Clever Pictures

The other day, when I went for my regular jog in the morning, I found interesting pictures on the fences that were there to prevent people from falling into the river. When the pictures are seen from a distance and at an angle, you can see cute figures. But when get close, it is difficult to determine what the pictures really are.

Below are pictures I took. I think they are clever and interesting.

Close-up of the picture of the tomato

Close-up of the picture of the rabbit

Two pigeons - lovey-dovey over the pictures of eagles


The Rain

How do you take photos of the rain?

That was a question I never thought of until I tried it on Friday.
I thought it may be a good idea to make it my theme for my blog this time. But when I took my little digital camera outside in the rain, I noticed that it wasn't actually so easy.

When I tried to take photos outside, the rainfall was very difficult to capture.
Only if the downfall was very hard, then sometimes it showed as we normally see (stream of lines - I guess that we "see" rain drops to be), but when I used the flash, it was then seen that each droplet was actually of semi-round shape.

So I tried to photograph it on different ways - (1) ripples are obvious, (2) try to take photos of wet things, (3) people with umbrellas - but these are just "effects" caused by the rain.

Here, I show you some of the photos of my theme this time - "the rain."

Here's a photo of my reflection on a car window.

Ripples on a puddle.

A person with an umbrella walking in a park.

Hard rain could actually be seen on this old steam locomotive.

Wet hydrangea leaves - flowers are yet to come.

Later on in the evening, a photo taken with a flash. We can see white semi-round rain droplets.


Seto Ohashi Bridge 15K

Today, I participated in a 15K run to celebrate the 20th year of Seto Ohashi Bridge. It was very special for me for my father ran the 10K run for the opening of the bridge in 1988.

Some 4,500 people participated in the 15K and another 6,800 enjoyed the 8K fun run and 5K walk.

After an opening ceremony, the run started out at 9:00 at Yoshima, a little island that hosts a service area and information center in the middle of the approx. 13 km-long total length of the bridges.

Above: a photo of Yoshima Plaza and the series of suspension bridges seen from the bridge deck towards Shikoku Island (looking south)

Above: a photo of series of cable stayed bridges towards Honshu (main) Island viewed from Yoshima (looking north)

The hardest part of the run was at the very first part of the run. We had to run up the ramp from Yoshima to the deck part of the bridges - that is 60m in height.

Above: runners waiting for the race - "the ramp" to the bridge decks is seen in the back

After making it up to the deck (about 1km point), then we ran to the 6.4km turn-around point on the Shikoku side.

From that point on, we had to run against the wind for a while, but most of the way, it was fairly comfortable.

Photo taken approx. at 12 km point - entering the cable stayed bridge area.

In a beautiful spring weather, I could enjoy a wonderful opportunity to run on these amazing bridges.

My time was approx. 72 min. 40 sec. or about 4 min. 50 sec. per km pace.
That wasn't too bad considering the first part - the big climb - certainly slowed me down quite a bit.


Fallen petals...

One unfortunate thing about cherry flowers is that although they are truly wonderful, they don't stay very long.
We were lucky to have them longer than usual this year, but the rain and winds that came earlier this week washed most of them away.
The good things don't last long - I guess it is same for many things.

But new leaves and flowers are appearing and I look forward to the next stage of the spring season.

Cherry petals fell on the pond in the park near by - this was last weekend.

Most of the cherry flower petals fell due to rain and winds of earlier this week.

The last of cherry flowers cling on to the branches.

Azalea flowers are waiting for their turn to show off.


Spring arrives at a country town

Friday, I returned to the country town I visited a month ago. It was still colder than Tokyo, but spring had come, even there.

The sun came up over the mountains as I took a peaceful jog.

Cherry blossoms were not ready, but plum flowers were pretty.

Field horsetails (Equisetum arvense: "tsukushi" in Japanese) were seen on roadsides.