Currently Browsing: Times of the year

On the day after an autumn rain


Acorns falling

Frogs jumping

Leaves scattering

With you


On the day after an autumn rain everything moves one deeply. The fields are woven in a brocade of color. In the woods, under the oak trees, acorns fall in a torrent. Light evening rain; frogs cross a dirt road in the black night jumping everywhere.

We make up poetry.




I suddenly looked around

It’s late September and yesterday was the first day of autumn – officially. The days have been getting colder but I’ve been more concerned about the drought we’re in and the new plants I need to keep watered to notice much else.

But today I drove to town and everything seems to have changed. Even the most ordinary things are beautiful:  farm fields, newly harvested squash, an old rusty fence.









In the ninth month – Hagi

In one of the most poignant scenes of The Tale of Genji when Murasaki is dying, she writes her last poem:

“So briefly rests the dew upon the hagi
Even now it scatters in the wind.”

I associate Hagi with all the poetry and romanticism of Japan and it was one of the first things I planted in my garden. I love how it cascades over my front porch in the autumn.


front porch edit-sm

A ‘Hagi’ Bush Clover in September. It spills over my front porch.

Bush Clover ( Lespedeza Japonica), known in Japan as ‘Hagi’, is one of the seven grasses of autumn and is mentioned in hundreds of verses of the Manyoshu poetry anthology compiled in the 9th century. Hagi is associated with dew and fleeting qualities of life.

In the Hein period of Sei Shonagaon, clothing was formal and women wore many layers of kimono. Color combination of the layers was of prime importance and the names given to the colors were associated with nature, usually plants and flowers. There was a ‘Hagi’ combination of maroon over spring-shoot green, worn only in the autumn.

When I was in Japan I saw Hagi growing everywhere. Brushwood fences are even made from it’s branches.

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Brushwood fence at the Imperial Palace, Kyoto.

Brush fence Shimogama Shrine

Brush fence Shimogama Shrine

Hagi, just beginning to bloom, at Byodo-in.



Almost the shortest day of the year

It is now dark at about 4:30PM.

My simple lights run from XXD battery

My simple lights run from XXD battery

But look at what some of my neighbors have done. Where are they running the electric lines from?

In the past this is something I would NEVER attempt for reasons of taste and economics – all that electric drain – but somehow lately I have been intrigued.



Enjoy the dark nights and Merry Christmas to all.


Bunny cake – among life’s most splendid things

It’s Easter and my sister made a bunny cake.

I contributed the ears and tail made from meringue. The nose is a blackberry and the eyes licorice jelly beans.

We  colored some cocoanut green and spread it around the bunny to look like grass.

It’s really easy to make. Here’s a diagram. Be sure to put frosting between the two halves. Don’t make paper ears. Make meringue. Color a small amount pink for the inside of the ears.

Here’s a better photo, but we still haven’t put in the grass!


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