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It’s been half a year since my last post! It only shows how busy I had been these past few months. Lab experiments were fun, challenging and can be time-demanding and so I haven’t been able to do blogging, much less sightseeing these days. I am currently cramming the data I’ll be presenting for this week’s symposium abroad. After this, I will definitely slow down and relax, and go around Kyoto!

While it’s already summer here, I’ll be sharing some off-season pictures for these coming posts.

And yes, I went to Kamigamo-jinja, the sister shrine of Shimogamo-jinja and another World Heritage Site. It’s a large complex located along the upper banks of the Kamogawa and near the mountains. But I think I still prefer Shimogamo-jinja for its tranquil forest. Nevertheless, it was beautiful with canals intertwining some parts of the shrine.

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Kitano Tenmangu is a Shinto shrine located in Kamigyo-ku dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane. It was said that he was the first person in Japanese history to be enshrined as a deity. He is best known as the “god of academics” and so many students come here and pray for academic-related intentions, especially entrance examinations.

The lighting conditions was not very good at the day I went here due to cloudy weather. Also there was not much kouyou (紅葉) or autumn foliage yet. I will definitely come back here to see the famed momiji and ume in February next year.

You can read for more information in the shrine’s site here: http://kitanotenmangu.or.jp/top_en.php#en_tp4

Ebisu-jinja (“Ebisu Shrine”) is a Shinto shrine located in Higashiyama-ku dedicated to Ebisu, one of the Shichi Fukujin or seven lucky gods. I found it while randomly strolling around the Miyagawa-cho area. Right now there aren’t much shrine goers but I bet it’ll get busier when New Year comes.

We went to Baguio City for the second time not really for leisure but because of the project I am currently involved with.  Needless to say, we were not able to go to all the scenic spots. Still I enjoyed it very much because I was able to experience its refreshingly chilly air, see the towering pine trees, and visit the public market and buy ridiculously low-priced fresh produce (like lemon!).

It was very rainy (or rather stormy) on the first time we went. We crossed through the Marcos Highway because its safer, but despite that, we were welcomed by a zero-visibility fog and freshly fallen debris.  I was only wearing shorts and slippers which was a terrible mistake, and so, I was really shivering due to the cold air enhanced by the storm.

On the second time,  we crossed through the Kennon Road because the weather was very fine that day. The scenery is way, way better here than in Marcos Highway! The breathtaking gorges, mountains, rivers are ever-changing while you drove through. My humble camera can’t keep up though with the speed of our travel so I manage to snag only a few decent shots.

The majestic pine trees were also breathtaking. The forests look like a chase scene in Harry Potter and Twilight!

Due to its cold climate, Baguio City is also famous for beautiful flowers that are rarely grown in the lowlands. Like this bright pink hydrangea! It was my first time seeing it with my own eyes, nice.

Though the time was short, I was grateful to spend a relaxing time in Baguio City. I also challenged myself to bear the cold air as I will have to experience even colder temperatures in Japan!

I have been here for a few times since this place is near to the entrance to the jogging lane lined with vegetable plots which I have visited so often for my thesis sampling. The place has its own charm, it felt like being in a rural town. The space is huge enough for gatherings, children’s play space, and dance practices. Beautiful place indeed.

The fern gametophyte stage starts from the unicellular haploid spore until the formation of the multicellular prothallus containing the antheridia and archegonia. In our experiment, we germinated  Christella spores in tissue culture medium and observed them weekly. They are very pretty to look at especially under the microscope. The stages of fern gametophyte development for Christella are spore, formation of rhizoid and prothallial initial, protonema stage, spatulate stage, heart stage, and lastly the mature prothallus. Then if fertilization takes place, a growing sporophyte could be seen from the heart of the prothallus. Here are some photos I’ve taken mostly under microscope. I do not have pictures for the first three stages though.

There were only a few prothallus germinated in my Petri dishes so they were really big like miniature lettuces! After this semester break, maybe I’ll pay a visit to our tissue culture room hoping they are still there.

Aren’t those Triticum aestivum (wheat) seedlings cute? At this seed germination stage, you can already see the green coleoptile emerging from the seeds. We germinated wheat and rice seeds in Petri dishes to determine whether which seed will yield more seedlings. And it turned out that wheat was the answer!