komorebi (Japanese) : sunshine filtering through the leaves of a tree or trees.
I had a very different kind of story planned to share with you this week – a story about an Australian castle. A castle not inherited from royalty or a long line of wealthy ancestors but one built for the wife and child of a man who started his working life in a wool factory in Wales at the grand old age of nine years old. It’s the quintessential rags to riches story and like a good fairy tale, involves love, a long separation and an element of tragedy.
But since I haven’t yet received the copyright permission to share some of the pictures, I’ve pulled together a small collection of nature photographs from my weekend visit to Nerima Gardens in Ipswich, near Brisbane.
It’s a place I’ve mentioned before and never fails to leave me feeling more at peace. I’ve often taken my laptop there to work, but of course it is easy for someone like me to become distracted by the many dragonflies, birds and water dragons. Despite this, I still manage to get more written than when I’m in an enclosed room.
I know this blog is supposed to be about survival tales of a mildly extreme hiker and a visit to Japanese gardens sounds rather tame. However, often these soothing, easily available green spaces within a city are ways that city dwellers survive their busy, “go-go-go” lifestyles. Not everyone has the time, money or freedom to go hiking in the wilderness. Walks in parks contribute to my physical and mental health so in a way this is still a survival tale…
I’m very fond of Japanese Gardens. The elements of design are aimed at helping us feel in harmony with nature. The water and stone features, light streaming through leaves, and the shapes and positioning of objects and plants combine to give a very calming experience which encourages quiet reflection.
Nerima Gardens resulted from a friendship between Ipswich city and Nerima city in Japan. The partnership between the cities is represented by the use of mainly native species in a Japanese design. The clever use of tall gums and other natives works well to provide a harmonious experience. At one time our country was at war with Japan. This garden is symbolic of a partnership and friendship that now exists. It represents peace.
Native banksias are a striking addition to the garden and are a favourite of mine, as many readers already know.
Do you like the clever composition of duck poop next to the delicate dragonfly wings? At least you know it’s not a contrived shot!
And here we have what my children call the David Attenborough shot. They learnt a great deal about procreation from watching his nature documentaries which didn’t leave out the nitty gritty details of life! I didn’t know much about dragonfly mating until recently. Apparently the male has a way of removing the previous deposits of other males and they are not very romantic in their lead up. For those interested you can read more about it here. I may never view dragonflies the same way again… If you want to keep thinking sweet thoughts about dragonflies, perhaps you shouldn’t read the link!
These “twins” are actually arising from the one base trunk, but I couldn’t capture the whole tree in one shot.
The Japanese have a word for sunlight filtering through the leaves of a tree or trees. It is komorebi. According to this site, the word can also refer to the light curtain which is visible after rain as the light shines through water vapour and also can be used when referring to the interplay of light and leaves on the ground.
Regular readers know that if there is a spider I will photograph it. As you can see it was a beautiful sunny day. It’s hard to believe that a week ago the skies sent a deluge that flooded parts of Brisbane and surrounding areas, dumping over 300mm on some places.
Once again our native trees didn’t disappoint with their variety of trunk surfaces. The first one reminds me of metallic shavings.
Some of the reflections in the still ponds were impressive. I had to look carefully at my pictures to work out what was real and what was a mirror image. It was strange to look down into a pond and see sky and trees, such as in the next image.
The feathery growths coming from this cycad (Cycas revoluta) caught my attention. I believe this is actually a Japanese variety of cycad commonly used in landscaping.
I think the mix of tall straight gums with manicured shrubs works well, but what do I know. I’m not a landscaper and I am a lazy gardener.
And a final goodbye from a suspicious water dragon.
If you want to read more details about Nerima Gardens here is a brochure.
Have a peace-filled week all and thanks for reading! 🙂