Sunday, December 12, 2010

visiting lingfeng for mume blossoms

Prunus mume is one of my favorite trees. I've got one going in front of the house here but it will be decades before it looks anything like the gorgeous trees in this fabulous card sent by a Chinese postcrosser in Hangzhou, the "heaven", she says, of China. I've been to Hangzhou but it was in the rain. The scene here is one of Ten Views of the West Lake. One of the unexpected pleasures of mume blossoms, which I know well from years in Japan, is their heady wine-like fragrance. In English the tree is called Japanese flowering apricot, but more usually miscalled plum. The botanical name is prunus mume and, as a translator, I like using mume, as this card did, for its name.