Usa ShrineUsa Shrine

At Usa Shrine there were literally thousands of froglets (mostly F.limnocharis) . Interestingly in the drainage ditches where many of the froglets could be found, there was an usually large number of spider webs.  I’m guessing the spiders positioned their webs to take advantage of the abundance of frog meat. As I walked along the canal, I saw a couple of spooked froglets jump and get stuck at the periphery of the webs, but free themselves before the resident spider could reach them.  Out of (somewhat mordbid) curiosity, I was half-tempted to  toss a froglet in the center of one of the webs, but my conscience got the better of me.

Takydromus tachydromoidesTakydromus tachydromoides

After the froglets (and tourists), the most commonly encountered vertebrate at the shrine seemed to be Takydromus tachydromoides AKA the long-tailed grass lizard/カナヘビ(kanahebi). I have seen these critters in abundance throughout Japan, but at Usa shrine they were more easily approached than anywhere I’ve ever been.  Being accustomed to humans doesn’t really explain this, because T.tachydromoides I’ve found in more heavily populated areas seem just about as flighty as the ones I find in the middle of nowhere (which is pretty darn close to Usa).

Takydromus tachydromoides

Around the shrine there were signs warning of Mamushi, the pit-viper otherwise known as Gloydius blomhoffii.  I searched around stagnant bodies of water in the  shrine to no avail (I’ll have more on fun with Mamushis in a later post).

Stagnant water and tons o’ frogs=Prime Mamushi habitat

Kamakuras versus Megalon

Takydromus everywhereTakydromus everywhere

Takydromus tachydromoides