March 6-20 is Keichitsu (啓蟄) – Insects awaken – in the traditional 24-season Japanese calendar. March 11-15, the middle of its three micro-seasons, is Momo hajimete saku (桃始笑), when peach blossoms begin to bloom. I photographed some flowers on three of the five days of Momo hajimete saku.

March 12

On March 12th my wife and I visited the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森). Almond blossoms (Prunus dulcis, アーモンド) on one small tree were beginning to bloom.

Almond blossoms (アーモンド)
Almond blossoms (アーモンド)
Almond blossoms (アーモンド)
Almond blossoms (アーモンド)
Almond blossoms (アーモンド)
Almond blossoms (アーモンド)
Almond blossoms (アーモンド)
Almond blossoms at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens

March 13

On March 13th I rode my mountain bike to Yasu City, up Oyamakawa (大山川) and Koyamagawa (小山川) to the Botanical Gardens in Omifuji Green Park (近江富士花緑公園).

Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica, クサボケ)
Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica, クサボケ)
Henbit dead-nettle flowers (Lamium amplexicaule, ホトケノザ)
Henbit dead-nettle (Lamium amplexicaule, ホトケノザ)
Henbit dead-nettle flowers (Lamium amplexicaule, ホトケノザ)
Henbit dead-nettle (Lamium amplexicaule, ホトケノザ)
Muscari (Muscari armeniacum, ムスカリ, grape hyacinth, ブドウヒアシンス)
Muscari (Muscari armeniacum, ムスカリ, grape hyacinth, ブドウヒアシンス)
Muscari (Muscari armeniacum, ムスカリ, grape hyacinth, ブドウヒアシンス)
Muscari (Muscari armeniacum, ムスカリ, grape hyacinth, ブドウヒアシンス)
Pink cherry blossoms (桜)
Pink cherry blossoms (桜)
Pink cherry blossoms (桜)
Pink cherry blossoms (桜)
Pink cherry blossoms (桜)
Pink cherry blossoms (桜) and Araya Muddy Fox mountain bike
Korean rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum var. ciliatum, ゲンカイツツジ)
Korean rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum var. ciliatum, ゲンカイツツジ)
Korean rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum var. ciliatum, ゲンカイツツジ)
Korean rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum var. ciliatum, ゲンカイツツジ)
Korean rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum var. ciliatum, ゲンカイツツジ)
Korean rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum var. ciliatum, ゲンカイツツジ)

March 15

On March 15th I photographed only a bunch of late-blooming daffodils at Takano Shrine (滋賀県 栗東市 高野神社).

Daffodils
Daffodils

During Momo hajimete saku (桃始笑) the weather was not great, but I was able to get outdoors and see some flowers. I did not photograph the few peach blossoms that I saw from a distance, but other flowers were accessible and photogenic. Now I’m looking forward to spring as rural Shiga Prefecture becomes green and alive with flora and fauna.

See more photos in my Flickr photostream or one of my albums.

Published by Greg Peterson

Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Notre Dame University (1977-2020). Since 1980 I have lived in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where I enjoy outdoor activities, especially photography, hiking, and cycling.

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