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Summer in Tsukahara

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gkimbal's Spring in Tsukahara album on Photobucket

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Argh! It's too nice outside...

…to be sitting in the teacher’s room. The temperature is slowly rising and everything is in bloom. Most of my classes are in the afternoon. I will have one class today, at 2pm. The rest of the time I will spend surfing the net, reading a book, writing blogs, processing astrophotos, or experiencing boredom. I have so much to do at home, but I must do my time here. Erika just called to inform me that on Friday I get to go on a fieldtrip…yeah!!! Minami Shonai Elementary School will be taking the kids on an all day hike. We will even have a picnic…cool! I know…it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

We picked up a few school items in Beppu this past weekend. The cherry blossoms were outstanding along Route 11 from Beppu to Yufuin. The blossoms are short lived which made viewing the elusive “sakura” a challenge. Timing was everything. We just happened to be at the right place at the right time. The blooms are late in Tsukahara because of the elevation. While most of Japan has finished with the cherry blossoms, Tsukahara was just getting started. The hillsides were dotted with wild mountain cherry trees in bloom. Here’s something that I learned about cherry blossoms: The mountain cherries (yama-sakura) produce their leaves before the blossoms. The domesticated cherries (yoshino-sakura) produce blossoms before the leaves.  This explains why the blooms are not as spectacular in the hills as they are in the parks with the domesticated trees. Okay, enough with the horticulture lesson.


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