On my last days off, I went looking for signs of Autumn, my favorite season. It was a delicious pair of days. The sun kept rapping on the glass urging me to get out of the apartment and away from the computer. It’s late November, but the leaves haven’t quite changed yet in all its glory. But my persimmon had dropped half its orange leaves. And from my balcony I could see some Fall colors over at the nature reserve.
So I headed out to the The Institute for Nature Study, which is a large tract of undisturbed forest in Meguro. About 500 years ago, it belonged to the original Lord Shirokane whose name is now used for the nearby neighborhood. Unlike the well-kept, tidy parks around Tokyo, the Center is truly a wild place. Only 300 people are allowed in at any time. On a Thursday afternoon, there were only retirees and me. And lots and lots of crows.
At the reserve, there are several ponds and marshes. I saw some egrets feeding in one. It’s sufficiently big enough that I could get away from the raucous crows, and even escape the city noise. It was great therapy. There are many places to sit and sketch, write or space out.
On the way there, I biked on the posh Platinum St. It’s lined with towering gingko trees. While the leaves haven’t turned yellow yet, many of the trees are dropping the gingko nuts. In fact, my bike made a lot of crunching sounds while I was being pelted by nuts literally showering down on me. The light bruising wasn’t so bad, but the worst thing is the smell. The nuts reek like rancid butter. Later in the park, I got shat on by a crow. But it was such an unrelentingly beautiful day, I gave in to whatever nature wanted to throw at me.