Hello Friends and Family,

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Japanese Friendship Garden, Part 3

The Tea House from a different angle — still quiet, still tranquil, still serene.

A stand of bamboo helps maintain the hushed solitude of the Tea House — and it feels so Asian.

Watch out — it is Shachi, "a ferocious mythical fish which spouts water, sprays waves, and causes rain to fall as a charm to guard against fire and disaster. Shachi have been used on the roofs of Japanese castles and temples since the 15th century. In Himeji Castle, Shachi are placed on the ridges of the roofs of the tenshu (main tower), the yagura (small towers), and the gates, to accentuate the dignity of the castle" or so it says on the plaque on the base supporting the statue.

Here we find another lovely creek with water flowing over shallow falls and feeding into the main pond. I love the sound of rushing water — very peaceful.

Looking back to where our tour started, we can view the koi pond from the vantage point of the far side. Absolutely lovely.

Ah, zooming in, there it is again from a different angle — the stone lantern.

Just peeking out of the shadows is a beautiful stand of Goodding's Verbena. I wonder if they grow in Japan or it's just a nod to Phoenix's harsh desert climate.

Anyone who knows Hawai‘i is also familiar with Hibiscus — in the case, White Hibiscus. Very nice.

I noticed these swans from the other side of the Koi Pond when I first entered the gardens. They did not seem to move around too much — like they owned this corner of the pond. The koi seemed to leave them alone.

However, if you look closely at the base of their necks, you can see a line, a seam. Real swans don't have seams at the base of their necks. These must be fake! Oh well, they still add to the character of the garden.

One of my favorites — water lilies — which, in this instance, includes a showy pink flower. Love it!

We end our tour of the Japanese Friendship Garden with a stone tower. I don't know what, if any, significance there is to this structure. But it does add a certain exotic charm to this wonderful place.

Life is good.

B. David

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