The Flowering of Early Summer

A macaque snacks on a tender stalk. (photo: Ume)

Greetings to all of our readers.

After taking a break last week, we’re here again to catch you up on the latest summer developments. Well, what there are of them anyway.

With the reverberations of the coronavirus crisis still being felt, Kamikochi continues to receive far fewer visitors than usual (perhaps record lows, though I’ve yet to see any statistics on the subject).

June tends to be one of the slower months of the year due to lengthy rainy spells, though we do get the occasional sunny day like the one seen here:

Blue skies over the Alps! (photo: Ume)

In addition to making sunny days all the more welcome, copious rainfall also represents a boon for local plant life:

Azaleas in bloom. (photo: Ume)
(photo: Ume)

Azaleas and daylilies, like the ones seen below, are among the seasonal flowers currently brightening the fields and clearings of Kamikochi.

Daylilies (photo: Ume)

And it’s not only the plants that are now reaping the benefits of increased rainfall, but also the animals who subsist on them. Kamikochi’s macaque population endures harsh winters when their food supply is limited. Come summertime, the abundant plant life turns Kamikochi into one giant 食べ放題 (all you can eat buffet) for them and they take full advantage of it:

“Yes, but I never inhaled…” (photo: Ume)

Who doesn’t love a good monkey picture? No one, that’s who. Here’s another:

Awww. (photo: Ume)

And with that, we conclude our brief catch up of June in Kamikochi. While there may not seem to be much going on, the movements of nature proceed apace. Someday, we’ll hear the chatter of crowds and trudging of boots again, but for now we’ll have a moment of peace.

Thanks as always to the Nature Guide: Five Sense blog for maintaining such an excellent source of recent images and info on Kamikochi and also for granting us use of it. We couldn’t do it without you.