Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014 Moonviewing Haiku Contest Winners

Judged by:
Tanya McDonald, Michelle Schaefer, and Michael Dylan Welch of Haiku Northwest

SJG • 9/6/14

First Place:

67 years of watching
the moon move past my window
but loneliness remains

- Rodney Smith

Second Place:

black branches
and a young bat—
the moon's warm-up act

- Ellen Sieh

Third Place:

all ready for you:
people, music, koi and birds—
hurry up, moon!

- Aleksandra Monk

Honourable Mentions  (in no particular order):

SJG • 9/6/14
yes, it rains tonight,
and dark clouds cover the sky
yes, the moon is there

- Steve Lorton

floating on the pressure
of night, the moon escapes
the trees' folded arms

                                                                           - Jeff Collun

15th day—
the pond's koi
eating the moon

- Mikiko Amagai

forest shadows
fill the ancient pond
still . . .
no(h) moon

- John Tillotsom

SJG • 9/6/14
we anticipate the moon's shimmer
candle light brightens
the festive moon appears

- Lisa A. Miller

new moon
goldfish reflecting
on the pond

         - Glenn Sassaman

lantern fire
breathing on golden dragon leaves
moonlit koi ripple a sudden greeting

- Hamai

flute wafting over water
     time and space
moon floats through cedar

- Jill Goodnight

SJG • 9/6/14
moon above
pond below . . .
night oddly normal

- Aleksandra Monk

beautiful beggars
the koi seeking kibble miss
the moon's reflection

                                                                            - Halim Dusky

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cont. Ed.: Ecology basics of our Pond

by aleks
Last Thursday Robert Pacht, our fellow guide who happens to have a degree in fisheries and work experience in marine biology, treated us to a lively presentation/discussion on who lives in our pond, where did they come from and how do they survive...

Our Pond. SJG 7/24/14

Yeah, WHO does live down there? Up to this point, I mostly ignored the pond in my garden tours, chiefly because I had no clue on the pond life aquatic, except for the obvious koi and turtles.  Koi rarely evoke inquiries while people are entertained by feeding them, and if they do, most are 'safe' question: 'how long do they live?' No, not 200 years, even if it such rubish was printed in New York Times... 'Are koi related to gold fish?' Nope, koi are carp... When we occasionally have a new school of tiny koi happily swimming around: 'Does that mean you will have hundreds of new koi soon?' Um, no, the parents or heron the fishery-manager (we call him 'Dirty Harry') will likely eat them soon...

Our turtles: NOT native, SJG 3/21/14

The turtles call for attention when they (poorly) compete for fish lunch cereal: 'Do they like fish food?' Apparently.  Or when they appear motionlessly stacked on the rocks to sun themselves up in neat army-like formatting: 'Are they sculptures or real?' Yep,  real.  'What kind of turtles are they?' Ooops: somebody told me a long time ago that they are Washington state native, and I kept repeating that fib, sometimes fortifying it with observation that they are in every lake around us (they are).

According to Robert, those turtles are as native as Himalayan blackberries here (classified as Class C noxious weeds in WA state).  The red-eared slider turtles are native to the southern United States and northern Mexico, but because of irresponsible pet releases they have become an invasive species in many areas, where it outcompetes native species. The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegant, it's Polish common name is 'decorative turtle' and French 'Florida turtle') is included in the List of the world’s 100 most invasive species in the Global Invasive Species Database!  The worst of the worst and NOT native at all. As Sue put it on the subject:  it's good that our tours aren't recorded....

Red-eared slider turtle, SJG 3/21/14

From now on I'll be better prepared to answer questions about the pond life, although I still have to pay attention, find and observe some creatures there:  did you know we have crayfish?  Cara says she spotted them by the stepping stones.   Do you know what mollusks are? What kind of anthropods our pond hosts?  Despite the fact that our pond ecosystem is a closed one the life there is incredibly rich.

Here is Robert's syllabus:
Ecology basics of our Pond, Who lives there, where did they come from, how do they survive

Ecosystem basics
What is an ecosystem ?
- Marine vs aquatic vs terrestrial
- Closed vs open
- Immigration and emigration
- Natural vs artificial

Geology  and physics
- Before Lake Washington was lowered
- After 1916
- 1959 to present
- Physical forcing factors

Limnology 101
- Chemistry and primary production
- Eutrophic vs oligotrotrophic
- Phytoplankton
- Zooplankton, herbivorous and carnivorous
- Mollusks
- Arthropods
- Insects and nonplanktonic crustaceans
- Vertebrates
- Reptiles and amphibians
- Fish
- Terrestrial visitors

 Self-sustaining or not?  This is an interesting question Robert put forward on the end of his presentation: what would happen to the closed ecology of our pond if we, humans walked away?  Think about it...  And if you are as challenged as I am re: biology vocabulary, here is the handout form the lecture  - with pictures!:) (on google docs).

Thank You Robert Pacht for entertaining, informative and  lively lecture!  And thank you Cara, Mary Ann and Joan (did winter come to Toronto yet?)

* Crayfish gif borrowed from Mrs. Chastain's Third Grade - thank you, interesting presentation, Mrs. Chastain!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Moon viewing 2014 and upcoming events...

by aleks
SJG • 9/6/14 - Lantern at Laceleaf maple;
 foto by Nat Suyenaga
O-tsukimi, or moon viewing, dates back to 8th century Japan, when on the 8th month of the old Japanese (lunar) calendar aristocrats celebrated the beauty of the autumnal full (fool) moon with poetry and music. By the 17th century, the tradition spread to farmers and townspeople, incorporating elements of a harvest festival into the admiration of the moon's rays.

We had our usual attractions: tea ceremonies in the Shoseian Teahouse, Japanese music, butoh dance, haiku poetry readings and contest, and the Seattle Astronomical Society members ready with strong telescopes for people to view the rising moon in the mountain area of the Garden.

The moon DID appear in the full glory in the trees above the entrance gate.  Luminaries on the paths, lanterns on the trees and, at dusk, candle-filled boats launched on the pond completed the utterly magical night. It is one of the Garden's celebration I try never miss - it's so very special and one of the kind.

SJG • 9/6/14 - WPA bridge area at Moon Viewing; foto by Nat Suyenaga
SJG • 9/6/14 - butoh at moon viewing
SJG • 9/6/14 - the moon DID appear
SJG • 9/6/14 - Haiku writing station at Emperor's Gate

• • • • • 
Attention up-coming (open for everyone):

• Noh in the Garden - Thursday, September 25th, 6:30 pm. Tickets on sale now (206-684-4725), limited to 100; some chairs in the orchard will be provided, but blankets and tatami mat welcome; in the event of rain the performance will be shifted to nearby Montlake Community Center - noh-goers will be notified (email) by noon of the day of the performance.

What is "NOH"? Noh is the oldest classical dance-dramas in Japan. It was developed in the 14th century from religious sources and folk myths. It is a combination of drama, music, and dance (mai).  Noh is also one of the five major forms of traditional Japanese theater.

After 1374, Noh was patronized by the warrior class, whereas Kabuki (traditional theater) and Bunraku (classical puppetry) developed later for the common people. More here...

• Noh in the Act Theater (700 Union Street), September 26, Fri, 7pm, Sept. 27, Sat, 2 pm & 7pm, Sept. 28, Sun 2pm: The Beauty of Noh, Tomoe and Yoshinaka (for tickets go to the link below):

'The Beauty of Noh' will, for the first time, present a double-bill performance featuring Noh, the traditional dance-drama of Japan, alongside a modern Noh-inspired opera based on the same story.

The Noh opera 'Tomoe', based on the 'Tales of the Heike', is a love story about a woman, the famous 12th-century samurai warrior Tomoe Gozen, who is not allowed to die on the battlefield with her master, Yoshinaka.

The traditional Noh play 'Tomoe' will be performed by Munenori Takeda, one of Japan's most talented Noh masters, and the Takeda Noh Troupe. The Fisher Ensemble and Munenori Takeda will then perform 'YOSHINAKA', a modern opera based on the story of 'Tomoe' written by Seattle-based composer Garrett Fisher.

• • • • • 
 Attention up-coming (for the guides only): Do not miss Robert Pacht's informative and stimulating presentation Thursday, September 18:  What lives in the pond at SJG? An overview of the aquatic ecology of our little pond. 
Robert writes: "Who lives in our pond, where did they come from and how do they thrive?   An interactive discussion based on observations by Unit 86 docents, garden employees, visitors and myself. Our visitors are quite interested in this topic in my experience, and my philosophy on guiding is it's always about them and not about us.  The more we have in our tool kits the more rewarding we can make our tours for our customers.  I have not done and do not plan on doing any sampling so bring your observations with you as many of you have seen things that I have not."

SJG • 9/6/14 - Moon Viewing,  Entry Gate;  by Nat Suyenaga