Shinobazu Pond (Tokyo, Japan) attracts the most attention during summer, when the lotus pond is almost completely covered by lotus leaves and the flowers are in full bloom (Nelumbo nucifera). As with all annual plants, the lotus comes and goes every year. The petals wilt late in summer and the leaves and seed pods die and collapse into the water by autumn. Bits of dead stalk that peep through the pond’s surface are the only remnants of the aquatic plant in winter. The lifecycle starts anew in spring as sparsely spaced young leaves float on the pond. Lotuses aren’t the only ones inhabiting the pond – it’s teeming with wildlife throughout the year, though they’re easier to spot in winter and spring.
Birds eye view of a lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera) during the first day of its lifecycle. The orange and yellow stigma and seed pod are surrounded by white stamen and enveloped by bright pink petals.
A blooming lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera) surrounded by leaves
Lotus leaves (Nelumbo nucifera)
Lotus seed pod (Nelumbo nucifera)
Dead lotus leaves (Nelumbo nucifera) collapsing into the water
Dead lotus seed pod (Nelumbo nucifera) collapsing into the water
Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus)
Male tufted duck (Aythya fuligula) swimming in Shinobazu Pond
Duck Debutante: Female (brown plumage) and male (Grey-black plumage) northern pintails (Anas acuta) swimming in Shinobazu Pond
Young lotus leaves (Nelumbo nucifera) in Shinobazu Pond
Three eastern spot-billed ducks (Anas zonorhyncha) swimming in Shinobazu Pond
Great blue heron (Ardia herdias) in Shinobazu Pond