Somehow, we missed hanami - the cherry blossom season. It could have been our trip north to Niigata to Animal Garden or it could have been an assortment of other things. Regardless, the blossoms are rapidly being replaced by tiny green leaves as the days continue to warm.
Now, as I pedal down the street on errands or to visit friends, a shower of pale pink petals falls through the air. Reminiscent of snow when those first flurries begin floating down to mark the beginning of that other, much colder season, these mark the beginning of that other, much hotter season. There's even a matching undercurrent of heat in the air and a change in scent that tells me Summer is awake and making her way our direction. People regularly sweep them up as they do leaves in fall, but they keep right on coming often even as the sweeper works. Half-filled bags of fading blossoms sit near doorways with the broom close at hand. As for me, I've never seen the gutters look so pretty.