silvery surface of the finely rippled sea. 

Although the sun is gently sinking beyond the sea and the night is closing in gradually, the people on the beach are still staying here to cherish the glow of embers of this summer day.


Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)


The sun is gradually sinking beyond the distant horizon. Illuminated by the remaining flames of the setting sun, the wavy flakes of altocumulus clouds are shining brightly in the dark blue sky like the countless tufts of silvery-white feathers of the mythical bird which lives in the sky.

The ever-changing radiance of the sun is beautifully coloring this serene seascape to reveal one of the most stunning spectacles of this watery planet for a brief moment before sundown.

 

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)


In the pale evening light, the sea keeps rippling unceasingly and gleaming like a satin-finished surface of silver. The thin blue clouds are drifting and fading away quietly in the pleasant sea breeze.

The faint afterglow is tinting the shimmering surface of the sea and the sky above the horizon with a variety of reddish gold colors.

The continuous transformation of this blue seascape before my eyes makes me notice the ever-lasting movement of this planet earth. 


Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

 

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

 

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Sunset in blue: Morito-beach (Hayama)

 

Summer blue sky: Yuigahama-beach

Summer blue sky: Yuigahama-beach

 

Summer blue sky: Yuigahama-beach

Summer blue sky: Yuigahama-beach

 

July 27, 2021

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)


The long rainy season has finally ended, and the glaring sun of high summer has just begun to shine in the boundless azure sky. Absorbing the dazzling sunlight thirstily, sacred lotus flowers are emerging one after another from muddy water. 


In Asia, particularly in China, sacred lotus flowers are traditionally admired as the auspicious sign which symbolizes fertility, longevity, and prosperity.


Lotus flowers still retain the characteristics of the primitive flowers blooming in faraway ancient times, which makes me imagine the forgotten stories of life in the vast history of this planet.


Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)


In Amida-kyo (Amida Sutra) of Mahayana Buddhism, it is taught that in the paradise called the Pure Land of Amitabha, sacred lotus flowers are blooming beautifully everywhere. 

A lotus flower is said to represent the virtues of those who are to born into the Pure Land. The lotus grows in the mud, but it does not get stained by the mud and produces pure, noble flowers on the water.

When those who have righteous faith pass on to the Pure Land, they will suddenly dwell in the base of a large flower-bud of lotus rising in a large pond. At this moment, all women will also become men, and, as the lotus flower blooms, they will become eternal residents of the Pure Land of Amidanyorai.


Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)


The crimson and silky-white lotus flowers are daintily blooming in the blazing midday sun, leaning close to each other as if to talk together secretly. 

I feel I could hear these lotus flowers whisper calmly about the splendor of this universe, the swift turning of seasons, the merciful blessings from the sun, the busy movement of the insects that visit them, the success of pollination, the end of their flowering, and so on.


Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)


In ancient India, the lotus flower has been a symbol of all kinds of good fortune, including power, creativity, fertility, prosperity, and longevity.

Many deities of Indian mythology are depicted in various ways in combination with lotus flowers. 

Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, beauty and fertility, stands on a red lotus flower and holds red lotus flowers in both hands. Lakshmi is also known as Kisshoten in Japan.

Goddess Saraswati, known as Benzaiten in Japan, is often depicted sitting on a white lotus flower. Saraswati is the beautiful goddess of learning, wealth, music, and art.

In Hinduism, there is a myth that Brahman, known as the ultimate reality of the universe, was born out of the lotus flower that extended from the navel of the god Vishnu.


Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)



 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

July 11, 2021

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Chojyu-ji


Surprised by the pleasant fragrance drifting slowly in the air, I noticed that there were the brilliant flowers of golden‐rayed lily blooming silently in a cluster by the side of the stone steps leading up to the temple gate.

The purple and blue flowers of hydrangeas, which have passed their prime, were staying close beside the fresh white flowers of the lily, as if to tell that their role as the flowers of season will end before long.

As plants already know, soon the gray, thick clouds of the rainy season will disappear completely from the sky and the dazzling sun of summer will begin to rule this world.


Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji


As the end of the rainy season approaches, the hydrangea flowers, which have continued to change their hues and shades under the chemistry of the rain water, have reached the summit of their metamorphosis and are taking on graceful and subtle nuance of blue and red colors.

No matter how excellent an artist painter is, it must be impossible to create these mysterious colors on his palette.

Probably nobody knows why hydrangea flowers continue to vary their colors and figures in the rain. They will soon dry up and lose their splendor without allowing me to know the answer.


 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji


A bamboo grove is one giant living organism in its entirety and its countless green stalks are coming out from a single web of underground stems.

As the sunlight and heat of summer increase gradually towards the end of the rainy season, the bamboo grove continues to grow more and more vigorously and are filling this shady garden with its gentle blaze of life force.

As if to perceive the abundant life force that is pervading this grove, the pale flames of the hydrangea flowers are burning calmly in a corner of this green garden.


Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

 

Water lily pond: Kaizo-ji

Water lily pond: Kaizo-ji

 

Natsu-tubaki (Stewartia pseudocamellia) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Natsu-tubaki (Stewartia pseudocamellia) flowers: Kaizo-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura



 

June 26, 2021

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura


The gentle magenta tint of the water-lily flower is emphasizing the vividness of the purplish-blue hydrangea flowers and the intense green leaves.

The brief interlude of sunshine during the overcast days, which foretells the brilliant summer sunlight, causes the momentary appearance of the magical combination of colors and figures unique to this rainy season.

As precious gifts from the planet earth, flowers give us the wonderful representation of each season and silently teach us the transitoriness of living things in this world.