Last week I finally managed to travel to Kyoto! Kyoto is a very beautiful city with nice structure and very tasty matcha ice cream. Top of my list for a visit to the city was the Bamboo Grove in Arashiyama. Arashiyama is in the west of Kyoto and is at the base of the Arashiyama Mountains.
Before I went there, I had already seen some nice pictures of the Grove. However, that did not compare with the real feeling of actually standing in the middle of the grove and listening to the wind and the movement of the bamboos. There is a main path which leads to the top of the hill and finally get you to the Okochi Sanso Villa which is very beautiful.
Arashiyama and its peaceful surroundings are the best gateway from the everyday city life that can sometimes become tiring and even boring.
Autumn is coming…
It has been a very hot summer this year. For the first time in my life, I have started using an umbrella in summer!
However, if we do not think of the heat too much, we can see the beauty of summer as well. The trees are very green and lively and we can hear the birds and the cicadas singing. The sun is quite warm and bright and this is something we will dearly miss very soon when winter arrives.
While walking home last night, I was just looking at the pavement and I noticed the tree leaves on the ground. I looked around and I realised that the trees had started to lose their leaves already. This is how the trees prepare for the colder seasons you know. By losing their leaves, they can save their resources and also become stronger against windy weather in autumn and winter. I have also noticed that days are getting shorter and shorter. A few minutes of sunlight is lost each day as the new season approaches.
I really like autumn and I look forward to it. It is still very hot but don’t you think autumn is already on its way to Matsuyama?
My animal friends in Australia
My name is Helen and I am from Australia. In Australia my family lives on a farm in the country and we live in a wide, flat landscape with many trees and animals. My family are wildlife rescuers and carers and we look after many types of native Australian animals. If an animal is injured we help rescue and rehabilitate them, or if there is an accident on the road and a mother animal is killed we look after the orphan baby until it is grown up and can be released back into the wild. The animals we care for are not our pets, we love and care for them but they will always return to their home in the wild. We carefully follow the process of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release. Of course sometimes the animals we release come back to visit. Here are some grown-up kangaroos eating grass in my family’s garden.
We care for native Australian birds, reptiles and turtles, but my favourite are kangaroos and wallaroos. Kangaroos and wallaroos are part of a species category called ‘macropod’ (macro = big, pod = foot). Baby kangaroos and wallaroos are called ‘joeys’ and when they are small they need a lot of special care. They sleep in cloth bags we make to replicate their mother’s pouches. Here are some wallaroo joeys, notice the female joeys are pale and the male joey is dark.
Joeys need to drink a unique milk rich in vitamins multiple times a day and we feed them using special bottles that have very long plastic teats (because their noses are so long!).
When the joeys grow up they start to explore the safe farm and make friends with wild kangaroos. Slowly they become adults and finally they leave our house and garden to live in the wild and have their own joeys. We are always very happy when they come back and visit, but for us the biggest reward is to see the kangaroos and wallaroos become wild animals that are healthy and free.