Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yellow Leaves of Autumn

What might I leave you
as a last gift when my time comes?
Springtime flowers,
the cuckoo singing all summer,
the yellow leaves of autumn.

- Ryōkan Daigu 良寛大愚 (1758-1831)
Ryokan was an eccentric Zen monk who called himself Daigu meaning a Big Fool and is remembered for his poetry and calligraphy.

Autumn in the eastern Himalaya of Nepal always means clear blue skies, bright sunny days and cold nights: Perfect condition for good teas. Many places are also ablaze with yellow mustard fields. Not quite the autumn yellow but still very pretty. 

Unlike Sri Lanka and India tea is grown in small patches rather than big plantations. Here we see a perfect example of that. Mustard field and tea garden. Garden and not plantations!

Image (Ramche, Hile- Dhankuta 2012. Altitude ca. 1650 m above sea level): 
(Top) Looking west from Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden wtih tea bushes in the foreground.
(Middle) Farmer's tea garden and mustard fields
(Bottom) Looking east towards Hile.

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