A hearty hello to all our loyal readers, far and wide!
It’s been almost a month since Kamikochi shut its gates to the public on November 15th. With human activity on hold for the next for the next five months, the silence is only disturbed by such sounds as a breeze rattling bare branches. the chattering of monkeys, and the odd flutter of birds’ wings in the crisp clear winter air.
Since there’s not much new to report right now, we’ll instead be looking back at the year gone past. Thanks to the good folks at Five Sense for posting the articles on which today’s blog is based. We’ll also be following their lead in making this a two-parter as there is a fair bit to talk about.
Let’s dive right in then!
We begin our journey toward the end of March when park staff were bracing themselves for a dauting task. Heavy snowfall over the winter had left a large amount of the white stuff which needed to be cleared away before preparations for the coming season could begin in earnest. Their fears proved unfounded, however, as the snow melted at a surprising speed.
One of the things that caused the snow to melt so rapidly was the spring rainy season, which was longer and more regular than usual. Before long, the anemones so closely associated with early spring began to appear. These beauties were captured on April 28:
The appearance of anemones is a sure sign that spring is underway. But no sooner had they appeared, a surprise blizzard swept through the park, stifling the mood a bit. This photo was taken on March 2nd:
While snowfall during the Golden Week holiday isn’t unheard of, the cold that accompanied the snow stayed around for much of May, making it a chillier time than in past years. And yet, in spite of this development, both the anemones and the konashi (crabapple trees) bloomed a little ahead of schedule.
By the end of May, the new green leaves of spring had arrived to usher in warmer temperatures in time-honored style:
Late Spring and Summer
As mentioned above, 2022’s spring rainy season was longer than usual. But the relative lack of heavy fall and the large amount of snow from higher altitudes meant that there was also little in the way of landslide activity. The resulting lack of silt in the water left the clear waters of the Azusa River their usual clear color.
And with that, we conclude this week’s blog. Join us next time for the second half of our 2022 retrospective.
Till next time, keep warm and stay safe!
Source of Information:
Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: https://fivesense.guide/blog/column/125759/