Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's a butoh dance! it's a SJG guide!

by aleks

We normally do not put advertisements on this blog, but this deserves an exception:  our own guide, Joan Laage, directs and dances butoh in the upcoming December production.  I wouldn't want you to miss this DaipanButoh presentation :  December 9th @ 8:00 Pm; Good Shepherd Chapel, Seattle,  4649 Sunnnyside Ave. N.
Photo by Briana Jones

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Less is More

by Monzie

SJG • 11/17/10 photo by Monzie
When the garden's front gates closed for the season November 14, activity shifted to maintenance.  I went over to watch the work in progress in rain and less rain.

Parks staff and consultant Masa and his crew were providing observers with a two-week double header this year.  Workers were thinning and eliminating along the garden's east side between the main path and fence in addition to pruning some 50 pines and tending to other annual tasks.

Result:  New, more open vistas to the east! 

Scripts for visitors may need amendment.  Shizue was there, carefully noting eliminations.

When supervisor Lisa came by she talked about the fundraising planned so the west side can receive the same attention next year.

After watching the thinning and eliminating - and enjoying the heavy scent of cedar - I paused by the pruners doing a high wire act in front of the Emperor's Gate.

Farther along, a drowsy mini-school of koi languidly waved their tails

At the north end's five pines, three pruners closely examined branches, then snipped, showing me how they had opened the tree and enhanced the layered, windswept look.

Leaving the garden,  I passed large branches on their way to the truck outside where they were reduced to chips.

I looked back at the closed gates.  When they reopen February 13, the garden will have a new, more expansive look.  Truly, less is more.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sayonara. Till spring...

by aleks

SJG - 11/14/10,  4:00 PM • We Closed the Garden.
The staff and volunteers will welcome you back in February 2011.

The last tour of the year is over. The last sitting of Katsura exhibition is done.  The garden season of 2010 is finished.  A couple from Snohomish (she originally from Texas and a he from England) took the tour, as well as a couple from Seattle and a happy, smiling lady I don't know where from, because she joined us half way through the tour.  A very strange feeling to be doing the last tour of the season.  If it wasn't for the fact that I was scheduled for Katsura sitting I'd drag it forever to try defy the time and make it last a little while longer.
SJG • 11/14/10 - It's getting dark.  Lantern reflection in the pond...

We all took in the last sights of the colorful autumn garden: the red maples and yellow ginko leaves, the late afternoon light breaking through the clouds and gently caressing the evergreen pines, even the tiny drizzle of rain which which felt like happy tears upon seeing the image of perfection.  The last fall haiku in Azumaya read:
trusting its fate 
to the autumn wind...
Kobayashi Issa, 1808, translated by David Lanou

And what is duckweed?  Somebody asked. I don't really know, will check. A plant, or something, which will travel with wind, trusting to be deposited where it needs to be.

We came across Mary Ann C. horsing around like a kid while picking the ginko leaves for drying:  it's true, they are like this - pretty and yellow - only shortly this time of the year:  'It'll be good to dry them and show them to people touring in the spring'.  Besides, she said, she just wanted to steal the last glances of the Garden before it closes for the rainy season.
SJG • 11/14/10:  Kids:  'Good night, fishes!'

Many people and children were doing the same:  trying to catch the last sight of koi, the last view from the Kobe lantern position's on the top of the mountain hill, the last picture of of the fall leaves.  Everybody happy, kind of  in a dreamy mood of the 1947 'Goodnight moon' bedtime story by Margaret Wilson Brown: goodnight red maple, goodnight Mr. Yamazaki pine, goodnight bridges and lanterns...  Goodnight kingfisher - was it you, making so much noise above the lake tonight?  Were you, too, saying goodnight?  You can fly over the admission booth tomorrow...

Michele was Katsura- sitting when i breathlessly arrived in the T-room for my photo-sitting shift.  No, she and Mary Ann K. wouldn't mind if I went back to take a few last pictures and collect a few ginko leaves myself.  So I walked back, and saw a happy young man smiling at the scenery, just breathing and taking it all in.   He later stopped by the Katsura exhibition, but it was closing now, too.  David is his name, it transpired later, when we chatted in front of the now closed gate, from Boston, presently living in Seattle - hopefully chiming in here soon, so I can tell him about other gardens, open all winter here.

SJG • 11/14/10 • 'Is that the tree everybody
is talking about?'   Yes, ginko 'snow'

When I was taking the last pics of ginkos a young couple joined me: she was training her camera lenses on the  leaves covering the ground, while he asked: 'Is that the tree everybody is talking about?'.  Yes, yes. 'The snow of ginkos on the ground?'  That's it.
P.S. Duckweed, or water lentils, the smallest flowering plants,  are aquatic plants which float on or just beneath the surface of still or slow-moving fresh water bodies...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn in the Garden

by aleks

I went to look at the leaves last Sunday, a beautiful and sunny day; had my camera with me and here are some raw impressions, not as good as the Garden itself and not even photo-edited, because I have to yet learn how to harness iPhoto on my computer.  Enjoy for what it's worth:

SJG 11/7/10 • Tea house, waiting area outside

SJG 11/7/10 • Majestic gincos and their reflections
SJG 7/11/10 • Lantern looking at the West Path
SJG 11/7/10 • Stone bridge area

SJG 11/7/10 • View from the north (from mountain foothills)
SJG 11/7/10 • ginco 'snow' on the East path

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Welcome New Bloggers!

by aleks
11/7/10; on Edit:  
Welcome, Maggie C - the third brave soul to sign up for blogging soon!

It's not just Monzie, Keiko and  me anymore here.  Our blogging workshop was quite successful: we mainly covered blogging basics and how to post a comment (if you need tutorial with pics email me, I'll send it to you), but already 8 brave souls requested a key to the blog...

Two of them actually used it:  if you scroll down on the right side to 'Contributors', you will see two names added:
- rd zane  (I will tell you this one time that it's Robert)
- Lynnda

Hopefully we will read your contributions soon.

石の上に三年 ishi no ue ni san nen
Literally: Three years on the rock.  Meaning: It takes a long time sitting on a stone before it becomes warm. Expect to work at something for three years before you see results.