A foggy morning in Tsukuba

Especially on autumn and winter days, when cold, moist, dense air settles near the low-lying rice fields, a fog might form and we get these surreal images in the morning.

Fog envelops the sleeping neighborhood and the fallow fields. The fog will clear as the morning gets warmer, but for now everything blurs into the gray background.

This is Osmanthus fragrans, an evergreen shrub native to Asia. This particular variety is called kinmokusei (金木犀 “golden osmanthus”) in Japanese, and its small, orange-colored, fragrant flowers announce the coming autumn.