March 26, 2014
“Since every variety of tree and plant comes into bloom in its own time in one of the four seasons, we prize the timeliness and rarity of the blooming of each. . . . Now what we call hana or ‘flowering,’ what we call ‘interesting,’ and what we call ‘rarity’ are not three separate things but really one and the same. But all flowers eventually are scattered, none stays in bloom. And it is precisely because it blooms and perishes that a flower holds our interest as something rare. . . . to know the flowering is first of all to know that nothing abides.”
– Zeami, from Kadensho, translated by William LaFleur
“Death is the mother of Beauty.”
– Wallace Stevens
Cherry blossom viewing carries with it a Japanese sensibility, the awareness of the ephemeral. It is heartening to see such a diverse group of people enjoying the magnificent blooming cherry trees on the University of Washington campus. These Yoshino cherry trees are a natural wonder.
March 25, 2014
“March brings too much too fast.”
– Hazel Heckman, Island Year
Yes, I am finding that March is bringing too much too fast. I am feeling behind, and as much as I’d love to sit down and paint some flowers, I can’t find the time. Here is a small sample of what’s bursting into bloom right now. I took all of these photos this morning in my neighborhood.
March 30, 2013
“Merrily, merrily shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bow.”
– William Shakespeare
A few days of sunshine have popped the buds on the cherry trees on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The trees are in their glory, all blushing white.
How fortunate we are to have these lovely cherry trees in Seattle. The other Washington (D.C.) celebrated its cherry blossom festival’s 100th anniversary last year. I still have a few commemorative stamps left over. I’ll have to use them on the letters I write this month.
March 27, 2013
“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
– Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Each spring we have our own cherry blossom viewing opportunity in Seattle. Among the best places to view the spectacle is the Quad on the University of Washington campus. Last week when I went, the trees were in bud, and I could see that the peak of cherry blossom time was just days away. A few blossoms were open in clusters on the bark of the trees. One tree, situated over a warm air vent, even sported branches in full blossom.
April 15, 2012
Spring has sprung around Green Lake, and the sights from the walking path around the lake are just lovely. Warmer weather brings more people out to our cherished city park.
April 4, 2012
Just spreading the news. Several of my cherry blossom photos have been published in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, our city’s online newspaper. You can link to them here.
This post is a gift of armchair travel to my readers who do not live in Seattle. If you are a resident of Seattle, I urge you to go to the University of Washington to view the cherry blossoms. Now! The lovely Yoshino cherry trees are full of cascading blossoms and I’m afraid the peak will be over soon. You really don’t want to miss this sight.
I’ve enjoyed hanami in Seattle, viewing these cherry blossoms, for many years. The blooming trees are so picturesque, but it is getting harder and harder to make fresh and interesting photographs of the spectacle. I try to bring new eyes, but it’s still challenging. This year, I decided to play around with black and white and also with some of the photo manipulation edits on Picasa. I’ll share some of these experiments at the end of this post. Enjoy!
May 3, 2011
These cherry blossoms are an explosion of pink:
April 12, 2011
This week is National Library Week, and I celebrated by visiting a few of the libraries on the University of Washington campus. The UW Visitor’s Center has a map of the various libraries on campus, some of which are housed in their departments. I didn’t have time to stop in at all of them.
April 11, 2011
Our cool, gray Seattle spring is prolonging the cherry blossom season here. Sakura, or cherry blossoms, are so lovely this year.
Garr Reynolds, one of the bloggers I follow at Presentation Zen, recently wrote about the cherry blossoms in Japan, where he is living (you can link to his blog here: http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2011/04/spring-cherry-blossoms-give-hope-to-new-beginnings.html). He writes about the symbolism of the short-lived blossoms, and finding the lesson in nature that ” life is precious and short and must not be wasted.” Sakura also symbolize “starting a new chapter in life or of starting over with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.”
Mr. Reynolds has close ties with Japan, and I found one of his earlier posts about the resilience of the Japanese one of the best things I’ve read about the recent earthquake, tsunami, and its aftermath. You can read his post by linking here: http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2011/03/fall-down-seven-times-get-up-eight-the-power-of-japanese-resilience.html.
I think about his words as I enjoy our cherry blossom season in Seattle.