Wednesday, 19 May 2010
With the breezy conditions on Saturday, blossom was starting to stream off the cherry trees and swirling around like weird pink snowflakes before settling in the beginnings of "blossom drifts" along paths, pavements and roadside gutters.
In writing about cherry blossom for a recent Spring-time blog post (here), I came across some fascinating information on the strong cultural significance of the cherry blossom season in Japan. I'm grateful to Tokyo-based Louise Rouse's "My Blog" for interesting information on this annual cultural phenomenon.
She reports: "The coming of spring in Japan has been celebrated since around the middle of the 9th century BC by the opening of the iconic cherry blossom, a custom originally imported from China, but that has changed entirely since then in meaning and style, but for the simple uniting principle of celebrating flowers opening. Forecasts for the Japanese sakura blossoming are as detailed and frequent as the regular weather forecasts during this season." She goes on to look at published academic information on the link between cherry blossom dates and climate change, using cherry flowering dates from Japan running back over a thousand years (surely the longest near-continuous record of hand-recorded biological data anywhere?). She includes the following academic figure in her post, which I reproduce here for interest:
So, in celebration our own fine cherry blossom season in Stirling, here are some more pictures from the weekend.
PS as a final irony, a consistent error that kept appearing while I was typing this in was the accidental typing of "cheery blossom" instead of "cherry blossom" - very appropriate, you might think! :¬)