Korea, Urban Walking
Comments 6

A Jangyu Dawn Trilogy #2: Creek Bank Cruisin’

“It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. . .” ~ Charles Darwin

You meet the best folk when you rise early.

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Fellow Dawn Traveller

Daecheong Creek. I’ve talked about it a dozen times on TGTW. Upstream (litter notwithstanding) it’s a constant pleasure that makes me grateful I ended up getting posted to this decidedly “uncool” corner of Korea. I’ve boulder-hopped its playful little rapids and cascades several times now, experimenting with photographing the tumbling water, enjoying the shade and cool, clean air, and one weekend followed it all the way to its source, a trickle creeping out of the rocks on the upper slopes of Bulmo-San.

Downstream, despite the damage inflicted by too many of its human neighbours, it still rewards a stroll — fortunately, as I’ve strolled it many dozens of times and have resumed walking the long way to my Thursday/Friday school, a course that hugs the Daecheong for much of its length.

It’s at its best at dawn…

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Morning in All Its Glory

..and is a favourite start to my weekend rambles.

Right about this point, 20-odd minutes from home…

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Walking Into a New Day

..I leave the creek bank and the apartment clusters behind and join the narrow road along the high embankment that separates the creek on the left from the rice country on the right.

The verges along here are a verdant jungle of tall grass and flowering, self-seeding ornamentals and outright weeds. This is Bug Central and I always dabble in some low-rent insect shots — difficult without a real macro lens, but I sometimes score (see an upcoming post). It’s great here in the early morning: grasses glistening with dew, cuckoos calling from the woods of Independence Mountain, across the creek, and bullfrogs sounding in an impossibly deep drone as much vibration as sound.

There’s often a fisherman or two set up on the bank here…

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Angler on a Weedy Bank

..sometimes in relative opulence…

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Fisher’s Tent

..and often with the odds well and truly stacked in their favour:

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Heavy Artillery

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Creek Bank Irises

Yulha Creek is further away, but a bit less developed though it meanders through a coffee-shop strip and a fast-rising crop of new apartment towers. I can get there by, say, 5:45am, with the sun taking to flight just as I clear the new construction…

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Yulha Creek Daisies

.. and enter a short, marshy stretch with flowers and insects in abundance:

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Yulha Landmarks

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Coreopsis in the Marshy Lower Yulha

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Dipping Its Toes In

On Yulha mornings, I usually blow an hour or so here stalking bugs among the reeds and grass-heads and daisies — a harmless form of madness, really — including my favourite insect ever, the dragonfly, which thrives here, especially a large, beautiful, blue-grey species that sometimes tolerates the intrusions of a nut with a camera.

Then I head under this bridge…

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Yulha Creek — Up that Bank & You’ll Find the Paddies

..and farewell the Yulhacheon…

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I Never Tyre of the Natural Beauty Here

..to dodge the dump-trucks from the nearby road construction and enter the utterly different world of the rice-paddy plain.

And that’s how these excursions have been going of late. The standard protagonists are the beetles — especially ladybirds or this other fave I’ve named the Dr Seuss bug…

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Dr Seuss Bug & Fisherman

..the fishers and farmers, the bees and weeds…

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Cemetery Ridge: A Bee’s Eye View

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A Weedy Berm Road

..the murky canals and flooded irrigation ditches (and yes, the trash — always the trash)…

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Big Ass Mtn & Creek Bank Bounty

..with one of an elite troupe of star mountain performers like Big Ass (above and below) usually hogging centre stage:

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A Marshy Bank Below Big Ass

And of course the flowers. The predominant style of landscape gardening in these parts — basically, wild and weedy and self-regulating — is, well, growing on me.

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The Yulha Coffee Strip

Orderly, organised it ain’t.

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Daisy Riot

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Preparing for Company

But as Mr Darwin so perfectly put it…

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Coreopsis Jungle, Yulha

..There is grandeur in this view of life…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote

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6 Comments

  1. Carl says

    Really beautiful post, great pictures, it made me reflect on things for a moment.

  2. Sue says

    Love that Cosmos photo… they are so pretty. Nice for you coming into summer. It was wintery, rainy and foggy here today… though I do like this weather too. Love the pretty place full of weeds and junk… early morning makes everything beautiful.

    • So true! At dawn the day and the wider world throb with promise. I saw some pictures of the fog — sad I missed it. Photo heaven.

  3. Dawn has that great light, but I rarely see it. I admire your early morning vigour, as I need dynamite to get out of bed in the morning! Night time is another thing. I seem to be at my best once the sun has gone! Great photos again. Looks like you’re getting that macro on the go after all!

    • Yes, Greg, while you haunt the back alleys and nefarious nether-realms of night, I am carving my own weirdo niche in the crepuscular Twilight Zone. Added bonus: sweet temperatures!

      Would you believe I actually left the house at 4:00am yesterday — a great and very productive stroll — and sadly today, a WORKING DAY?! My brain likes to keep me guessing.

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