Hummingbird Profiles #4 – Amazing 素晴らしい

Hummingbird Profiles #4
Hummingbird Profiles #4, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
endlessly enduring
achieving the amazing
single parent
>>:::<<

I’m finally able to catch a few moments to post and visit a few blogs today.  Although I haven’t been able to respond to each of your comments, I continue to appreciate all your kind words, encouragement, visits and likes.  Thank you.

We hit more bumps in the road recently with my mother’s health, and her cancer chemotherapy treatments had to be postponed two times in a row now.  In addition, there is more cancer growth, another metastasized spot detected from an MRI scan taken a little over a week ago, more procedures, and radiation.  We continue to hope that we will receive some bit of good news in the near future, instead of worsening news.  These still remain scary, hectic, and gut wrenching times.

~~~~~

Here is the fourth image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a female broad-tailed hummingbird.  An image of the male broad-tailed hummingbird was posted here.  Hummingbirds in general are quite amazing, and their dense, cuplike nests have been described as “amazing architectural creations that protect and nurture some of the most delicate birds.”  Hummingbird nests are built by the female, entirely by the female bird, spending several hours a day for up to a week collecting materials to build the nest.  Also, the females raise the chicks – single parenting.  The male hummingbirds are not involved in raising the young after the act of copulation is complete.

I continue to dedicate this hummingbird series to my mother.  My mother, who became divorced and a single parent when I was too young to remember, raised, supported and nurtured me, AND worked full time and multiple jobs to provide for me.  She has overcome many hardships over the years, and is one of the most compassionate, sincere and generous people I know.  She is also one of the most AMAZING and beautiful people I know!

I’m including two Japanese words to represent “amazing”

素晴らしい  (すばらしい), which is read subarashi
(superb; fantastic; marvelous; wonderful; terrific; amazing; great)

and

凄い  (すごい), which is read sugoi
(amazing – of strength; great – of skills; wonderful; terrific;)

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Hummingbird Profiles #3 – Powerful, Strength 強力

Hummingbird Profiles #3
Hummingbird Profiles #3, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
a new chill on my skin
colors change before my eyes
autumn migration
>>:::<<

Yesterday was the start of my Mom’s second chemotherapy treatment.  She will have 12 total treatments over the next six months, minimum.  There are certainly side effects, but not to the extent we expected so far.  She is not brutally ill like we anticipated.  She is doing ok overall even though it is still a struggle for her, especially for the first week after the treatment.  We are all well aware of the physical and mental power and strength needed to make our way through this journey, including all the other hurdles we have going on at the same time.

~~~~~

Here is the third image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a male Rufous hummingbird.  The Rufous is a later arriver at our feeders, first appearing in the middle of July, and is also the first of the hummingbird species to leave.  Although a few hummingbirds are still here at our feeders, the Rufous in particular have already departed.  I did not have the opportunity to enjoy seeing and photographing the hummingbirds as much this summer as in previous years, but I at least got a couple of photo sessions in this past spring.

Since autumn officially arrives here in the northern hemisphere in a few days, on September 22, I thought the beautiful coloring of the Rufous hummingbird was appropriate to welcome the new season.

A common symbolism of hummingbirds is powerful energy and the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  They are built for power, with about 30% of their weight consisting of flight muscles.  Some migrate impressive distances – up to 500 miles nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico.  Two behaviors separate the Rufous from other hummingbird:  1) It ventures farther north during the migration than any other, reaching the southeastern coast of Alaska, and 2) It has the longest known migration of any bird species, traveling over 3,000 miles between Mexico and Alaska.

Hummingbirds symbolize Powerful and Strength
(in Japanese, it is 強力 (きょうりょく), which is read kyouryoku

I also saw another translation of 強力 as “herculean strength.”  I believe it, given the strength and stamina these little hummingbirds need for their long journey!

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Hummingbird Profiles #2 – Ganbatte 頑張って

Hummingbird Profiles #2
Hummingbird Profiles #2, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
hummingbird miracles
and determined perseverance
nature’s masterpiece
>>:::<<

I’ve been a resident in my mother’s hospital room at the cancer hospital this past week.  She did well with the surgery and will require several weeks of recuperation, but we are playing the waiting game again with pathology results.  We do our best to persevere.

~~~~~

Here is the second image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series.  This is a male Black-chinned hummingbird, one of the first hummingbirds that usually arrive at our feeders for the season.  Since purple is one of my favorite colors, I love the glistening purple gorget when the light catches their throat just right.  Hummingbirds symbolize many things, as I’ve posted in the past, two of which are perseverance and overcoming the seemingly impossible.

In my opinion, hummingbirds are one of nature’s many great masterpieces!

The Japanese word for perseverance, to not give up or to “do your best” is:
Ganbatte  頑張って (がんばって)

…and more formal and more polite:
Ganbatte kudasai  頑張ってください

Related articles:

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Hummingbird Profiles #1 – JOY

Hummingbird Profiles #1
Hummingbird Profiles #1, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
rubies emeralds diamonds
precious gems dazzle in the sky
hummingbird splendor
>>:::<<

First of all, thank you very much for all the kind well wishes for my mother and our family in my recent postings.  I really appreciate and am touched by all your supportive and encouraging words.  Last week was hectic with more tests and procedures, but we are in the “waiting mode” right now – waiting for test results, waiting for surgery, etc., etc.  Cancer is a very wicked thing.

~~~~~

Last year, I created a few photomanipulations of hummingbird photos I took in our yard.  I intended to post them at the time, but I would develop a brain cramp whenever I tried to create a blog posting using the images…that is, until now.  It could be that now feels like the right time to post these images because hummingbirds symbolize what is needed so much right now:

A common symbolism of the hummingbird is JOY!
(Joy in Japanese is 喜び, which is read yorokobi.)

Tiniest of all birds, the hummingbird is quite spectacular.  It also symbolizes powerful energy, the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible, and flexibility in life circumstances.  When in the air, their wings are continually in motion, which symbolizes tirelessness and perseverance.

I start off my hummingbird photomanipulation series today with an image of a male Broad-tailed hummingbird.  I find his pose sweet and adorable.  Also, my mother’s top two favorite colors are red and green, similar to the beautiful colors on this bird.

If you are in need of JOY today or at any time, I hope this image will bring you some.

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The Last Iris – Woodblock Print

Iris - Woodblock
Iris – Woodblock, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
welcoming summer
with a respectful surrender
spring blooms nap
>>:::<<

Usually, our irises finish blooming before summer officially arrives.  This year, a couple of our iris blooms, similar to the one in the above image, insisted on meeting the summer solstice.  They have since retired for their long nap until next spring.

I have been clearly absent from blogging for a couple of weeks.  An escalated roller coaster ride with my own health issues, as well as spending several days in the hospital with my mother due to a sudden and unexpected surgery left me with no time or energy for much of anything else.  She is now at home with us recuperating from her surgery.  But I’m able to pop in today for a quick post.  Thank you so much for your patience.

I hope the new season is off to a wonderful start for you.

This image of an iris bloom is another photomanipulation I did to digitally convert a photo into the likeness of an old Japanese woodblock print.  I also learned from fellow bloggers, Francine and Frizz, that the image is also called a “xyloglyph.”

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Graceful Peony – Woodblock Print

Single Peony - Woodblock
Single Peony – Woodblock, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
delicate pink chicks
shielded by caressing arms
silken peony

>>:::<<

This image of a single peony is another photomanipulation I did to digitally convert a photo into the likeness of an old Japanese woodblock print.

Single peonies are composed of one or more rows of a few broad petals, known as guard petals, which surround a center of pollen-bearing stamens, which in turn surround the pistil.  I believe the name of this peony is Sea Shell.  I like how delicate and silky the petals are, and how the formation of stamens and pistils looks like a birds nest.

Hope your week is off to a splendid start!

Here is the original photo I started with:

Peony
Peony, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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My Favorite Daffodil – Woodblock Print

Daffodil Replete Woodblock
Daffodil Replete Woodblock, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
sipping peach cocktails
dreaming among soft sunsets
daffodil garden
>>:::<<

This is a photomanipulation to digitally convert a photo into the likeness of an old Japanese woodblock print. I last posted one of these styles over a year ago. How time flies!

The image is of a double daffodil variety named Replete, one of my favorite types of daffodils.  They are beautifully shaped blooms that are peach/pink with snow white.  It’s wonderful to be surrounded by these beauties while enjoying a refreshing cocktail!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

P.S. Here is the photo I started with:

Daffodil Replete
Daffodil Replete, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.
(click on photo to enlarge)

 Linking up with:
MACRO MONDAY
TUESDAY MUSE
NATURE NOTES

Belated New Year Greeting and Hummingbird Profile

New Year 2013
New Year 2013, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

I’m popping in to wish you all a belated Happy New Year.  (At least it’s still January!)  I haven’t posted for a while, but I’ve really appreciated your visits, comments and well wishes on my blog and by email.  Healing in general is slow, and even slower when there are already existing health issues.

This is my Japanese New Year postcard for 2013.  I have been creating these postcards, called “nengajo” for the last few years, and with my own twist!  (Click here to see my nengajo from last year.)  In Japan, these cards are traditionally delivered on January 1st, but there is no mail delivery in the United States on that day, so my cards arrive after the 1st.

  • Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu 明けましておめでとうございます – Happy New Year!
  • Nengajo 年賀状 – Japanese New Year’s card
  • Etegami 絵手紙 – Japanese word meaning picture letter/message, traditionally done in a postcard size meant to be mailed
  • Hachidori  ハチドリ – Hummingbird

This is an image of a female Rufous Hummingbird, which I created from a photo I took last summer.  Hummingbirds have different symbolisms in different countries, but the more common ones I’ve found are the following:

Tiniest of all birds, the hummingbird is quite spectacular.  It is the only bird that can come to a dead stop in mid-air.  It can hover, fly backwards, forwards, up and down.

A common symbolism of the hummingbird is joy.  It also symbolizes powerful energy, the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible, and flexibility in life circumstances.  They are reminders that life is meant to be savored.  When in the air, their wings are continually in motion, which symbolizes tirelessness and perseverance.  The hummingbird wings move in the pattern of the infinity symbol (figure 8) and are often thought to symbolize eternity and everlasting life.”

 Wishing you a happy new year full of JOY! 

Linking up with:
NATURE NOTES
WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY
BIRD D’POT

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Related postings:

“O” Challenge: Okayama Fairytale

>>:::<<
young and resolute
fighting forces of evil
Japanese fairytale
>>:::<<

Okayama Prefecture Japan is located in the south western part of the country and is where some of my ancestors lived.  It is on the island of Honshu and located between the Seto Inland Sea to the south and the Chugoku Mountains to the north.  It’s nickname is “The Land of Sunshine” because the number of days with rainfall less than 1 millimeter is the highest in Japan.  The capital is Okayama city.

Rather than tell you much more about Okayama Prefecture, I thought I would do something different and introduce you to a popular and delightful Japanese fairytale strongly associated with Okayama, named “Momotaro” or “Peach Boy.”  Peaches, and other fruits, are famous products of Okayama, and a Momotaro Festival is held there annually.  The capital, Okayama City (population of over 700,000), named its main street Momotarō-Odōri in the Peach Boy’s honor, and you’ll find statues from the tale along the way.  I don’t have a photo to post, so I created the above doodle instead to represent the story.

“In the old days, the peach was a symbol of long life and was also believed to be effective in warding off devils.”  (japanese.about.com)

I remember hearing the story of Momotaro when I was a little girl, and I have a version of the story that is in both English and Japanese.  Here is a summary of the fairytale taken from Wikitravel:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

Urban Japan

>>:::<<
wait for bullet train
within my long journey home
business traveler
>>:::<<

I took this photo at the Shin-Osaka train station in Osaka, Japan while waiting for the bullet train (shinkansen).

Although this photo is photoshopped, I wanted to place emphasis on the businessman and the sign, and blur the rest of the image.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands

Daibutsu Hand
Daibutsu Hand, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (Click on image to enlarge).
Daibutsu Daibutsu, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (Click on image to enlarge).

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, I am using Buddha hands to represent the theme.  I took these photos of the large Buddha statue, called Daibutsu, at the Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan.  (See my posting here for more information.)   They show the right and left hands of Daibutsu positioned in two different “mudra.”  A mudra is a symbolic gesture, usually with the hands, used in Hinduism and Buddhism.  Mudra is used primarily to indicate the nature and function of the deity.

The first photo shows the right hand, and the second photo shows parts of both hands.  The right hand is in the “Fear Not” mudra, called Semui-in, in Japanese.  The left hand, which is visible in the second photo, is in the “Welcome” mudra, called Yogan-in.

The Semui-in mudra represents protection, peace, benevolence, and dispelling of fear. It is usually made with the right hand raised to shoulder height in front of the chest, the arm bent and the palm facing outward with the fingers pointing up.  In Japan, when this mudra is used with the middle finger slightly projected forward, it is a symbol of the Shingon Buddhism.

The Yogan-in mudra signifies offering, welcome, charity, giving, compassion and sincerity.  Primarily represents the fulfillment of wishes and granting of benefits to humanity.  The palm offered slightly turned up.  This mudra is usually seen in combination with the semui-in mudra.

I tried to make the first photo look like mostly like an old and faded black-and-white, yet keeping some of the color in the hand to emphasize its focus.

Other interesting information:

  • Daibutsu (大仏) is the largest bronze statue of Buddha.  It is almost 15 meters tall and weighs 500 metric tonnes.
  • Todaiji Temple (東大寺 Eastern Great Temple) is the largest wooden building in the world, even though it is only about two-thirds of it’s original size (57 meters x 50 meters).
  • Construction of the Todaiji Temple began in year 728 and was completed in 752.
  • Nara was the ancient capital of Japan from years 710 to 784

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects

Daibutsu
Daibutsu, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (Click on image to enlarge).

>>:::<<
Ancient capital
My eyes breathe inspiration
Wondrous Daibutsu
>>:::<<

I took this photo of the large Buddha statue (called Daibutsu) at the Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan.  The two main subjects in the photo are Daibutsu and the caretaker in front of the statue.  Without the caretaker in the photo, you would not be able to get a perspective of how large Daibutsu is (also notice how large the flower arrangements are).

Other interesting information:

  • Daibutsu (大仏) is the largest bronze statue of Buddha.  It is almost 15 meters tall and weighs 500 metric tonnes.
  • Todaiji Temple (東大寺 Eastern Great Temple) is the largest wooden building in the world, even though it is currently only about two thirds of it’s original size (57 meters x 50 meters).
  • Construction of the Todaiji Temple began in year 728 and was completed in 752.
  • Nara was the ancient capital of Japan from years 710 to 784

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is:  “Two Subjects” – The theme is more of a composition challenge, two subjects that are both essential parts of the picture and each contribute something differently to the photo.

Other related articles:

O! Challenge: Osaka Castle – Woodblock Print

Osaka Castle - Woodblock
Osaka Castle – Woodblock, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (Click on image to enlarge).
Linking up with Texture Tuesday.

>>:::<<
Walls whisper softly
Reconstruction fades voices
of many battles
>>:::<<

When I was working in Osaka, Japan, I toured Osaka Castle (大阪城) just after it’s 1997 major renovation, and took the original photo during that visit.  For the image, I used Photoshop Elements to create another old Japanese woodblock print style, with my own flare.  Also, I added a texture to soften the image.

Here is the photo I started with, which was scanned from a negative:

Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (Click on image to enlarge).

This post is for the “O” Challenge by Frizztext (“O” is for Osaka)

Other articles about Osaka Castle: