North Carolina hanami

From Wikipedia:

Hanami (花見 lit. “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, “flower” in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms (桜 or 櫻 sakura), or ume blossoms ( ume).

Here in the great state of North Carolina, though, it would more properly refer to enjoying the beauty of the dogwood trees, which coincidentally bloom at about the same time as the cherry trees in the main part of Japan (and here, for that matter.) When I lived in Japan, I did enjoy the cherry blossoms, but spring didn’t seem quite real without those big white blossoming trees. Behold, below, the joy of spring in NC:

ManyBlossoms PinkDogwood DogwoodBlossoms

What defines spring for you, either where you are, or where you consider home?

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11 Responses to North Carolina hanami

  1. Sonetka says:

    Tulips and daffodils! You can tell April is approaching when you see all the lawns and downtown flowerboxes full of daffodils, and now the tulips are moving in (or being landscaped in, or what-have-you). When it starts switching over to roses, that will be the official starting gun for summer. It’s an odd assocation to have in a place which is essentially desert, but there you go.

  2. akdmyers says:

    Spring is tulips and lilacs. And now dogwood – I didn’t even know what they were when they first started blooming here, but after the magnolias died down the dogwood and cherry started blooming and they are just gorgeous. There aren’t nearly enough tulips around here to make me really believe it’s spring, though.

  3. Mary says:

    Uh… tulips and daffodils, sure, but also unseasonable snow and cold temperatures, like the past couple days. What’s fun about it is enjoying the disbelief of out-of-towners and international students who say, “It’s snowing in April?” And then we get to act all world-weary and tough and talk about how it has snowed in May as well. Some say June, too, but I don’t recall that. The upside is that we enjoy the beautiful, warm, sunny days probably more than most people because we know they might be fleeting.

    Putting away your winter clothes in Michigan is like giving away your maternity clothes. You are just asking for it, gods, fate, whatever-wise.

    You are all making me crazy jealous with your talk of dogwood and lilacs and magnolias.

  4. Dana says:

    Dare I mention that we also have azaleas this week, Mary? I hear it’s been hailing in MI.

  5. Mary says:

    You’re killing me, Dana. Five minutes ago it was snowing, but it appears to have stopped. I’m really looking forwared to going out and buying an Easter outfit. Maybe I can get a new coat to match.

  6. Mark says:

    It was indeed hailing as recently as Thursday (the 5th of April), but it was only the really tiny hail that blows apart into what amount to snowflakes as soon as it hits anything. Then again, today is cool but gorgeous, with bright sun and weather hovering around 50 degrees fahrenheit (which, to the disbelief of any of a wide variety of people, I think of as a very pleasant, wear a spring-weight jacket unzipped kind of temperature). There is just enough of a breeze that the air doesn’t feel dead, but little enough thermal energy involved that most of the allergy-inducing plants soon will be. I love my state.

  7. […] North Carolina hanami, on the beauty of spring in my home state. […]

  8. tokyo5 says:

    Did you live in Japan? For how long?
    We did 花見 today:
    http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/sakura-at-yasukuni/

    • Dana says:

      Yes, I lived there for a year. I’ve been back for visits a couple of times since then, but not during sakura season, unfortunately.

      • tokyo5 says:

        You lived in 仙台 (Sendai), I see.

        How did you like it? Did you ever have a chance to see Tokyo?

        • Dana says:

          I liked Sendai a lot. It was an easy city to get to know. I did visit Tokyo several times during that year, and also in later visits. I think Tokyo is a much better city to visit if you know someone there. If I just go as a tourist by myself, it isn’t always very interesting.

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