Sunday, May 23, 2010


Since the recent heavy rains have filled up my water butt, I've been putting bucketloads of water from it into the bathtub pond.

Tonight when I went to put the remains of dinner in the compost, I spotted a dark shape on one of the flagstones by the pond.

It was the bullfrog, and tonight is probably the first night he's had a chance to get out of the pond.

Let a thousand flowers bloom

Even if they're all exactly the same type that you've seen before.

These garish things look amazing in the spring sunshine after a colourless winter. Hurrah!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A bike-ride up Mt. Takanawa

When we used to live in Osaka, I got into the habit of jumping on my bike and running for the hills to get out of the city and into some nature. Even after we moved out of the city and into nature, I continued this cycling up mountains thing until our son was old enough to start taking up most of my free time. Now that he's old enough not to require that much fatherly attention, I decided to jump on the old bike again and pedal up a mountain. Specifically, Takanawa-san which rises up gradually starting from our house (from a certain point of view).

Not without some trepidation however. The last time I went up a mountain under my own steam, I blew my left knee, and it's been blown ever since. I've been running in jika-tabi recently which has felt sort of good, but there's still an elastic band or two in my knee that feel a bit spastic.

Takanawa is the one in the distance with the antenna on top.

The steepest part is the road up from our house to the last hamlet.

Pretty soon into mixed woodland. New bamboo shoot.

You can sea the see!

Not the most perfeshnal looking cyclist. Very much the armature.

The tower at the top. You could grow a lot of peas up a frame like that!

The evidentiary photograph. The water bottles sort of prove
the bike wasn't driven up on the back of an SUV.

The view from the top

Back down in the last hamlet.
There are not two young people to rub together unfortunately.

It was a pretty good ride actually. The knee performed well in the circumstances. I sweated like a pig on the way up, and half froze on the way back down in the cool spring air. The dappled woodland arrayed on the steep slopes was most beautiful, and the songs of birds and frogs echoed marvellously all around. And I was back down in time for lunch.


We've got pink pom-pom poppies at the moment.

And delicate little petally red poppies.

The pom-pom poppies are a bit triffid-like in their intensity and exuberance.

I understand that if my intention towards these plants were suddenly to change, I'd be committing a crime. Odd thing, the law, ain't it?