We stand looking north from the embankment of the Yotsugi-dōri Canal near its beginning in Koume village. There is scarcely any sign of productive activity on this bright winter's day. No boats are in sight. The tone is set rather by the two children playing with puppies in the immediate foreground to the right—much less concerned about the cold, it would seem, than the two bundled women crossing the bridge. The trees with withered leaves in the foreground to the right are black alders (hannoki). The black alder grew quickly in this wet, low-lying area and was useful not only to prevent erosion on the canal embankment but also to hang rice for drying after the fall harvest.