Sunday, October 12, 2014

Waiting out another storm

I have a feeling that, like the last typhoon, this one is going to just amount to rain and hype. The weekly schedule goes on, rain or shine and the homeless will get their onigiri tomorrow morning, rain or shine ... well, not much shine at four am.

My sewing group met Friday and I had prepared these four blocks to pass to a member with a project in mind.

I still have not passed them on because Friday was my Cub Pack meeting and timing is everything when one does not live in the area.

Maybe next week I can pass them on. I could have made all four blocks the same but I liked the challenge of trying different lay-outs for the focus fabric and the three others I selected to go with it.

Saturday was the school's "Taisokai". Many schools hold sports days or athletic meets this time of year and Jiyu Gakkuen has a gymnastics day. I especially like the Danish gymnastics done by the boy's or girl's departments, all synchronized to music. As I watched the pre-school go through their simple race ... run to the hats, find their hat and put it on, run to the next station and pick up their notebook, then to the next station where they found their school bag, put the notebook inside and buttoned the bag, putting it over their shoulder, and raced to the finish line, I couldn't help thinking back forty some years to when my little daughter did the very same thing ... only in a very "big sister" way, as she helped all the kids who needed help and was last across the finish line.

The last part of the event is to release pigeons from their cages. The pigeons return to their school ground and an announcement is made upon the complete return.

This year the pigeons were released from the front of the field rather than the end, but otherwise very little has changed in all these years.

I have showed pictures of the athletics in the past but thought this time I might show a part of the campus that I love ...
the nature.

The Akebono-sugi, Dawn Redwood, or Metasequoia Glyptostroboides, was thought to be extinct and found only in fossils until it was discovered growing in China in 1941.

This tall pointed tree in the background must have been one of the first samples to be brought to Japan.
It is particularly nice that it was planted with enough space to grow naturally. Often these trees have to be pruned to keep them under control so this is a particularly fine sample.

In the late fall, the needles turn reddish brown and fall.

The Ginkgo, another "fossil tree" is also found growing on campus.

The Japanese Red Pine, Pinus densiflora is dying out in many places because of a pine blight carried by a beetle.

It is nice to see many large trees surviving on the campus.

Another huge tree is the Himalayan Cedar,  Cedrus deodar, The only "true cedar" in Japan, though many evergreens are referred to by  the name "cedar"

This specimen has probably undergone trimming at various times but it still is a very large tree.

Pyracantha, sometimes called "Fire Thorn", was planted long ago outside the office where the money was kept, the idea being it would protect the building from someone trying to enter through the windows.

I don't know if it ever did that job but it certainly likes the chosen spot and those bushes are very tall and thick and covered with berries (which will certainly please the local birds over the winter).

Most of the bushes looked so full of berries that one could hardly make out the leaves and thorns.

And the last piece of fall I always admire are the "Hototogisu".
The name comes from the spotted little cuckoo, a bird with a pattern similar to that of the flower's spotted corolla.

Interesting that by now the bird has left to its winter quarters. I have these in my garden at home ... rescued from a bulldozer that was turning a garden into a parking lot.

The family is Tricytis and it is often known as "Toad Lily". ... or hairy toad lily.

I hope you had or are having a pleasant weekend. I have been working on more four inch blocks, having decided to make the quilt into a standard size that might be more useful in the future to one of my kids. Maybe if it rains tomorrow......?


  1. You always have a new set of blocks to show us. Is there a day that you don't sew?
    Lovely trees and flowers in this post.
    I hope you stay safe when the typhoon comes to play.

  2. Oh I do hope the typhoon is not a big deal. A good blustery day, though, is great for staying in and doing a little stitching. The blocks are great - you are so kind to make them for your friend. I love the toad lily - and the others interesting too - fun to see what is still growing. Mostly our grass is growing from the warmish temperatures and the sunshine - but some rain is forecast - that will make it grow more - but we need the rain for winter snow pack.

  3. Tall trees and a toad lily, lovely, and the blocks, a change in the layout is great. Take care in the typhoon time. Hugs.Jean

  4. Don't forget to go to a high point when the Typhoon is past Tokyo and view Fujisan. We haven't had even a whiff of a hurricane this year or last or the year before as far as I remember. Someday we'll be in for it. My apartment in Ichikawa was across from an Elementary school so I had the benefit of hearing the practices early in the morning for several weeks before their sports day. So fun.

  5. I LOVE your blocks! - such fun to play with the layout of the strips - instead of all same-same. And I really enjoy the botany lessons accompanying your photos - very informative. I remember having pyracantha bushes in our yard when I was a child. We also had a tortoise and I don't remember if he ate the berries or not but I do remember having to clean up the oleander flowers before he got to them since they were poisonous. Thanks for the trip down memory lane - ;))

  6. Hoping that it is just rain, and not too much flooding.
    Love those gardens, beautiful grounds and plantings.


  7. I like the block in the top left, arranged with darkest in the center. Thanks for sharing those trees. The dawn redwood is fantastic! We have toad lilies in the garden shop right now, so cute!

  8. Hope you were safe from the storm. Cute blocks.

  9. Thanks for sharing all of the nature pictures! Such beauty.