Sunset on Tsukuba

Saturday brought gradually clearing skies and K emailed me from the train she was taking to Mito that Mt. Tsukuba, twenty miles from us, was clearly visible. I took a bicycle ride along the levy of Lake Kituara to have a look. The wind coming unobstructed over the lake and rice fields made it quite a workout, but the scenery was beautiful. Roads through the rice paddies - the rice has already been harvested - were nearly flooded and the lake was so full that concrete platforms that people can often be seen fishing from were covered with several inches of water. Sea gulls flocked along a rice paddy road and were scattered by another bicyclist struggling through the wind and water. Mt. Tsukuba was indeed clearly visible.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Later in the afternoon, the sunset looked promising, so I got on the bicycle again and rode to a clearing overlooking the lake. It would be a beautiful spot to have a house that took advantage of the view. Happily for me it is just being used for growing vegetables and the owner doesn't mind if I come to enjoy the sunset once in a while.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The scene reminded me of this painting of Montagne Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cezanne.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The path home through a stand of cedars was carpeted with leaves and branches, their colors like splotches of paint on an artist's pallet. I was still feeling the inner glow of the sunset when I took Momo for an evening walk. As the fading sunlight colored a row of summer cottages in orange pastels, a full moon rose above them. Such an evening is the stuff of poems and paintings. I was duly inspired but also saddened by my own lack of skill in putting ink to paper (like Moody) or paint to canvas (like Wendy) that would in any way convey the moment. My memory of the experience will have to sufice and luckily for me, it does.


P.P. said...

Glad to see the beautiful sunset sceneries. NO MORE TYPHOON comes to JP.

Pandabonium said...

P.P. - I hope so for this year. Seems like the weather should be more stable now as the temperature has dropped another notch.

I'm glad you enjoyed the sunset. It was something wonderful to watch for me. I am always awed by the artwork of nature.

thrashor said...

Beuatiful photos. Thank you for sharing them!

Robin said...

sun rise; sun set, as we go through life.

thanks for sharing this wonderful art of nature.

Momo the Wonder Dog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pandabonium said...

Hi thrashor! Thanks for the compliment. It was such a wonderful sunset I had to share it.

Robin, you are welcome my friend.

Frederick said...

Wow, amazing pictures! Check my most recent out:

Fall in Central New York

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! It is almost like going on vacation.

YD said...

Nice sunset! I decided to take a walk during dusk, I looked up, I looked down, I looked left and right, but all I saw are buildings and cars, and a gloomy+cloudy+rainy sky. =_=!!

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Frederick, will do.

Hillcountrygal, thanks for dropping by.

YD - we'll have our share of gloomy skies soon enough. I hope this sunset brightened your London day a little.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

How lucky you are to be able to see beauty like this. I'm thinking of some people with such polluted skies - I think that there's trouble down Malaysia way at present with pollution drifting from the east.
Aren't we lazy at times - the sky it out there to see, but we huddle over our evening TV news and worry, worry, worry about all sorts of things. Hey, what's the reaction where you are about what's happening north of you? Or don't you want to discuss stuff like that on the internet?

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - as we are only 50 miles from Tokyo, we often have a hazy horizon. The ocean breeze usually keeps the smog away from us, and a good rain really clears the air.

North Korea is too close to Japan for comfort. One of those things I have no control over, so I don't worry about it.

In my opinion, the whole issue is largely due to US foreign policy. Clinton had engaged NK and perhaps that course could have worked, but we'll never know. The right wing congress during the 90's undid his work and prevented the US from keeping its promises. Then the neocons took over and they love to have enemies so that they can peddle fear to the public. It also gives them an excuse to maintain a heavy military presence in the region, which is really aimed at China, and a lever to continue to pressure Japan to change its constitutional restriction on the military.

The US insists on 6 party talks, and refuses one on one meetings with NK. Since China and Russia get some leverage through NK too, I don't see how such talks can ever solve anything. In other words, the countries that make the most noise about NK - the USA, Russia, Japan and China - don't really want to resolve the problems. Japan (the government, not the people) will use it to go forward with changing the constitution of Japan and militarizing.

South Korea certainly does want a solution, and NK doesn't want a war either, they want help to fix their communist economy.

Though playing politics with nukes is not a happy development, it is just that - politics - and was predictable given US foreign policy. That's my reaction. I may be wrong. People often say so. :^)

BBC website has some interesting comments from people in South Korea and Japan.

The Moody Minstrel said...

There are so many different opinions regarding the North Korea issue. Some people are trying to blame the whole thing on Clinton for his "misguided" attempt at "appeasement"...and some are even going so far as to blame him directly by claiming the light-water reactor technology Clinton supplied North Korea actually kick-started their nuclear program!
People don't seem to remember that Nixon engaged China, and Reagan engaged the Soviet Union, both from a position of power but with a hand of diplomacy. Now our relationship with China and Russia is far from perfect, but still far better than what it probably would have been. Meanwhile, our ongoing attempt to starve Cuba into submission still continues to produce the opposite effect from what is intended several decades into the effort!

Bottom line: Isolation doesn't work. Engagement does.

North Korea has little to gain from a nuclear war. Some (particularly in South Korea) are saying they may be planning a suicidal nuke strike against the U.S. mainland for the purpose of revenge since their country is so close to collapse. Others are theorizing such a strike against the U.S. or even Japan would immediately cause U.S. resolve to buckle. I doubt it. Kim Jong Il may be many things, but he's definitely not stupid. He wants the U.S. to come to the bargaining table.

By the way, those are some lovely pictures of our favorite, local mountain (whose name, "Tsukuba" 筑波, means "Wave of Kyushu" in archaic Japanese)!

Pandabonium said...

And here I thought Tsukuba was a form of underwater breathing apparatus, as in "Tsukuba Diving".

YD said...

now there are more things to feel sorry about when watching tv - the death toll of civillians in iraq...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Yes, now they say it is over 600,000.
Sorry to take over your blog comments Panda!

Pandabonium said...

Not a problem, w.

Robin said...

Thanls for sharing in my blog...

Martin J Frid said...

The photos are lovely. Japan has some stunning scenery, but the mist usually hides the mountains, and only after the big typhoons can I see how near we are to the mountaing ranges west of Saitama. On a good day I can see Mt Fuji from Saikyo line. Wishing I had a good camera! Don't be sad about not being able to draw or paint, just keep posting your great photos pls.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Martin. I'd love to see Fuji-san on a clear day. I've seen it from the Shinkansen a few times, but sort of shrouded in haze. They must wait a long time to get those calendar photos of it with crystal clear air!

Happysurfer said...

I always enjoy reading about where your bicycle takes you. Thanks for sharing the adventures and the beautiful pictures, Pandabonium.

Pandabonium said...

Happy - My bicycle is a wonderful machine for me. Keeps me fit and takes me places cars can't go and at a pace that allows me to take in the things around me.

Glad you enjoy the pics.

Nicole said...

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Pandabonium said...

Nicole - as you can see I have altered your message so people won't be able to follow your link. This is MY blog, and I don't mind people offering their blog in comments, but I draw the line at commercialism. The link you put in the comment was the same as if I clicked your name. It as if there is no "person" nicole, just a website. No, no, Nicole.
You are only welcome here as a real person.