Noilly Prattle: Trembling on the brink ...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Trembling on the brink ...

... of Spring

     It's the 'tween time; Winter not quite gone, Spring not quite come. One day a cold sharp north wind is howling across the valley and through the mostly bare branches, but the bloomin' plum trees are announcing that that old north wind is blowing his dying gasps, and the next day the temperature shoots up half a dozen Celsius and it's a good chance to dispel the cabin fever and get out and about town.

red Camellia
        Such a sunny warm day recently inspired me to get out the camera and go out and see if anything would catch my eye without the benefit of the usual oooh and aaah flowering cherry blossoms (too early), or the fiery warm colors of autumn (too late), or some crunchy white new fallen snow (can do without)—just mostly bare branches with hard buds, red Camellia and blue sky and old stone (and some new stone) walls.

orange lichen on old stone castle wall

       So, we jumped in the car and drove downtown to our city's famous landscape garden called 後楽園, (Kōrakuen) and 岡山城, (Okayama Castle) for some walking exercise and some photos of nature poised for the coming of the cherry blossoms and the very welcome warm southern breath of Spring. 

boats waiting for the summer family visitors
new stone wall reconstruction
 falcons soaring on the air currents

Southwest Gate to Okayama Castle

typical sculpted pine tree

       While walking along near the southwest gate (above left) I could hear a strange sound coming from the area to the left of the gate. I noticed these two cats eyeing each other as if they wanted to fight or, maybe, mate, and realized they were making the weird sound as in this video. 

Two cats in apparent mating ritual

reflections in the floodlights that illuminate the castle donjon at night
Momotaro (Peach Boy) the city mascot 
Paulownia buds
water fowl preening in the Asahi River
cherry buds still rather tight - no hint of color
spring training

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