|colored tea time|
I love these colorful hand-made tea cups. Drinking tea in a real tea cup makes me ponder on tradition and cultural values. The coffee cup is meant for coffee or drinking tea out of tea bags. In the past, freshly dehydrated tea leaves were usually of higher quality than the content of a tea bag. Nowadays tea bag quality is improved and enhanced with hydrating fruits and flower pieces which may add a hint of flavor but mostly serve a marketing purpose.
A nice cup of Chinese tea is brewed from whole tea leaves (not from individual tea bags) and there are serving rules. There is no doubt in my mind that bag tea has no comparison with the tea brewed in the traditional method.
I did not plan to talk about flowers again, but… Epiphyllum 曇花 is originated from South Africa. It would only bloom in the evening between 8-12 o’clock and the bloom lasts only 4-5 hours before it starts to fade. Chinese literature uses Epiphyllum to symbolize short-lived occurrence (曇花一現). The flower is also named ‘Moonlight Beauty’ because of its blooming at the night. For the fact that it blooms once a year and lasts only a few hours. Unless you are mindfully watching its growth, you may not see the flowers for years. My sister gave me a couple of leave cuttings when I was there in June. In California, the blooming season for this flower was over then. I was not sure if it will grow in Oregon and if it does, I thought, it will be next year or years to come.
|6:45pm, 1st day|
Completely caught me by surprise, I saw reddish something popping up on the edge of the leave about three weeks ago. I emailed my sister and she said, that is a flower bud! The ‘bud’ grows bigger every day. While sipping my tea and enjoying the blueberry silk cake, I discovered the size of the bud looks bigger than ever and it seems to me that the flower can pop at any time. Still not totally convinced that I am going to see a flower, I however had my camera ready. Maybe they would bloom tomorrow night, I thought.
|11:00pm, 1st day|
This flower is a more creamy white color. I tried not to use flash, but it appeared to be mission impossible without a flash to get the color right. Flash also took away some details. I have to be more prepared next time.
|1:40pm, 2nd day|
|7:00am, 2nd day|
I downloaded all my pictures to assure that I have them before I went to bed. I am not sure how much longer before the flower began to fade, but this is what I saw when I checked it again at 7:00am, the next morning.
The blossom seemed to close completely when I took the image on right at 1:40pm and the look remains till now.
I think Epiphyllum is simply magnificently gorgeous and utterly exquisite. I wish she was not so hurried to conceal her peerless splendor. I was surely lucky to capture the moment.