Several weeks ago I posted a photo on Facebook of a Dunce Cap succulent in my garden that was producing a death bloom. (See the top photo) This is a tower of buds that indicates the main plant is going to die, but not before producing a lot of seeds. I had never seen this before and so was curious about what would happen next.
Well, it has been so interesting to watch! First, the blooms extended up to the top of the tower and then, over time, proceeded to turn pink and then reddish. (See the last 2 photos.) Currently, all that is left are dried, brown stalks but, of course, all the pups that had been sent out from the old plant are doing well. So, now I know! It's such an interesting plant!
Several weeks ago, we spent some time Koya San, up in the mountains of Nara. It was founded in 819 as the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and has grown to be a huge temple complex. Currently there are over 120 temples and these are spread out over several kilometers. It's considered one of Japan's most sacred landmarks and has been a World Heritage Site since 2004.
Of course, the temples are beautiful and there is much to see and do in the village. However, I most enjoyed Okunoin, the largest cemetery in Japan. While that may sound creepy, in fact, I found the experience quite moving. The path through the cemetery is two-kilometers and over 200,000 gravestones line the path. As I slowly wandered my way along, past aging gravestones dripping with moss, my thoughts turned to loss, remembrance, and the passing of time. This is part of the reality of being human...
For more about Koya San: https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/city-guide-koyasan
For more about Okunoin: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4901.html
The days are getting shorter and colder and it is clear that autumn is coming to an end. Trees are shedding their leaves and the bright colours of the past month are becoming more and more difficult to find. I always have regrets this time of year, wishing that I had gone out more to enjoy the fall colours. But, it can't be helped, really. I don't think one ever goes out enough when enjoying nature is involved!
These photos were taken at a local park last week. Ah, those colours!
On the weekend, my husband and I made a rare visit to ATC on one the man-made islands linked to Osaka. ATC stands for The Asia and Pacific Trade Center and it was built during a time when Japan was flush with money and had dreams of a booming economic future. For many years it was full of interesting shops and restaurants and was a popular date destination. When we lived in closer we often visited ATC since it was one of the few places in Osaka where you could enjoy the ocean waterfront.
Sadly, much has changed since then. We were struck by how empty the place was - both of shops and restaurants, and of people. The waterfront is still beautiful but on that evening there was hardly a soul around - only a few people on their way to the ferry terminal next door.
Photo 1: Heading to ATC via the walkway from the Hyatt Hotel at dusk.
Photo 2: Part of the ATC waterfront area looking towards the overnight ferry to Kyushu.
Next to my workplace is a lovely park with a pond and a small court where the locals play tennis or do outdoor exercises. I rarely have the chance to visit it but I always look at it wistfully through the bus window as we pass by. Today, as I left to return home, the sun was golden and so I decided that today was the day! Surely I could find 20 minutes in my schedule to go and enjoy the park. And so I did. This was what was waiting for me... (If you look carefully, you can see someone walking along the path. Hope that gives you some sense of scale.) (I didn't have my camera with me so took a chance with my mini iPad. Pretty happy with the results.)
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.