Sunday, September 09, 2018

the frog-pond travesty

You may recall that, a couple years ago, when I first moved into this neighborhood, I showed some pics—and a video—of a local frog pond that sat alongside the Yangjae Creek bike path. Today, curious to see the pond again but wary because I knew there had been construction workers futzing around in that area, I went over to the southern side of the creek on the return leg of my long morning walk so as to pass by the pond.

And this is what I saw:

Very sad. Someone obviously had decided that we didn't need the frogs anymore, and it was time instead to grow some grain of some sort. This move to fill in the pond and turn it into fertile land for something completely different made—and makes—a mockery of the notion, painted onto the bike path (see below), that this area was meant to be some sort of ecological preserve. Fuck you, ecology!

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding. The Korean in the above picture says "saengtae idong tongno." The saengtae part means "ecological." The idong part means "movement" or even "migration." The tongno part means "path" or "pathway." Could it be that the idong part is referring to the temporary nurturing of life until the next group of life forms gets moved in? Could be, but all the frog imagery painted onto the ground—not to mention the frog pics actually cut into the metal drain covers that cross the bike path—would seem to indicate that frogs were supposed to be a fixture in this section of the path. Not anymore, though. How sad.


Charles said...

생태이동통로 is meant to alert cyclists to the likelihood of critters crossing the bike path (since the bike path cuts through their habitat).

Kevin Kim said...

So there is an assumption that there be critters. And now, there's only some sort of grain. I don't know my plants, so I have no idea what grain that is. Wheat? Barley? Something else?

John from Daejeon said...

Looks like the most important grain in Asia, rice. And due to all the water rice needs to grow and thrive, there will definitely be frogs in the vicinity.

Kevin Kim said...

I got an email from someone saying much the same thing. Thanks.

Charles said...

Yep, right on the rice. Those paddies are home to the croaking critters when it comes time for mating. I know this from first-hand experience. It can get pretty loud (the croaking, that is, not the actual mating).