April, 2011

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
We'd be happy if you look at
previous issues.



Thank you for your concern for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
Kyushu is far, and was safe from the catastrophe.
We will be safe from the Fukushima Power Plants also.
But please send your prayer to Japan. We need it now.

Plants are the greatest existence on the earth.
Ukidake revisited

wax-leaf privet flower with a bee
Bee's eyes can see the ultraviolet rays.
Seen by bee's eyes, these small, humble flowers must be bright and gorgeous.

 Hello, friends.
Do you remember Yasutaka Yoshimori, whom I introduced on this Greeting page #116 ?
On March 2, I went to his forest with 20 highschool students of Karatsu Seisho Highschool. I have worked with Mr. Maeda of the school, letting the students of the Environment Study Course see here and there as a field work. I am a kind of coordinator, because I know many people and places.
The pollen count is high this year, but students were enjoying visiting Yasutaka's forest and Mt. Ukidake.
This is a small report about our Ukidake trip. Please enjoy.

Yasutaka built this cottage by himself with a little help of a carpenter.
Inside the cottage, fire was burning making every chilled body happy.
This small solar panel makes electricity.
Also this small wind mill helps to generate.
Maple tree is ready for the spring.
A stream from the the mountain.
Salamanders live in this water.
Small crabs, too.
Yasutaka' s field. He grows little amount of vegetables necessary for his family.
Books are for the rainy days.
The owl was carved by his friend.
It looks like Yasutaka, doesn't it?
Students arrived at Yasutaka's forest, and first of all, they eat lunch!
Cold outside. So girls get in the cottage.
After the lunch, Yasutaka started his lecture.
His dog Gli, Labrador retriever, joins showing around his forest.
Students are very happy. They like field study better than room study.
This mountain is supervised by Nation, and the sign shows that this forest is for maintaining the headwaters.
Explanation says this is a very important natural forest.
Which typhoon killed this old tree?
How many years ago?
I felt sad at the death of this old grand tree.
An old tree fell down on another tree.
Romeo and Juliet, I thought.
Students are climbing. I cannot go up so fast! Wait!
Don't leave me alone in the mountain!
When I caught up with them, Yasutaka's lecture was almost over.
Names of trees, how to identify them, why they are important....
Mr. Matsuo and Mr. Koga, both are helping finding suitable samples, adding some explanations. Most helpful assistants.

Physarum was explained.
Yasutaka is explaining about his failure of planting a tulip tree, that is not local of this district.
He planted this tree because he thought the blossom of this tree would be very nice for his bees. But later he found that this tree grows so rapidly, but breaks so easily.
"Local vegetation is the chosen species by Nature."
He said at the last part of his lecture.
”I think that trees and grass are the greatest existence on the earth, because plants only can make life from nature. Animals depend on plants or other animals for their life.”
At the end of the field study, students got warm in the cottage and asked some questions.
Students leaving, Yasutaka seeing them off.
Maeda sensei is bowing to Yasutaka sensei.
Gli looked sad when students left the forest.
Yasutaka's forest of broadleaf trees.
Yasutaka denies the way of forest making which Japanese government has pushed forward for some tens of years...that is to say, to make every mountain a forest of only cedars and cypresses.
These conifers are easy to fall at a typhoon, because their roots are not deep.. They do not keep waters in the earth. Photosynthesis too is less than broadleaf trees.
Fallen dead leaves are important organic resources which flow into the sea and feed fish.
Abundant forest makes abundant sea.

How did you like the picnic with the students?
Yasutaka's words are always a philosophy.
Spring was near at hand, and the day was quite meaningful.

Thank you, friends. I hope I can see you next month again.

Thank you very much for visiting this page.
I hope you will return next month.
Yours, Harumi Okochi
Proprietress of

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