Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Bees and Blossoms

March 23, 2013 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Bees and Blossoms

We have an old tree that is in the middle of the triangular patch of ground in front of the office that looks like it is dead. It is charred all up the trunk, looking like it was struck by lightning. I don't actually know what happened to it. Every year at this time, the tree comes alive for a short season—it buds and the beautiful white blossoms fill the one living branch that remains.

These pictures are of the honey bees that take advantage of the small window of opportunity that the tree offers up. If the fruit trees blossom too early, a hard frost in late spring can kill them off. The apple and pear trees have only just started to bud, but this tree and the white plum tree are the habitual early bloomers. If you come up to the center in the next few weeks, take a moment to look at them before another year passes and they return to apparent dormancy.

Honey bees

Honey Bees


  • Alston:

    25 Mar 2013 11:24:29

    fantastic shots of the bees. thnx

  • Jim Yugen Lakey:

    25 Mar 2013 11:30:40

    You’re quite welcome! I was thinking they might work well as prints. Maybe once we get the online store up and running I’ll get some nice prints done of some of the photos from around the center.

  • Alston:

    26 Mar 2013 08:38:28

    i am imagining a series that captures the non-human life – and maybe throw in some human, too – in all its layers in and around Yokoji: “looking closely at what we fail to notice”. you’ve got the skills to make them interesting images on their own.

  • Jim Yugen Lakey:

    26 Mar 2013 08:46:51

    I’ve got quite a few like that already, but yes, I think a series along these lines could work. Jokai and I were looking at possibly matching up some photos with haiku that he has written, although figuring out how to present it is the thing with that.

  • Genku:

    28 Mar 2013 16:20:34

    Camera held steady,
    A discerning eye, and click!
    What is recorded?

  • Alston:

    29 Mar 2013 14:07:39

    how about an iPhone app? daily haiku+nature pic. maybe expand project to something bigger and get funding via kickstarter.

  • Jim Yugen Lakey:

    29 Mar 2013 14:30:56

    Sounds good Alston! We just need someone who knows their way around Objective-C. Alas, my current skill set doesn’t go that deep.

  • Alston:

    29 Mar 2013 16:16:38

    can’t be that hard…everybody else is doing it…clever lad like you…etc etc…

  • Cynthia O'Keeffe:

    29 Mar 2013 19:48:54

    Beautiful photos! Please take some of the entire tree, if possible :) It is nice to put the blooming and non-active parts in perspective.
    I believe I read something about the ‘microcosm’ reflected in such trees: parts of the whole appear alive, parts appear dead….what is the true meaning of this vision?

  • Jim Yugen Lakey:

    29 Mar 2013 21:08:15

    Hi Cynthia,

    I have tried on numerous occasions to take photos of the whole tree but have never captured it in a way that does it any justice. If I ever manage it, I will post it for sure.

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