June 10th Thursday
I wrote to Milan Polaczyk, with whom I've had correspondence for the past 3 years (do you think it's weird that 2 middle-aged guys exchange letters? It's e-mail, though), that I wanted to visit him for some serious insect collecting.
He replied that he could host us for about 4 weeks at most. I said "Just for 4 days, please". -- to which he replied "Just 4 days?
I would say we need at least 2 weeks -- I've called a lot of my friends from here and there already."
Well, after all that, I finally arrived in Slovakia.
I was very much surprised to find that my destination was a prime spot
for insect collecting.
There was a forest of Quercus just behind Milan Polaczyk's apartment. The bark of the Quercus here greatly resembles that of
the Kunugi (a common Japanese Quercus, Quercu Acutissima).
Most European insect picture books show off pictures of Lucanus cervus walking on the surface of these Quercus.
As soon as I arrived, I hurried to the forest in the back for some scouting and a few moments later, I found 2 Lucanus cervus
females walking on the ground, and a male Dorcus parallelipipedus!
The females walking on the road in broad daylight remind me of the Lucanus on Mikurajima island or in Hokkaido.
After lunch at Milan Polaczyk's, my wife joined his wife to go to town
for a visit to the bank and some shopping.
Meanwhile the husbands got together for a bug-friends meeting.
After shopping our wives joined us, and we all had a great time.
Darkness falls early, after 21:00 or so here at this time of the year.
I didn't go shopping so I spent 6 hours here since 15:00 drinking beer!
Life goes on the same everywhere, doesn't it?
|Milan's living room also functions as his breeding room.
You can see some specimen boxes of large and beautiful butterflies and moths of the world hanging on the wall.
Milan constructs the boxes himself.
|The picture at left shows Milan's self-made breeding case.
He says he uses this as a miniature studio for video recording now.
The monitor on the right is used as a TV set.
He says he gets about 50 channels via satellite broadcast.
His children were watching some American animation program on CartoonTV.
|He seems to be fond of large moths and butterflies and
actually breeds a lot of them as well, though not very much of that
was mentioned on his web page.
As he was keeping 300 of them, it was quite a labor to collect the
feeding plants everyday, he says Neighbors used to ask him curiously
what on the earth he was rearing.
Under the sofa he is sitting on, there are a bunch of breeding cases
tightly piled up for various rhinoceros beetles and flower beetles.
It doesn't look that way,does it?
Maybe I should learn from him...
This method would not upset our wives too much.
What do you think?
|His second son, Ivan, is being pinched by a plastic model
I brought from Japan.
They seem to be getting along well.
They call stag beetles "Rohac" in Slovakia.
|This Slovakian dish is called Bryndzove halusky.
The top part is cheese and crispy bacon and underneath is some kind of pasta.
I think it is something like the kenchin in Japanese kenchin soup.
It was very good.
The glass is filled with yogurt.