Monday, 23 July 2012

Collecting Mother Nature

Thanks to Okano Yoko-san it has become clear that Japan is a nation of collectors.
On a previous visit to Japan we saw many school kids on the rocky seashore near Yokosuka with special plastic boxes collecting biological specimens of interest.
I find the praying mantis quite interesting, like a grasshopper that has lost all of its muscle.
Earlier this year we were with Fukuda-san in Utsunomiya when his friend brought him some caterpillars which would eventually become butterflies for his collection.
In Komatsuka where we are staying I have seen a number of butterfly nets, one being used to eliminate cabbage butterflies and more recently a father and son hunting insects at dusk.
Yesterday Yoko-san showed me a bright iridescent green bug and a number of 'kabuto' or rhinoceros beetles. This morning July 20, 2012 Yoko-san showed me two large (almost 10cm) caterpillars in the process of munching 'nasu' or eggplant leaves and about to become pupae. She did not know what they would develop into. This afternoon she came to show us a couple of 'semi' or cicadas she had captured just after we had found a giant 'tombo' or dragonfly. This incredible lady is an active grandmother and collects things to show her grandchildren.
After the NHK televised sumo matches at 6pm I took Muku for his walk. In the neighbouring village of Minamigaoka two young boys observed my interest and brought their various plastic containers containing rhinoceros beetles and other insects they had collected recently to the fence for me to see. They were quite excited to have an audience.


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