August 16, 2006

At the Temple Entrance in a Small Town in Niigata Prefecture

These things were hanging on the fence at the entrance to the temple grounds. You may have heard the story of the thousand cranes. Cranes are made and strung and presented to someone who is ill or is having hard times. I have heard varying accounts of what is done with the cranes afterwards. It seems someone brought them here as an offering. These are tiny cranes. Strings of a thousand cranes usually make a huge display. A piece of cloth and straw sandals are hanging next to the cranes.

This is a detail of the gate of the entrance to this temple. You see lots of dragons (there is one above this), but I have never seen this creature. It looks like an elephant.

I have never seen this creature before, either. It looked cute and fuzzy waddling along on this stone, but it looked a little like a moth caterpillar called kemushi. The hair of the kemushi is not as long and there is a yellow stripe down its back. Touching its hair will sting and burn your skin. This may not be in the same family, but I stayed away from it anyway.

This is the first green-eyed dragonfly I have ever seen.

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