Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SJG iPhone app: Deputy Docent

 by aleks
Deputy Docent is your personal tour guide when visiting SJG. It' s an audio tour with transcript, photos, map and Garden events schedule. Search for "Deputy Docent" on the iTunes Store, or go to www.deputydocent.com and follow the link to download the iPhone app.

Tip: Pre-load the app ahead of time: there is no free WIFI at the Garden, so the app has to rely on cell phone signals. By default, Deputy Docent caches any downloaded data for 7 days, so if you start the app at home where there is a fast WIFI connection, and click on the various Stations on the Audio Tour map, the app will load the audio recordings as well as the images and transcripts on to your iPhone and save them for 7 days.

Coming soon:  a longer post on this subject and the app's inventor, Kenn Fung...

SJG • 2/26/2012 - The sky is partly cloudy in Seattle, reflected in the pond

Saturday, February 25, 2012

March 4: “Introduction to Haiku” workshop at the SJG

by aleks
SJG •  2/18/2012 - White & red petals on 'Camellia  Japonica daikagura'

There will be “Introduction to Haiku” workshop given by Haiku Society of America vice president Michael Dylan Welch at the Seattle Japanese Garden on Sunday, March 4th 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (bring a sack lunch).  The class will explore the myths and realities of haiku poetry, including techniques such as kigo (season words), kireji (cutting words), shasei (objectivity), and more, plus informal sharing and discussion after 2:00 p.m. $45.00, includes garden admission.

To register, please phone Cheryl at 206-386-9106, or visit https://class.seattle.gov/parks/Start/Start.asp and register for class number 80404 (type the class number into a window marked 'Search for programs by barcode' at the top of the page and click magnifying glass icon to search -  this will bring you to appropriate 'Exploring Haiku - 80404' window, where you can register).

• • • • 
I subscribe to 'Daily Issa' by David Lanoue (click on 'Issa-a-Day Sign up' half-way down the page) and this is the latest offering, to put you in a mood for the class:

SJG • 2/18/2012
Lichens on cherry tree

the cherry tree 
that made blossom clouds 
becomes charcoal

kumo to mishi sakura wa sumi ni yakare keri


by Issa, 1813

Charcoal is being made in a kiln. In this case, the wood is of a cherry tree. As Shinji Ogawa points out, this tree once made "clouds of blossoms." Issa and his fellow poets celebrate such clouds of blossoms often in their haiku. However, now a tree that once produced such beauty is being burned to charcoal. Cherry blossoms falling to the earth constitute a standard image of mujo^, Buddhist transience. But in this haiku Issa takes it a step further: the tree itself becomes an image of transience. However, there's a twist: now it will become a useful commodity, especially during the cold winters of Issa's home province. In a sense, it's "rebirth" as charcoal can be veiwed as a karmic improvement!

SJG • 2/18/2012 - Rain-patterns on the pond

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spring Is On Its Way

by Lynnda

Hybrid Rhododendron near gatehouse - SJG 2/18/12
After I saw the email from Rachel stating that the Seattle Japanese Garden is open, I was anxious to see how it looks in the middle of February, especially since we've had such a mild winter.  Spring is truly on its way, although it definitely did not feel like spring today.  I arrived around 3, and the wind was blowing, a mist was falling, and the parking lot was empty.  There was only one other person walking through the garden, checking on the progress of the recent clean-up.

I was pleasantly surprised by so many harbingers of spring.  I didn't see the flowering rhody near the gatehouse on the way in, but I was glad to have seen it as I was leaving. It's tucked behind other plants and stands right next to the eastern fence.
Japanese Maple - SJG2/18/12

Before the leaves arrive, interesting tree structures are clearly visible.  This Japanese maple swirls and twists; possibly more interesting in the winter than in full foliage.

 While walking past the paper bark maple, it dawned on me that the music of the streams and waterfalls was louder than last year.  What a lovely discovery!  I also noticed the water flow was stronger than last year, causing a few small but noisy splashes where none existed before.
Every where I looked, there were signs that spring is on its way.  Camellia trees throughout the garden were loaded with plump buds.  The forsythia was beginning to flower, but was in a very early stage.  When looking SE across the inland sea towards the waterfalls, I could see the small whirly seed pods on various maples.  The cherry trees showed no color, but the tips of the branches showed bulging promise.

Forsythia - SJG 2/18/12
Camellia bud - SJG 2/18/12

Kingfisher - SJG 2/18/12
 A Belted Kingfisher was carrying on quite a conversation while flying back and forth from the north end to a tree branch near the suhama.  A great blue heron was watching the kingfisher while keeping an eye open for passing koi.  I think he was cold as he was hunched over and he looked as though he had no neck!  The koi were visible, and seemed to be swimming in slow motion. None gathered near the moon viewing platform as they do throughout the summer, looking for a handout.   There had been a lot of maintenance done in the garden this winter.  Some of the bridges were repaired or rebuilt, the paths have new gravel, everything looks so ready for the First Viewing on March 4th.
Great Blue Heron - SJG 2/18/12

It was a most pleasant reintroduction for me to see the garden in its most pregnant state.  That's what is so compelling about this garden. There are new discoveries on each visit as it changes from week to week.  I encourage you to visit it often and watch the spring unfold.  You will not be disappointed!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Oh, YES! The Garden opened today - Friday, February 17th

by aleks
Another email from Rachel:

Seattle Japanese Garden Will Open on February 17, 2012.
 Seattle Parks and Recreation is postponing the opening of the Seattle Japanese Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum to Friday, February 17, 2012 to allow for the completion of the remediation work following a water main break on 26th Ave. E. Parks staff is working hard to finish the cleanup work and open to the public this Friday at 10 a.m.

The water main break led to significant flooding in the parking lot and along pathways of the Garden. In addition, a substantial amount of mud and debris deposited in the natural pond, home to a few dozen Koi, is being cleared and damaged paths are being re-graded.

First Viewing of the Garden is scheduled for Sunday, March 4, 2012. Details on this event to follow.

• • • • • • • 
That email had me puzzled a bit, I guess because I read stuff too literally sometimes: the Garden opens Friday, February 17th, but the First Viewing of the Garden is scheduled for Sunday, March 4, 2012... The official opening is still March 4 - you know, with Shinto priest, sake blessing and all.  See You there- it's fun,  always!

I guess enjoy your pre--first-viewing then,  or go and don't view, just BE:)...

• • • • • • • 
There is an app for that...  You heard that expression, right?  Well, there is an app for SJG audio tour. iPhone has it, and you can find it via your iTunes preview of podcasts or read about it here. Actually, when I just checked it out, I found out there is an app for that via Microsoft smart phone, too - you can read about it here (to view it, it will require installing MS Silverlight application first)...

Anyway, I asked my iPhone-owning husband how does it work in so called Real Life (= RL).  'Lousy', he answered,  'SJG has no fast- WiFi, so it is VERY SLOW loading...'  He gave up trying, but  promised to check it again, before I write to Lisa or Thomas about the problems with using it...

Well, I didn't make it today to the Garden opening, so the photo is really old: 3 flaming yellow ginko biloba trees from the fall of 2008:

SJG - 11/2/ 2008 - Fall Ginko biloba trees

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ooooops! First Viewing at SJG Postponed till March 4, 2012

by aleks
A sad email from Rachel:   :(

A water main break on 26th Ave. E led to significant flooding in the parking lot and along pathways of the Japanese Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum, making it necessary for Seattle Parks and Recreation to reschedule the “First Viewing of the Garden.”

The events scheduled for February 12, 2012 have been postponed until Sunday, March 4, 2012.

Seattle Parks is working to determine the damage that may have been sustained at the Japanese Garden Gatehouse, and is conducting cleanup efforts throughout the Garden to support the opening day scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

To confirm opening day and time please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/japanesegarden.htm or call the Japanese Garden at 206-684-4725.
 •  •  •  •  •  
No, no pics of damage (will swing by this weekend to look), just a pic from November 1st last year:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

SJG 2012 season starts Sunday, February 12

by aleks
The text below is a copy of email from SJG events coordinator, Rachel, who sent it today to all Garden volunteers.  I will soon enter all the events onto the calendar page, but here is the information, in case you would like to have it in a single post.  

Photo taken 11/1/11 - on one of my last 2011 visits to the SJG
• • • • • 

The Garden reopens on Sunday, February 12, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Shinto blessing of the Garden by Reverend Koichi Barrish of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine will begin at noon. Meito Shodo Kai will provide a drop-in calligraphy workshop from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Admission for this event is $10 for adults 18-64, $5 for Youths 6–17, Senior Adults 65+, College students with ID, & Disabled.

The Garden will open with regular hours beginning on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

2012 Japanese Garden Operation Schedule:

Tuesday, February 14 to Sunday, April 1                             10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 3 to Sunday, May 6                                       10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday, May 7 to Sunday, September 16                            10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday, September 17 to Monday, October 29                  10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday, October 30 to Sunday, November 11                    10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

*The garden will open at noon on the second Monday of the month from June to October: 6/11, 7/9, 8/13, 9/10 and 10/8. These closures will allow for additional garden upkeep and operational work.

** The garden will be closed on the following four Saturdays during May-August when booked for private ceremonies: 5/12, 6/16, 7/14, and 8/11.

2012 Japanese Garden Event Schedule:

1)            First Viewing                                        Sunday, February 12
2)            Bonsai Show                                         Sunday, May 20
3)            Children’s Day                                      Monday, May 28
4)            Tanabata Festival                                   Saturday, July 7
5)            Garden Party                                          Friday, July 20
6)            Wandering & Wondering                       Saturday, August 4
7)            Moon Viewing                                       Saturday, September 1
8)            Respect for Elders                                  Monday, September 17
9)            Maple Viewing                                      Sunday, October 14

Chado, the Way of Tea 2012 Presentation and Demonstration Schedule:

Shoseikai will host Chado demonstrations on the following 3rd Saturdays at 1 and 2 p.m.:
4/ 21, 5/ 19, 6/16, 7/ 21, 8/18, 9/15, & 10/20.

Tankokai will host Chado presentations on the following dates at 1 and 2 p.m.:
4/29, 5/13 (Mother’s Day), 6/ 10, 7/7 (Tanabata), 8/26, 9/1(Moon Viewing), 9/17 (Respect for Elders), 9/ 30, 10/28.
SJG • 10/27/11