Flowering Bush in Tokyo, Japan

Spring is Around the Corner

Believe it or not, Spring is not far around the corner! Personally I can’t wait for winter to be over, but this realization got me thinking about Sakura. I am not traveling quite as much as in years past. Part of me is really sad about this, but it also makes me thing about the Buddhist meaning of this time in Japan. The cherry blossoms live only for around 10 days and they are a reminder of impermanence. Nothing can last forever, but despite inevitable mortality, spring will come again.

I found this flowering bush (or maybe tree) while viewing Sakura. The closer brighter blossom was nearly perfect, it too made me thing while circumambulating the Shinobazu Pond that while the Sakura gets all the attention, there is beauty all around.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 9 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: Flowering Bush in Tokyo, Japan

Cactus Flower Oahu, Hawaii

Visiting Bee

As I hiked up Lanikai Mountain in Oahu I came across this lonely cactus. It had been abused by unkind passers by, stepped on, trampled and cut. I noticed however a lovely flower. Regardless of its pain and abuse by the world, it produced something beautiful. While I was noticing this, a bee seemed very happy to visit the lonely and discarded wretch on that dry hill. I took this as a divine lesson, and try to keep it in my heart.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 27 May, 2015
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s
  • Title: Cactus Flower Oahu, Hawaii

Sakura Blossoms in Ueno Park

Sakura

I get why the Japanese have a word specifically for cherry blossoms and another for the viewing of these wonderful flowers. My visit to Japan this last April was toward the end of the blossoming season, just at the start of the fall. There is an otherworldly beauty, not unlike snow, but different all the same, as the still cool breeze blows and petals fall, gently invade all your senses. I think for me Hanami is a perfect explosion of color after the desolateness of Winter. Wrapped, surviving in the cold, then one day the beautiful promise of Spring.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4.5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 9 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 31mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s
  • Title: Sakura Blossoms in Ueno Park

Lanterns on Display for Sakura

Cherry Trees!

I have wanted to visit Japan in late March or early April some time for the Sakura. There are numerous places in the world that have flowering trees. Our own state is gorgeous with dogwood, redbud and apricot trees, but getting to experience Hanami (flower viewing) in person is something a bit otherworldly. This location is in Ueno Park, a part of Tokyo I had not yet visited. Lanterns had been strung to keep the viewing going even after dark and there are hundreds of people and groups having a picnic under the falling petals.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 9 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 23mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Lanterns on Display for Sakura

White Japanese Chrysanthemum

Huge Flowers

My mother is the gardener in the family. I realized very quickly after moving into my own home, some years ago that I prefer to see gardens rather than participate in their cultivation. Visiting the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, something I most always do when visiting Tokyo I found these Chrysanthemums. This particular white was much bigger than a softball or my hand. I imagine it takes a great deal of patience to grow a flower this large and beautiful.

Photo Technical Info

Lotus Blossoms in Bali

From the Depths

From the deep cold darkness the lotus awakens. It’s beauty perhaps only surpassed by it’s journey and determination to survive, to blossom. It fights to spend what time it has in the glory of the sun. It grows to sway in the gentle warm breeze. I can see why Buddhists find such inspiration in this, beautiful little flower.

Photo Technical Info

Orchid on the Climb Up Machu Picchu Mountain

Altitude

I didn’t do fantastic in the altitude of Peru. I have tested the limits and I think I am good to 10,000 feet. After that I need to start talking with my doctor! Short stents at altitude aren’t going to bother most people, but the time we spent in Cusco (over 11,000 feet) made me ill. It was much like having the flu, without any of the normal fever. I don’t know how these orchids do it, but they are part of the beauty of hiking MontaƱa (Machu Picchu Mountain).

Photo Technical Info