12 June, 2007

Hydrangea @ Hakusan shrine / Bunkyo ward

The rainy season is coming. Speaking of the rainy season, "hydrangea and snail" has been a core battery in my mind.

I've hated rainy day but I liked finding snails on leaves of hydrangea when I was a kid. Recently, I restarted snail watching with my daughter after long(30years!) absence, , , , but, where have they gone? I cannot find them easily like I did 30 years ago. Besides, if I can find some but those are really smaller than I had gotten. What's happen?

Fortunately, we can enjoy hydrangea like before. Lee and I went to Hakusan shrine to see hydrangeas.

From 9th to 17th June, ajisai-matsuiri (hydrangea festival) has been held in the hakusan shrine. There are 3,000 pieces of hydrangea in the shrine yard.

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla).
Gaku means picture frame. As you can see, tiny flowers(just like buds but are really flowers) are surrounded by bigger flowers(just like petals but are really calyx). Someone thought that these bigger flowers looked like the frame of picture, then it has become to be called Gaku-ajisai.

Someone says the pH or some elements of the soil determine the color of hydrangeas, like a litmus paper. I heard that certain criminal novels describe the scene in which a victim's body found beneath the different color hydrangea tree in hydrangea colonies. Is that color really not depends on the variation of hydrangea trees but the character of the soil? Does anyone know that?

----poster of ajisaimatsuri---

Hakusan shrine: the closest station is Hakusan of subway Mita line. A small and cozy but historically important shrine. I will post the historical aspect of this shrine on the other day.

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