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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tokyo Blossom in late Fall


We have a miniature apple tree on our balcony, about a meter and a half high and probably about ten years old, that prolifically blossoms in spring, fragrant and white, and prolifically bears fruit in autumn: tiny cherry-sized red apples that the birds eat.

Blossom in autumn, Tokyo, Japan.
Apple blossom in fall, Tokyo.
We're heading for winter here in Tokyo, and the tree is looking sparse and drab with half its leaves fallen, and those that remain dried to a crisp and rust colored.  So imagine our disbelief when just three days ago we noticed a full cluster of snowy white blossom that had suddenly appeared near the top of the tree.

The disconnect between the fragrant, dazzling freshness of the buds and blossoms on one hand and the haggard leaves and half bare branches on the other is striking.

Apple blossom blooming in fall, Tokyo, Japan.

We wondered if it were because autumn this year was warmer than usual, but a look at the Japan Meteorological Office website shows that while the average daily temperature for the first eleven days of November 2013 was 15.7 degrees Celsius (60 F), this year the average daily temperature for the 1st to 11th of November, was 16.6 degrees Celsius (62 F) -- a mere degree or so higher, but enough to trick a tree into thinking spring has returned?

Whatever the (mysterious) reason, the apple blossom is still in bloom after four or five days, and with at least a couple of buds promising several days more of it. How poetic if it lasted long enough to be matched by equally dazzling flakes of early winter snow!

Read about night blossom in Japan

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