Hello Friends and Family,

Golden Gate Park, Part 3

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Here we get to see a closer look at the pagoda. According to Wikipedia, "Pagodas are quintessentially Buddhist and an important component of Japanese Buddhist temple compounds". Obviously, they are also used in Japanese gardens. They come in many forms but, with few exceptions, have an odd number of stories. Most are made of wood although small pagodas may instead be made of stone or metal. This pagoda was constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.

Nearby is the temple gate which is primarily a symbolic element of liminality, marking the transition from the mundane to the sacred (i.e., from the garden to the pagoda). It is a lovely structure artistically designed and constructed.

Just beyond is another bronze lantern. I do note that this one had a grate which appears could be opened to place a small flame to light the pathway. That would be very cool to see in the evening — too bad they close at 5:45 PM.

This is a Kurume azalea bush, many of which decorate the Japanese Tea Garden with a striking shade of deep red. Their peak season is from February to late April or even early May. Too bad that my trip fell in late May so the azaleas were not at their peak. Still beautiful though.

My eyes (and my camera) are repeatedly drawn to the pagoda — in this case, from a different angle. It still delights my senses to see it from multiple vantage points.

And the combination of the temple gate and the pagoda is truly awesome, especially combined with the beautiful foliage including the Japanese red maple tree in front and to the right of the pagoda. Wonderful!

Leading downhill from the pagoda is a small babbling brook adding so much character to this lovely spot in the garden.

That brook leads into a small pond containing two blue herons. I had to examine them closely to verify that these were statues and not the real thing that we saw earlier.

Meanwhile a juvenile robin has taken a bath and is fluttering its wings to shed the excess water. I was so fortunate that it sat still for me and posed for a picture — most birds take off at the first sight of a camera (must be that big lens on the front).

Say farewell to the temple gate, we're moving to other parts of the garden.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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