Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cicadas (and a rat)

It's been quite wet out the past couple of days. I think we caught the edge of the Typhoon that hit Taiwan. It's not surprising, though, as it is monsoon season. Today after work it had stopped raining so I walked from my work in Apgujeong to the Kim's Club (a very large grocery store) near the Goseok Terminal (Seoul bus terminal) It was just under an hour of walking. I should have taken more pictures, I suppose. When I walk I always try to take different random routes to where ever it is I am walking to in order to see what ever there is to see. The buildings, signs, shop names, kinds of shops, etc are all interesting to see. There are a couple of buildings I really want to take pictures of but I'll have to wait until it is not so over cast (and rainy).
One thing I have really noticed here and in China are the cicadas. Where I grew up, we don't have them. I had heard of them, of course, but had never heard or seen any until I came to Korea. They are SO LOUD!!!!!!! In the six years I have been here, I haven't really seen many but have certainly heard them! I love the sound they make (as long as it isn't right outside my window when I'm trying to sleep!). The first one I actually encountered wasn't until my 4th year or so when one was stuck in a classroom and the students and Korean teacher were freaking out. I had to rescue them, AND it. It wasn't until this year that I started seeing the casings/skins. They are absolutely EVERYWHERE!! [my finger is there for sizing]I first noticed them when I went to one of the palaces downtown during my first week of summer vacation (I had 2 wks).Now I am seeing them everywhere here; both the casings AND the adult cicadas.On a tree at Deoksugung (a palace). Can you see them? The one higher up is a bit hard to see. The lower one I noticed immediately.Here is a video to show how loud they are.

A cicada on a tree in Qingdao, China (taken the second week of my summer vacation).
Along where I was walking today, in one of the apartment complexes, the casings were all over the trees as if they were nuts or something (except they are on the trunks as well as all over the leaves).If you haven't seen them, they are hard to miss. They really are big.
On my walk today, I turned a corner and a little thing nearly ran over my foot. It ran into a little indent in the wall to hide, but there was no way out of it other than the way it came, sort of trapping it for my inspection. A young rat, about the size of my hamster, but not as cute. It's tail is obviously broken. Poor thing. With all the rain it was probably looking for a dry place to hide out.

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