Hill covered in 彼岸花 (red magic lilies or hurricane lilies in English). The Japanese name references the legend that these flowers grow in the land of the dead.
Marsh crabs, Geothelphusa dehaani. These guys are freshwater crabs. For reasons unknown to me, The road down to Nichinan last weekend was lousy with them, and made for a dozen-odd kilometers of rather cautious driving.
Udo Jingu, Nichinan
There’s something uplifting about having a festival, symbolic of slaying a giant snake by throwing firecrackers down its throat, to mark the completion of my first year in Japan. Here’s to an equally-excellent second.
A 3,000m selfie
Argynnis hyperbius caterpillar, found outside the police station on a less-than-productive lunch break trying to sort out car ownership.
This cute grump is Batocera lineolata, or シロスジカミキリ. Longicorn beetles like this one are called カミキリムシ in Japan; literally, “hair-cutter beetles” due to their scissor-like jaws. They make an annoyed “ghiiii” sound if you pick them up.
I found this one on the drizzly 9pm bike ride home after driving school, and brought it home in my backpack to get proper photos. Unfortunately, I also found ants when I got home so I’m tossing boric acid everywhere and giving my floors a wipe with vinegar.
I’ve got two hours of driving practice on the expressway tomorrow morning, so I’ll see how the invasion’s coming along when I get back.
Picked up/been sent some nice things to stick on my walls. The topographic one’s a nice map of the Kirishima volcanic range, where I’m hoping to spend a lot of time hiking and exploring once I have my own transport.
Kobayashi has one of the best firefly displays in southern Kyushu, and the peak weekend in late May when they emerge en masse is the Firefly Festival.
ゲンジボタル (Japanese fireflies) are small beetles with an aquatic larval stage. Their need for extremely clean water has reduced their numbers over time due to habitat degradation.
These were really cool to see, as they all light up and switch off in sync rather than flashing intermittently.
I noticed the first time I was in Miyazaki City (last summer) that the roadside trees right in the middle of town have these epiphytes growing on them.
It’s the end of May and they’re now flowering, in white and bright pink.