Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Sea of Blue Flowers

Some might frown to hear Hotei-aoi (common water hyacinth) is spreading all over the pond or lake but here in the fallow rice fields around the historic site of Moto-yakushiji temple (本薬師寺跡), a massive thin shade of purplish blue is flowering . 

A pointed hill is Unebiyama (畝傍山)

The local people started planting its seedling 18 years ago, since then at this time of year, this place has attracted many people with their camera in their hands.

image from wikipedia

The name was taken after Hotei; Chinese Budai, known as a laughing Buddha (one of the Seven Lucky Gods here), for a rounded inflated petiole of the aquatic plant (sponge) functioning as a buoy is associated with a big stomach of Hotei.

Recently local elementary school children joined volunteers in planting about 14,000 seedlings in early July. The plants usually amount to 400,000 from August to October.   

However, its vigorous propagation causes a serious problem in some parts of the world; suffocating the lake, diminishing the fish supply, damaging the local fishery.
Disgracefully, they are called blue devil and considered to be one of 100 world’s worst invasive alien species. They are on the black list here as well, however, with a careful treatment, an appropriate place to grow, they are also giving people  pleasure.

Only one of six petals has a unique beautiful pattern. It seems to me a purple flame or a mandorla holding a light. .

In a baby buggy sat a small spaniel, well-mannered while its mom was absorbed in taking pictures.

                             A sign of harvest season. I feel autumn is on the way..

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