Archive for August, 2009

Sunny skies, growing rice

The rainy season has passed and the weather is warm and sunny, which makes for very happy rice plants.  The rice fields (tanbo 田圃) around Saku (Nagano prefecture) are a splendid green and literally surround the city, making for beautiful scenery.  Although I live in the city, on my way home from the brewery I pass several rice paddies (and an apple orchard), so I have been closely monitoring the rice plants’ progress.  During planting, the water level is approx. 10 cm, but has now dropped to around 3cm and the plants are quite dense with leaves. Below is one of the paddies close to my house.  No, it’s not like Tokyo here.

Local paddy, table rice plants

Local paddy, table rice plants

 

The paddies also harbour a lot of wildlife, and a unique variety of sounds eminate from them at all hours of the day.  When I passed them today, it was noon and hot, and most of the activity was from dragonflies (tonbo 蜻蛉) of almost every colour.  This little guy (or girl I suppose) caught my attention, bright red against the green plants.

very red dragonfly (tonbo)

very red dragonfly (tonbo)

Not so exciting I suppose, but these plants serve as a kind of clock for me- as they get bigger and closer to harvest, the time when I get into the brewery to start this year’s sake making gets shorter and shorter.  I love summer, but am really looking forward to this fall.