Thirty: Plum

Plum blossom is one of my very favourite things, and if the Spring-like weather of the last few days continue (no coat/gloves/hat! No freezing in the park while the toddler plays!) it won’t be long until this tree  fully blooms.

Plum Lovely

On days when the husband is home, I like to do the grocery shopping solo. Much as I enjoy the company of the toddler – lately she likes to reel off a shopping list as we walk around the supermarket, usually (ba)nanas, (avo)cados, and tissuuuuue – there is a certain luxury in taking half an hour to buy five things. Reading the ingredients of products I have little intention of buying, choosing the very best pineapple, spending far too long deliberating over which tofu to buy.

The way to the supermarket – to pretty much anywhere, really – from our flat, is along a gently winding, tree-lined cycle/pedestrian path, mountains visible in the distance, on clear days at least. There are rose bushes and hydrangeas, giant beech trees, pine trees and more, something for every season and some for all. Right now, the ume (commonly referred to – see title of this post – as plum, but actually more closely related to the apricot) trees are in bloom, and although several have had their branches drastically hacked, just a few blossom-covered twigs hanging on, there is still a whole lot of blossom going on. Bolder than the more celebrated, yet-to-come cherry blossom*  and so very beautiful for it.

*not long to wait, though – blooming date forecast is March 28th here, according to this post from the ever-helpful Surviving in Japan.

Proper Snow

Unlike the previous weekend’s blue skies, we awoke Saturday to this:

We have had several days of snow this winter, but this was proper snow, settling for the first time, frosting pine trees and plum blossom and inviting little feet to make their first snowy footprints. (Said little feet’s owner was, however, not entirely convinced that this was a good idea, much as she enjoyed watching the snow – “snooooow! snoooow!” fall).

Winter’s duty fulfilled, the snow melted fast, and by Sunday afternoon our tiny snowman lay collapsed in a pool of his own water and the blossom was back to its unadorned, springlike state.