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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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September 26, 2005
Koishikawa Botanical Garden: The Trees on the Hill...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography


The upper portion of the park (both in elevation and orientation on the map) is devoted largely to tree species. I left off the last post at the beginning of the area in which cherry trees and other flowering fruit trees are in prominent display.


These cherry (Sakura) trees are not the huge ancient trees that I've seen in other parts of Japan, but they have a great deal of character and are beautifully spread...

(Warning: 18 beautiful pictures follow...)


As you walk along the cherry hallway there are some other sights in between the trees. This fountain houses some water grasses and floating plants. You can see part of the greenhouse complex behind.


There's another great specimen of the Pampas Grass along the way as well.


The cherry tree hallway gives way to a grove of a variety of very large trees. This, believe it or not, is a Ginkgo. In about 8 weeks this tree will be blazing yellow with it's beautifully fan-shaped leaves. This monster is one of several that I saw in this grove. Did you know that our Ginkgos in the US came from Japan? (And that Japan's probably came from China?)


Underneath the canopy of large trees are some interesting ground plants.


This is not blooming season at this garden - but there was this ubiquitous exception. I am in the process of finding out what this flower is - I believe that it is a variety of wild orchid. They are astonishingly beautiful. This flower was in full bloom all over this park and especially in small groups underneath the canopy of trees in this section. (Note on the photography: this group of flowers was in a very dark place underneath a copse of trees. I used a speed light mounted on the camera and another (remotely triggered) that I held by hand behind the subject - triggering the camera with a remote release. I like that it produced a good natural lighting without a shadow for these beautiful blooms.)


It's not a willow, but it is a very nice weeping tree. (Note the Camellia tree on the left as well.)


Up until this point, I had begun to think that this garden wasn't too much different than many arboretums that I've seen in the States. But as I walked past these large groves, I approached the end of the upper section of the park and entered an area with trees different than I have ever seen in my life. This grove of trees were 'bark-less' it appears - perhaps in the Madrona family - I don't know. But their light colored trunks and branches are visually striking.


This is a no-flash long exposure - so a pretty true color rendition of these specimens.


I really couldn't get enough of them - so I took pictures from different angles.


And different exposures. I wonder what their fall colors will be like.


These give way to a grove of trees that are almost tiger-striped - and beautifully arranged - as if more order is coming ahead.


There are a few splotches of color...


A maple is beginning to catch the fire of Fall...


Gnarled roots are exposed near the edge of the hill...


And a massive (maple?) tree seems to say: "This is the end of the tree groves. There is something else beyond." I begin to make my way beyond the trees and start down the hill.


If I saw one of these guys in my back yard, I'd pretty much freak out. I figured these palm sized spiders were just part of the fauna here.


There's a little rest house and a glimpse beyond - down the hill - a couple of football field lengths away. It looks like a big lawn and I think I see some groomed plants down there.


I start down the hill to see the original ancient garden, as it all once was, many hundreds of years ago.

I the next post, we'll explore the beautiful ponds and groomed areas of this magnificent garden as it begins to give up its secrets in the second twenty acres. A few surprises await - and a chance to chase the sun...

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People Pulling

I'd tell you how I stumbled on your site, but I have no clue. LOL The trees are lovely, however, especially the one with the exposed feet and toes (roots). Thanks for sharing them.

EMCEE: Thanks for stopping by Kitchenmage - I enjoyed looking over at your site as well - looks like some good cooking going on down by the Columbia.

Posted by: kitchenmage at Sep 26, 2005 4:34:10 PM

Sanctuary! ... except for the spider ... I'm checking the screens ...

EMCEE: Yes, a very nice place m'lady. More great pics coming up as well.

That spider was quite the shock to see. Don't think I've ever seen one on a web that large.

Posted by: Diana at Sep 26, 2005 8:33:07 PM

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