Friday, January 02, 2015

Winter white

The eastern part of Japan has been getting huge snowstorms for the better part of a month so I thought I might have a white Christmas, or New Year's. No snow where I've been, but today's walk up 茶臼山 Chasuiyama offered dazzling whites aplenty. For starters there was a clear view of 浅間山 Asamayama's perfect volcanic cone to our south.
Then, at the tiny little shrine on the summit (next to a large radio transmitter), some rice cakes someone left yesterday, with a cup of water. How do I know it was yesterday? The water froze, perhaps cracking the cup in the process! Oh, and while we were looking at this Asamayama did what active volcanoes often do: that cloud is steam!
And yet these weren't the most remarkable whites the walk afforded us. Those emerged underfoot, in a kind of filament-like frost the likes of which I have never seen before. In places where the trail crunched underfoot, this frost seems to have formed just where, the other day, there was stick-to-your-shoe-soles mud. I was utterly enchanted!

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