In January I met a very special woman but, due to a mistaken impression, I thought she was married with children, so I didn’t pursue her. Fate was kind and I met her again in February at which time it became clear she was single. Since then we have found many chances to enjoy time together. Friday she had a day off and I took vacation so we could go look at hasu (蓮・lotus) together.
With my new camera and lenses in tow, we headed to Mizunomori. That is the name of the Kusatsu Aquatic Botanical Garden (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森) and it could be translated as “Forest of the Water”. There were many types of flowers, but the main focus is on the lotus. A museum inside explains the history of lotus in art from Egypt to Japan. Inside there is a hot house with some beautiful blossoms and fish. Outside there are ponds and gardens galore. Also, there is a large bay covered with giant lotus plants. Occasionally we could hear the low roar of bullfrogs and I got to see a few of their tadpoles which are the size of mice.
Sunday I took 150 photos (of the 200 photos I shot) and headed to visit our photo society teacher. He riffled through the images looking for something special. I was happy that he identified some of the same pictures that I did. We cleaned a few of them up on the PC, gave them sharp black frames with white borders, and saved them for printing. Those images will be submitted to photo contests.
One shot, which I initially thought was the best shot, got nixed by the teacher. I caught an image of a lotus in sharp focus, with a small waterfall and ripples out of focus in the background. He agreed that the shot was beautiful; however, beautiful looks good on a calendar, but it doesn’t win photo competitions. He did say that if I caught a bee, a dragonfly, or some other interesting creature in flight on the left, it would change the photo dramatically. Anyhow, here’s the shot; you can judge for yourself.