My mind turns to Japan at this time of year as soon as I see a cherry tree in the neighborhood start to bloom. I visited Tokyo six years ago on a business trip, unfortunately a week or two too early for the full bloom of the cherry trees. Nevertheless I had one free day on my own which I spent wandering the grounds of the Imperial Palace, delighted to at last find a tree blossoming in the East Garden, even if it was not the traditional cherry.
My heart aches for the people suffering from the earthquake and tsunami, I pray healing follows tragedy as spring follows winter.
Today’s picture is in honor of the tufted duck that has been spotted recently in Portland, similar to our native scaup but normally found on the other side of the Pacific. This is not the duck that came down the wrong flyway but a male I photographed in Tokyo’s Ueno Park on a business trip almost four years ago. I picked up my Canon 20D right before that trip so it’s about to turn four as well.
He was resting in still waters and opened his bright yellow eyes for just a moment to gauge my intentions. This is not only my favorite tufted duck picture but one of my favorite duck pictures. I arrived early when the park was quiet but as the city woke up the park filled with people and was not nearly as serene as the picture might suggest.