Animals, Korea, Urban Walking
Comments 10

The Bugs are Always Better (On the Other Side of the Fence)

“What do you like?”

This guy I was doing an English camp with, right before I left for America in August, hit me with a tough one. I wasn’t exactly Mr Positive at that point; I’ll spare you the details ’cause you’ve heard ’em all before. Fortunately he had plenty of positive to go around.

“What do you mean — music?”

“No, I mean about Korea. What do you like about Korea?” He had a Korean wife and was a little defensive, even though they were themselves on the verge of escaping to America and new lives far from any middle school English classroom.

Without hesitation, I answered: “The insects. And the flowers.”

mmm

The Gimhae-Busan light rail tracks — and the jungle

I never thought of myself as an insect-lover (?) till I got here — so, thanks, Korea.

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For much of the year my neighbourhood is a ramshackle sprawl of unkempt borders, overgrown embankments, feral verges, weedy pavements and Amazonian vacant lots. Right up until November the insects owned the place. Only Winter kills the exuberance.

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I can’t decide if Koreans are among the world’s best gardeners or the worst. They’re certainly not ones for tidiness, symmetry or order. They like to just shove all the junk and rubble and trash and shit to the side, leave it there in a big pile, and start tilling the bare earth right next to it. They’re not ones for what you might call the decorative touch. I’ve watched piles of garbage grow into mountains. They make excellent pumpkin patches.

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Mt Imho, which I’ve hiked several times

My former vice-principal told me she’d been to Switzerland and found it too neat and boring. At the time I thought she was crazy. Well, I still do, but for different reasons — I can almost get her point now. I find the raggedness here wearisome, the sloppy attention to detail aggravating — but the insects like it, and consequently, up to a point, so do I.

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This vine smothers much of Korea

Today’s’ shots are from July, back in the humid, buggy Summer. I got the #21 into Gimhae and was walking to a light-rail station past a huge vacant lot — no doubt destined for the bulldozer — behind a green fence. Weeds and long grass and vines and escapee perennials were in raging bloom inside. I spotted a cool critter through the wire, and then another; ended up walking that perimeter for half an hour, trying to focus through the gaps.

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I don’t remember where I was going that day, but I remember the thriving jungle Behind the Green Fence…

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Headhunting?

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Koreans are always wrapping things

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Chillin’

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Sittin’ on the Fence

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The Beetle Blues

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A Quiet Corner

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Jungle Predator

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“You lookin’ at me?”

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“Don’t point that freakin’ thing at me!”

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“What is this, a freak show?”

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote

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10 Comments

  1. I particularly like that last photo! We’ve a community of bathroom spiders and usually get a wasp’s nest in the wall. We do get all kinds of moths coming in to the lights – probably the UK’s insectoid high point.

    • I think Australia would have even Korea beat in the insect department. On the plus side, I believe there are fewer bugs here in Korea that can hurt or worse!

  2. Goat, I must admit, you’re definitely the bug whisperer! I do admire your patience at getting the most photogenic side out of your bugs. You’ve always taken some great shots of small critters and here is no exception!

    I guess that comes about from stalking the same landscape over a period of time? Looking for something a little different? I can relate, but I’m not sure if I can get down and gritty as well as you do in recording insects!

    • Yeah, monotony and a lack of company can force a man into some odd diversions. Also having no working TV helps! I wouldn’t want to guess how many hundreds of hours I’ve spent chasing bugs in Korea.

  3. That robber fly is amazing – what a shot at the end! I think I would love the bugginess of the place too. Not so sure about the bugs here, well one sort of bug in particular, the flies! Argh! I have the Aussie wave on auto already,

    • I’ll have to brace myself for the biting insects. Flies are seldom an issue in Brisbane but mosquitoes can be (though they’ll never match those in the Sierra for viciousness and numbers) and my mother has complained in the last several emails about the sandflies, which apparently are worse than they used to be…

      Thanks for identifying the robber fly. It’s really hard for me to identify things here. I have to type in “big-eyed bug, Korea” and hope for the best. That shot was taken with my point-and-shoot on macro setting. I really to need to upgrade!

      • Thanks! But oh, for a viewfinder! My eyes are no good at close range, but I hate having to put on my glasses to take a shot (don’t need to with my EVF on the main camera). And in bright light, there’s a lot of guesswork. Also, the little P & S tends to make backgrounds look really coarse and “gritty” in macro mode. On the plus side, the thing is waterproof.

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