asakiyume: (november birch)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I was looking at some of my earliest journal entries, trying to see what had me hopping with inspiration back almost thirteen years ago, and I discovered this:
Little Springtime, the Peaceful One, had to list things that happen with regularity in nature--just a few examples. She said, "I've already got things like 'Bears eat skunk cabbage in the spring...'--as if THAT'S the first regular seasonal thing you'd think of! I only just learned that about bears last week. It made me think, it would be fun to have a list of things that happen very regularly that people rarely think of (like the bears and skunk cabbages, frankly).

I thought, that idea dovetails nicely with Japanese microseasons, which Wakanomori introduced me to a few years ago. There are 72 of them. Right now, for instance, we're in 雉始雊 Kiji hajimete naku--pheasants start to call. (More broadly, we're in the period called 小寒 Shōkan, "small cold," which will be followed, from January 20 through February 3, by "greater cold." Just warning you.)

But it might be fun to get as particularistic about place as for time. If you can divide the year into 72 microseasons, how about microclimates? Of course years can vary so wildly in terms of what happens... it would take lots of observations to have microseasons that would really apply fairly regularly year after year.

These last few days, here, we've been in the microseason of thin wind--the kind that slips between all your layers and curls up right against your skin, trying to warm itself, a hungry ghost of a wind. I haven't heard any pheasants calling.

Date: 2019-01-16 07:12 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)
From: [personal profile] sovay
She said, "I've already got things like 'Bears eat skunk cabbage in the spring...'

I like that as a seasonal marker!

These last few days, here, we've been in the microseason of thin wind--the kind that slips between all your layers and curls up right against your skin, trying to warm itself, a hungry ghost of a wind.

We're in a dry, knifing microseason and I wish it would snow.

Date: 2019-01-16 07:55 pm (UTC)
athenais: (Default)
From: [personal profile] athenais
I live in the Bay Area which has many microclimates. I can never dress in a single layer because I'll be either too cold or too hot within about five miles in any direction (except west since we are bounded by the Pacific). But I never imagined microseasons and yet it makes much more sense than four seasons. I would say this is the microseason of hill greening because we get so much rain in January.

Date: 2019-01-17 02:52 am (UTC)
marycatelli: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marycatelli
Skunk cabbage is a good indicator all by itself. It can melt the snow around it to enhance its spring start.

Date: 2019-01-17 02:59 am (UTC)
threemeninaboat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] threemeninaboat
I love Japan.

Date: 2019-01-17 03:23 am (UTC)
osprey_archer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] osprey_archer
Oh, I love this. The names of the microseasons in that link are so poetic: "rainbows hide," "crickets chirp around the door."

Winter weather is so changeable these days that it would be hard to have set microseasons for it, at least where I live. You never know when it's going to be the Microseason of Tiny Icicles Clinging to the Bottom of Your Car. But there could definitely be microseasons for "crocuses bloom," "first fireflies appear," "cicadas hum"... all sort os things.

Re: (also)

Date: 2019-01-17 01:17 pm (UTC)
osprey_archer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] osprey_archer
It's a pop-up microseason. You never know when to expect it.

Date: 2019-01-21 10:40 pm (UTC)
pjthompson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pjthompson
What a lovely post, and what lovely microseasons. I love how the Japanese pay such close and particular attention to nature.

Here we're having "daffodils up getting ready to bloom" season. They've liked all the rain we've had. And as someone said above, it's "hill greening season." It seems to be a statewide season here in California.

Date: 2019-01-22 12:20 am (UTC)
pjthompson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pjthompson
"Yard swimming in yellow season."

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