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Posts Tagged ‘japanese maple’

Last year my Wisconsin brother told me how he makes ice lanterns. (See post.) I really wanted to try my hand at this, but my first two attempts failed. Finally, yesterday, after 52 hours in the cold, my balloon produced a successful lantern. Psyched!

Among today’s other pictures is the Japanese Maple at my workplace, glorious in every season. The reflection photo was taken at Fort Point Channel in Boston. That ice is made of saltwater. If you live inland, you may not know that for saltwater to freeze, it has to be extra cold for an extra long time.

The construction scene is from the nearby Seaport area, which as everybody knows, is being recklessly overbuilt, given that it’s low-lying area exposed to hurricanes.

The gingerbread houses were at the Boston Society of Architects and featured Boston buildings, including the state house with its gold dome. The giant geometric snowballs in Dewey Square are courtesy of New American Public Art, about which, more anon.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

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I’ve got a few more photos to share: my neighbor’s lilies and new pink growth on a Japanese maple, for starters.

I also snapped a wedding notice on the painted rock, the unofficial island billboard, before it got painted over with new messages. A bride and groom actually hired a woman to do the painting, which is a new one on me. The painted rock notices are generally more spontaneous.

I’ve included three family photos. Erik’s sister’s family rented the sailboat for a couple weeks of catching up with friends in the U.S., and John and my husband joined them for the initial leg of their trip. If they all look a little slaphappy here, maybe it’s because they made it from Newport to the island in an unfamiliar boat without incident.

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My husband, who has made a lot of business trips to Japan (and also has been reading my posts about 100-year-old workers), pointed me to something interesting at the Japan Times.

Jiji writes, “A business project focused on selling decorative leaves for use in Japanese cuisine is attracting overseas attention to Kamikatsu, a mountain town in Tokushima Prefecture. …

“The [Irodori, or bright colors] project, which succeeded in commercializing colored leaves grown in local mountains and fields and now claims members from nearly 200 farms, has become a vital industry in Kamikatsu, which has a population of less than 2,000. …

“The average age of the farmers involved in the project is 70, and many are women. Some earn more than 10 million [yen, more than $100,000] a year from the business.

“Irodori members use tablet computers to check for updated information on orders. The leaves are grown in their own mountains and fields, then distributed to markets across Japan via an agricultural cooperative. …

“According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which promotes international visits to Kamikatsu, the response to its English DVD on the Irodori project was huge. It has been translated into Bengali, Spanish and French.

“Tomoji Yokoishi, 54, who came up with the Irodori idea and is president of the managing company, said perceptional shifts are responsible for its success.

“The project turned regular leaves into a valuable resource and turned its elderly into a workforce, Yokoishi explained.”

I’m guessing that the phrase “for use in Japanese cuisine” doesn’t mean anyone eats the leaves. They are probably used to decorate tables where Japanese cuisine is served. Do you think?

Read the Japan Times article, here.

Art: Elaine Richards, 1994 7″ X 10″ Watercolor Collection B. Riff

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Many flowering trees are early this year. I associate lilacs with Mother’s Day, the Lilac Festival in Rochester, New York, and Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston — events that occur May 13 this year. But here we are in April, and lilacs are delicious everywhere.

The unusually dark red of the Japanese Maple at Dunkin Donuts is hard to capture on film. But as amazing as the color is, even more amazing is the tree’s comeback after March’s unseasonal heat and frost blasted the first leaves to brown. I was sure that was it for this year, but the leaves are richer than ever.

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