The last days of summer 2018 in Shiga Prefecture have been mostly cloudy, with quite a bit of rain and very little sunshine. Whenever it was not raining too hard, I went out with a camera most days September 11-19, 2018.
September 11 – insects in a garden, Yasugawa, nearby fields
Physostegia virginiana flowers (obedience, ハナトラノオ) in a neighbor’s garden attract many butterflies, moths, bees, and other insects.
Yasugawa has been running high but not at flood levels.
Late in the afternoon local farmers were hurrying to harvest their rice before rain the following day.
September 14 – Takano
As soon as the rain stopped in mid afternoon, I walked to Takano Park, just a few minutes from my house. Along the way neighbors’ flowers caught my attention.
In Takano Park a few small creatures appeared after the rain.
September 15 – Yasugawa riverbank, fields in Deba
Scilla scilloides flowers(Barnardia japonica, ツルボ) have begun to bloom along the Yasugawa riverbank. Other flowers grow nearby.
Great egrets and grey herons hunt for fish nearby in the river. Most days a few of these large birds can be seen in nearby fields.
September 16 – Yasugawa riverbank
In late afternoon I was able to take only a few photos along the river before I got rained out.
September 17 – Mizunomori Aquatic Botanical Garden
Kusatsu City Mizunomori Aquatic Botanical Garden (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森) is one of my favorite places. It’s a short drive from my home and usually not too crowded.
On September 17th a large display of Canna flowers stood near the entrance in front of the fountain.
A large number of water lilies are in ponds,
an outdoor tank,
and the Atrium.
Quite a few flowers were blooming in various outdoor locations.
Giant Hibiscus ‘titanbicus’ were blooming near the entrance.
September 18 – Yasu City
The sun appeared now and then as I rode my mountain bike across the river to Yasu City and up Oyamakawa to Sakura Ryokuchi Park. Along the way I stopped to photograph red spider lilies along rice paddies.
September 19 – Rokujizo and Misono
Sunshine! I rode my mountain bike south from my home in Ritto City, first nearby to Rokujizo, where we can see several varieties of flowers in the neighborhood and along Hayamagawa.
Up the valley in Misono red spider lilies bloom along the terraced fields.
In Kamitoyama I saw some globe amaranth flowers in a small garden. As I was admiring the flowers, a painted lady butterfly appeared.
I often see a grey heron at Konzegawa in Misono on my way home. The bird ignores me when I pass along the bike path. If I stop nearby, it flies.
In late summer and early fall rural Japan changes dramatically. Various flowers bloom, colorful butterflies and moths become very active when the weather permits, and fields become empty as farmers harvest their rice. Sometimes it seems gloomy, but even when the sky is dark, there is always something to see if we take time to look closely.