Meeting with Dr. Tomoyuki Tsuru at Kyororo, the Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Sciences we were able to learn about the insects unique to this area from the forest and aquatic systems.
As Tsuru-san explained the insects groups of the satoyama, a great sense of synergy with our project emerged. In the days prior to visiting Kyororo we were developing concepts for huts to observe and experience the water from mountain streams and rice fields and to sit within the beech or cedar forests. We were fascinated to learn how we may help create an environment where you can be immersed in the insect and plant life & contribute to the proliferation of this system.
We learnt about the insects supported by the beech, oak and cedar forests; such as the long horned; stag beetles and the larvae of rare moths which feed on the bark of the oak. The fireflies and tiny dragonflys we saw in the summer, are some of the most delicate and vulnerable species which rely on pure water ponds ‘tamike’ in the rice fields and rivers.
While most of the insects have laid their eggs and died once the snow begins to fall there are a few species which survive in the snow. Tsuru-san took us outside to show us the tiny black bugs bouncing on the surface of the snow.
The snow is incredibly beautiful, each flake so light, soft and gentle yet over such a long winter it begins to weighs so heavy on this place and people. However like the bushfires in Australia it has such an important role in balancing systems.
At the moment I am fascinated by the sense of latent, dormant water in the striated snow piles across the landscape.