12 March 2008

Goodbye Winter

I always feel that Winter goes away slower than any other seasons.

As the temperature gradually rises above zero degrees during daytime, gone are the snow on the roads and rooftops. The largest lake in the Nagano Prefecture that I'm staying, 諏訪湖 ( Suwako ) is slowly taking off the white jacket of ice, restoring to the orginal blue.

Every year, there will be swans and madarain ducks migrating to Suwako for shelther. My husband told me that these birds are either from Russia or Hokkaido of Japan, where winter romps too harsh for these poor animals. Visitors to the lake take pleasure in feeding these lovely migrants. My husband and I always enjoy feeding them with bread bits, and guess which pairs are truly husband and wife. Adorable mandarin ducks are vainly caped with coat of feathers in maroon, green, brown, grey, black or white. Ain't easy to guess which ones are couples either.

By the time my husband comes back after the business trip late next week, the ice lake might have been completely melted. Mountains starting to show good shades of blue and life appearing everywhere. It has been a gentle winter, no harsh snow storm or frequent snowfalls that I experienced 3 years ago, and I'm thankful about it. It'll be another 11 months perhaps when snow falls again, so I'll just share here a final roundup of what we've seen this winter.

Driving our way up a mountain. Tough drive indeed.

Barren and lifeless looking ... These trees surrounding the lake are actually Cherry Blossom ( 桜、Sakura ). They shall be blooming in late April with other plants transforming into luscious green!

Mysterious, icy cold, yet simply captivating. One never fails to exclaim the wonders of nature.


bp said...

Ooh! Gorgeous! Love how you captured all these natural sights!

Understand what you mean about going to feed the swans and ducks. We used to stay near a lake here where ducks and geese would congregate, more during some times of the year. And I'll always take my boys there just to watch the birds... no feeding allowed tho' ;p

Seen This Scene That said...

I find the pictures of ice and snow very fascinating because I don't get to see any.
I'm sure when winter's over, the new season will be great.

flyingstars said...

WoW..some very beautifully captured shots....lovely views!

Stardust said...

Thanks so much to everybody.