A Fine Evening in May

This is one of the loveliest seasons in Japan: Rikka, the beginning of summer. Days are warm, nights still cool, and humidity low. Not too many biting insects. Perfect for outdoor activities; good weather is motivating. Here is a vignette of May 11th at 555.

On this fine afternoon, Tod re-mowed paths around the property that he’d cut with the hammer knife rotor three weeks ago. They were approaching knee high already. It’s high growth season for grasses. Keeping them under control is a Sisyphean task, but when the mood strikes, cutting grass is a pleasant meditation with a visible outcome. The best.

And Tod rid the lemon tree of its halo of flowering asparagus. I am loathe to do it because that asparagus is tough and woody. Tod persevered with the kusukari-ki and now it’s cut short and the lemon will get better sun. The lemon only has one flower bud this year, so I clearly need to attend to it more diligently in the early spring next year.

We fired up the BBQ for dinner. I wasn’t feeling well but I wanted to be outside, so I devised a lounge seat by unfolding my high density foam tumbling mat onto the gabion. It was the perfect place to relax and chat with Tod while he cooked. And then the Nest camera notified me that it was filming: Person Seen – Backyard Camera. I went silly and waved to you!

We dined on one of our favorite sandwiches: grilled mushrooms and peppers with garden herbs. White wine and potato chips rounded out the menu. It wasn’t fancy. Just a pleasant al fresco meal on the patio. I hope to have many more of these through Rikka and beyond.

An X-class solar flare is hitting Earth now and many friends have been posting stunning photos of their crazy colored skies. Unfortunately of me, it seems the visibility of aurora borealis at lower latitudes is limited to the Western side of the planet. I checked to see if Tod’s phone camera would capture any invisible-to-the-naked-eye colors, but…no.

It was a night with the usual inky blackness and Ursa Major in full view. Like our dinner menu, it was nothing fancy, but I was glad to be enjoying it from this vantage point on our planet.

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Mediatinker, Kristen McQuillin, is an American-born resident of Japan since 1998. This blog chronicles her life, projects, thoughts, and small adventures.