A week and a half ago we suddenly had a warm day after some cooler, wet weather. Laurie and I were walking along the board-walk beside Spring Creek at Torquay when my attention was caught by movement in the grass.
It was an echidna searching for ants in the dry sand beside the creek.
Because we kept very still and quiet, the creature was not disturbed and continued to fossick for food.
Echidnas have very poor eyesight and are more disturbed by noise or vibrations felt through the ground. Their response to such disturbance is to curl into a tight ball with only their sharp spines visible. This one was certainly very active.
In the same week I attended the monthly meeting of Ikebana International, Melbourne Chapter. The guest speaker was a maker of wagashi, hand-made Japanese sweets that are usually served with matcha, the Japanese tea made with finely-powdered green tea leaves. The sweets are beautiful to look at, as well as eat, and often made in the shape of flowers or leaves.
Flower arrangements accompanying the traditional tea ceremony are called Chabana, tea flowers. These arrangements have no formal rules and should be very simple, using seasonal materials and made very quickly without kenzans or other fixing devices. The vessel should also evoke simplicity and naturalness.
I made this arrangement of a camellia flower and two leaves on a previous occasion in a simple Bizen ceramic beaker made by Ishida Kazuya from Okayama. The unglazed clay has developed subtle colouration from the kiln firing.
For the meeting I used another unglazed Bizen vessel that has faceted sides. It has beautiful orange-red markings from being wrapped in rice straw during the firing process. I have added a single stem of white azalea that only needed to be placed in the vase and allowing it to cascade to one side.
There are more photos from the meeting that you can see by following this link to Ikebana International Melbourne meeting.
Greetings from Christopher
20th October 2019