Friday, July 15, 2011

Wildlife Photo: White Snake and Some Asian Legends

This photo of a White Snake was taken May 2011 up north in the mountains of Okinawa, Japan on one of my excursions traveling through the Dai Sekirinzan in search of wildlife and admiring the rock formations known as Karst.

When you visit this tourist attraction, the entry fee of a few hundred yen gets you a bus ride to the top of the mountain.  It's one of those diesel-powered, air-conditioned tour busses that looks and feels real inviting and it really is comfortable to sit in on a steamy-hot day.  Then, it starts moving.

If you are toting along a camera or anything fragile, like a baby, or something, you'll have to take a few extra precautions.  The bus takes you flying up the hill at a decent speed and hits enough potholes, ruts and bumps to jar the lenses right out of your cameras.  I imagine, if you were dragging a little kid along for the ride, you'd have to worry about their eyeballs popping out of the sockets, too.

Fortunately, when the bus ride ends, there's a rest stop.  They have rest rooms, refreshment machines and a gift shop/museum, of sorts.  Everyone, stretches and mills around trying to get their land legs back on before going to follow the trails through the karst formations.

This white snake is cooped-up in a glass enclosure.  Just trying to make conversation with the Okinawan Papasan who appears to be some sort of guide/caretaker at the place, I asked him what kind of snake this was and tried to find out what the story was behind the thing.  I've heard that a white snake is considered to be a good thing in these parts of the world so, wanted to see if there was some local myth associated with this one.  I love to have a great caption to post along with a wildlife photo.

Well, the guy says, "That's a White Rattlesnake from Texas".  Hah !

Ryukyu Rusty was standing right there.  He says, "BULL__IT, I'm from Texas and that aint no Rattlesnake"!

That's one thing I like about Texans.  I had an Aunt from Texas.  I loved to hear her talk.
She'd say stuff like, "We don't lie in Texas unless we're playing Poker".  Then she'd get this gleam in her eye and say, "Wanna play some Poker"?  And she'd pull a deck of cards out of her back pocket !

My research on this white snake isn't done, yet but, I'll show you some of what I've gathered, so far.

From China, a guy who falls in love with a gal WHO TURNS OUT TO BE A WHITE SNAKE

From Japan, there is folklore saying there is a WHITE SERPENT GOD

It will probably take me some time to discover the true story behind this white snake in Okinawa but I'm fairly certain it aint from Texas.  Do you think people just make legends up ?



Unknown said...

I know White Snake was a pretty good musical group for a while. They are sometimes confused with Great White, which was another group from the same era.

RyukyuMike said...

If anyone is an expert on the musical side of the house, I believe it's you.
The true story about this snake, though, I think I'll have to wrestle outta someone else!