Late-Afternoon Storm, and the Mowing of Lawns

The black square to the lower-right of center
marks the area of Kyoto were we live.

We had the most pleasant late-summer storm this afternoon. What was left of Typhoon #14 had blown through the other day, and as always after a typhoon, today was a spectacularly sunny and clear (and hot) day.

Thus, it was with great surprise that we were greeted by a late-afternoon (~4:30pm) short but fierce thunderstorm. It suddenly grew very dark, and the dark heavy clouds rolled in quite low, as if you could reach up and touch them. Then it got a bit lighter, as if it has passed us, but then the sky opened up with a torrent of water, and a cold wind (the first of anything I'd call “cold” in Kyoto since last winter) whipped up a fury. The arrival of the rain and wind was accompanied by a chorus of thunder and lightning (albeit a meager amount for one used to an American-Midwest storm).

It was quite pleasant to stand on the veranda with Anthony, feeling the whipping wind and the rain it brought. The veranda is protected enough that we mostly didn't get wet, except for the occasional gust that hit just right to bring a strong spray of water in upon us. After such a hot summer, the cold wind was as pleasant as one could imagine. It was very nice.

The storm was good timing for the family that lives below us. The lady of the house had just finished cutting the grass in their little garden area (cutting, it seems, with what looked like a small set of hedge trimmers), and was putting the last of the clippings into a bag when the wind first whipped up. She's got quite a green thumb and has recently planted some trees and other plants, so I'm sure they can all use some rain.

An actual lawn with grass is sufficiently rare in any part of Japan I've ever seen that it's probably a challenge to find a way to trim it. I'm sure that the market for lawn mowers is about as strong in Kyoto as for kimono in Cleveland. I noticed that one of the other first-floor residents (such residents have a small grassy garden area) had a little tiny electric lawn mower on their front porch. It was smaller and more cute than any toddler's toy mower I've ever seen; the mower deck would perhaps just about fit on a sheet of 8x10 paper.

One comment so far...

That is a very tiny lawn mower indeed. Amazing. I did not know that the Japanese had so few lawns….

— comment by Ames Tiedeman on April 14th, 2006 at 1:19pm JST (16 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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