Elwood 5566

Spotted Darter Dragonflies (고추잠자리)

Posted in Animals, Diary notes, seasons by 노강호 on October 11, 2010

 

Female 'chili dragonfly' lazing in the sun

 

October sees the second flush of dragonflies, the first being around mid-summer. The specie dominating this flush is the ‘Spotted Darter,’ (definetly –Sympetrum and possibly – Depressiusculum). In Korean these are known as ‘chili dragonflies’ (고추잠자리) as the males are bright red. Unfortunately, my one-room roof seemed only to attract females.

 

 

a temporary rest

 

 

 

the male is bright red in colour

 

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Monday Market – Groundnuts (땅콩)

Posted in Diary notes, fruit, seasons, vegetables by 노강호 on October 4, 2010

Groundnuts

The ‘fruits’ which epitomize autumn are peanuts, pumpkins, persimmon, apples and the Chinese or Napa cabbage of which there is currently a shortage. In the last week peanuts have become very prolific in street markets. They are somewhat unlike the monkeynuts (ground nuts) you buy in the UK in that they are still moist and have an earthy taste to them. Koreans often boil them for a few minutes, un-shelled, after which they taste much nicer. In this state they can be frozen. I still have a few in my freezer from last year though I do not know how long they safely keep.

Groundnuts at 4000 Won a boxful (sterling - 2 pounds)

Peanuts and pumpkins

The Memi’s Lament

Posted in Animals, Daegu, Diary notes, seasons, vodcast by 노강호 on October 4, 2010

Last Saturday (25th September), I heard my last memi (매미 – cicada), and with it ends the song that has accompanied the entire summer. The temperature certainly wasn’t much over 84 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which memi ‘sing,‘ and in the slight breeze which  heralds autumn,  it felt cooler. I always find the song of a single memi sad, a lament to summer and suppose they epitomize the lives of many humans who end their days ‘singing’ to no one. Had the memi been around a month ago, it would have been surrounded by others and its voice would have joined summer’s paean, screaming from the trees. Now, it’s a lonely, solitary dirge to which there is no crescendo and no response. I would imagine the best thing that can happen to the final memi, those that have arrived a little too late and missed the party, is an early frost.

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Shaman Spider (무당 거미)

Posted in Animals, Diary notes, seasons by 노강호 on September 23, 2010

I’ve had an infection or ‘red-eye’ and haven’t been able to use the gym or bathhouse so instead I’ve been walking up Warayong Mountain (Wikipedia location) in Song-So.

I noticed a wasp nest on a tree and watched it over several mornings. These wasps are much smaller than European ones.

wasp nest

This is the shaman spider (무당 거미), which is often translated as ‘sorcerer.’ In English it is known as the golden banana spider or joro spider (nephila clavata). ‘ It probably measured about three inches long and can inflict a mildly painful but non-deadly bite. Autumn signals the mating season for spiders and these beautiful, if not scary looking specimens are also cannibalistic. The female is larger than the male and has red markings towards the back, underside of her abdomen.

Female shaman spider (무당 거미) nephila clavata

female shaman spider with distinctive red markings on the underside of abdomen.

the nephila family spin one of the largest size webs – often in excess of 2 meters.

The web was about 4 feet across and slightly yellow in colour and at one point I walked into  a supporting strand. It did not break and I noted at the time how resilient it was. Apparently, genes from this spider have been injected into silk worm cocoons and as a result they subsequently produce a much stronger silk. This product is being launched on the market, in the form of extra durable socks, in 2010.

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