Tag Archives: flowers

Flowering Weeds in Early Spring

In March and April the Japanese countryside comes to life as weeds appear along fields and streams, anywhere with soil. Some of these plants are known for medicinal properties, and some are gathered as food. Most are ignored or cut down.

This year I’m trying to learn the names of flowering weeds as they appear in nearby fields and along the Yasugawa riverbank in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. This photo gallery includes some of the flowers I’ve seen from the beginning of March until mid-April, 2018.

Many of the flowers are tiny! Most of these photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk. II camera and a 60mm f/2.8 macro lens, which I showed on Twitter.

Aging Camellia Flowers

On February 2, 2018, I was looking at a hedge of camellias behind the Ritto City Library (Shiga Prefecture, Japan). Some of the flowers were wilting. As I began to photograph individual flowers, I realized that the aging camellia flowers showed a lot individuality, each displaying a unique shape, texture, and color pattern.

Of course, most photos of camellias (ツバキ) show young flowers. Perhaps we become programmed to think of beauty as something fresh and flawless.

I’m sure many people see aging camellia flowers as ugly, but I wonder if that’s because they don’t look closely at each one as an individual. If we set aside our assumptions about beauty as youthful perfection, we can appreciate details that give character to each old flower.

Camellias (ツバキ)

Camellias (ツバキ) in the garden behind Ritto City Library

Water lilies in mid-September

In the middle of September some Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン) and other aquatic plants are blooming at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森). Many of the flowers look a bit tired and wilted, but a few continue to stun visitors with their beauty.

Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン) and other aquatic plants

Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン) and other aquatic plants at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)

Water lilies (スイレン) and Victoria cruziana (パラグアイオニバス)

Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン) and huge Victoria cruziana (Santa Cruz water lily, パラグアイオニバス) leaves at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)

Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン)

Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン) at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)

Water lily (Nymphaea, スイレン)

Water lily (Nymphaea, スイレン) at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)

Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン)

Water lilies (Nymphaea, スイレン) at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)

Water lily (Nymphaea, スイレン)

Water lily (Nymphaea, スイレン) at the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)

Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森

I feel very fortunate to live near the Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森).

From my home it is only a 25-minute drive. Since I am over 65 and a local resident, it costs only ¥150 to see such beauty in a well-maintained environment.

White-eyes in Camellias at Hatonomori Park

Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (守山市の鳩の森公園) has small grove of sasanqua camellias (カンツバキ) along a small stream. They bloom in early December.

Sasanqua camellias (Camellia sasanqua  カンツバキ) in Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Sasanqua camellias (Camellia sasanqua カンツバキ) in Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Moriyama City

Sasanqua camellias (Camellia sasanqua  カンツバキ) in Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Sasanqua camellias (Camellia sasanqua カンツバキ) in Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Moriyama City

In mid-December Japanese white-eyes (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) gather in the camellias. These photos were taken on December 17 and 19, 2016.

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園), Kojima-cho, Moriyama City

Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) in a camellia tree at Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園) in Moriyama

See more of my photos on Flickr: Greg Peterson in Japan.

Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City

I often ride a bicycle from my home in Ritto City down along Yasugawa to Moriyama, and then on city streets over to Hatonomori Park. Usually it’s a quiet place, except when people play ground golf, and often wild birds can been seen in the trees. Last August I posted a recording and some photos:

Hatonomori Park in Summer

As we can see on the map, the park is in a residential district of a small city. As of November 30, 2016, the city reported a population of 81,126 Japanese and 858 foreigners (自治会別・地区別人口). More information about Moriyama City is on the city website in Japanese (滋賀県守山市).

Small truck driving away from camera on a narrow street.

Recycling Collection Truck at Hayashi Kita

On May 5, 2014, a quiet and gloomy holiday here in Ritto, the loudest sound was the loudspeaker of a recycling collection truck that slowly drove around the neighborhood. Such trucks often come on Sundays and holidays. I recorded this one at the Hayashi Kita intersection as it made a loop around the Hayashi neighborhood.

Under the pedestrian overpass I noticed some wild flowers.

Low angle photo from under a pedestrian overpass

Wild flowers growing under the Hayashi Kita pedestrian overpass, with fields and a mountain in the background.

This poppy will win no beauty contests, but it’s doing okay considering its location.

Closeup of a wild poppy, with one petal in upper right turned down.

Wild poppy at Hayashi Kita intersection

I suppose these weeds will be cut by a maintenance crew, but for now they’re surviving and adding a little natural color.