Samstag, 27. September 2008

observed by nature

each day the japanese nature is revealing some new creatures and features. it is somewhat wilder than i remembered. last year i was almost every day climbing up the nearest mountain but this time i only did it once till now. one of the reasons is that the path is full of spider webs which cross the path in every possible angle. and the spiders are big. big and in various colors and types. their webs are full of victims. this all makes me hesitate. i don't want any physical contact with these spiders. the only way to proceed on the mountain trail, was to have a long stick with which i was breaking the webs in front of me and waiting for the spiders to move aside (which they did very reluctantly.) i made my way till the top of the mountain but i was bathed in sweat and somewhat mesmerized. furthermore, i felt like a coward being afraid of spiders!

there are lots of snakes as well. i respect them. this week we were observing one pretty impressive one with a beautiful ornament on his back. the snake was entering the stone pavement in front of our accomodation building. it coiled around a flower pot and thought himself hidden.

then the insects. we have been told that the end of summer is the high time for the insects. the most loud ones are the various cicadas in different pitches and melodies. some of them sound like garden machines, some like very fine bells. i have been recording their sound day and night. it is a wonder how their small bodies are able to produce such loud and fine sound! you almost never see the cicadas unless one drops dead in front of you. they only live seven days so it is possible. we found one and made a picture of it.
we also made a portrait of an other impressive insect which is the praying mantis. one day a dying mantis was right in front of joerg's dark room door. he picked the insect up and put it into the fridge where it died peacefully. praying mantis (=KAMAKIRI) has huge eyes which can indeed see. furthermore, its head can turn 300 degrees. when one approaches KAMAKIRI, it clearly turns its head towards you and looks. looks straight at you. it is confusing, being observed by an insect.

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