Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Japanese Friendship Garden, Part 2

In a slightly wider shot of the waterfall, you find another stone lantern. So peaceful, so tranquil.

Here is a closer shot of the stone lantern. By the way, it was only when I downloaded the photo and zoomed in that I noticed a dog (or is it a wolf?) in the background near the right border of the image. I zoomed in a far as I could and it appears to be a figurine, not a live animal. Curious. I wonder what the story is behind that.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the koi pond, it is getting a bit crowded.

The koi seem to be gathering for something.

My guess is that they think it is time for lunch. They seem fooled by this woman leaning over to take a closeup with her cellphone camera — mistaking her for the worker who feeds them.

And they do not disburse quickly, thinking that maybe I am the official feeder. I do love the way the sun shimmers off the rough water between the swirling koi.

Nearby is a calmer area — graced by a lovely stand of Natal Plum. These flowers have such a lovely fragrance — and in a large grouping like this, they can remind you of the most wonderful perfume.

Continuing along the path toward the back of the garden, we are rewarded with the sight of a lovely stream feeding water into the koi pond.

On the other side of the path is a gate — one that restricts entry to the tea house. I was curious why it was open and soon saw that a formal group tour was being shown around and they were allowed into this space.

From the path, one can see the stream that leads from the Tea House.

Finally a break in the foliage and we can see a better view of the Tea House. Note that it is not just for show but hosts tea ceremonies one day each month from October to June. From their website, "The ceremonies are presented by Tanko Kai tea group, wearing beautiful kimonos in our Musoan tea house. Guests are met at the entry gate and conducted to the tea house by a docent who explains features in the tea garden and other interesting facts about the tea house itself."

There are five seatings each day that the tea ceremony is held and the cost is $30 ($25 for seniors). Additionally, private tea ceremonies can be arranged (but again only one per month) at a cost of $400 ($350 for seniors) for up to 10 attendees. Gotta do that one of these days.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com