to our "First Flowering Tree" issue

It seems not long ago that I was sitting here making pages for our second issue of 2012. In fact, changing publication schedule left us barely three months between that issue and this. I'm excited that from now on we'll now be appearing in the spring and autumn. It puts us in sync with the major seasons of the saijiki and opens up many new seasonal themes to explore in our Haiga Challenge feature.

"Blossom", meaning cherry blossoms by default (when another species of flowering fruit tree is not specified) was an obvious choice of theme for this first spring issue. From there things become more interesting, though, because there are many kigo related to cherry blossoms. I browsed Gabi Greve's World Kigo Database, wondering if I should stay general or go for a more specific season reference. Nothing hit the spot, so I put the matter aside for some time, figuring that in due time the issue itself would tell me what name it wanted. Sure enough, the answer came during this month's meeting Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Our planned activity involved the spring season lists in our Bay Area Saijiki project, and there on the list was just the right phrase: "first flowering tree". How appropriate!

In addition to the new publication schedule you'll see a few more changes: a page layout that has more of a feel of white space, a Table of Contents linked to a secondary system of nav arrows that may be helpful for viewers whose browsers don't support frames (email me if this is the case for you). Otherwise, the issue will be familiar to you if you've been a regular reader in the past.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed their poetry, art and effort to making another full issue of Haigaonline. On behalf of the resident staff, who will be back in full force for our September issue, we wish you happy reading and a happy solstice.



Linda Papanicolaou