Beetle Mania

I like beetles.  I have been fascinated recently by an influx of June Beetles at my sister’s ranch in Northern California.  She went out to her orchard to find these gorgeous green metallic beetles clustered around her peaches, hung like jewelry in the tree.  When I was visiting, she showed me these strange newcomers.  I ran inside and got a jar.  This was something I had to see closer.  The beetles were big, with black wings that flew out sideways from under the beetle coverings when they got nervous.  My kids were terrified.  We soon got over that though.  We found that because they were so big, the beetles were slow to take off, and heavy fliers once they got off the ground.  They are fairly easy to catch and harmless, at least to humans.  My sons were soon out catching them in their bare hands!  BZZRZZRZRZZRRRZR!  You could hear the beetles buzzing, they weren’t happy, but the kids were!  They’d run screaming “I got one!” all the way to the beetle jar.  Another thing we discovered is that these beetles are completely impervious to poisons sprayed on them.  They just keep doing their beetle thing, as if it were a little dew raining down on them instead of RAID.  The only way we could kill them was to catch them in a glass canning jar and put them in the freezer.  They make a terrific racket, there in the jar, but it’s too tall and narrow for them to fly out.  Once they’re in the jar, it doesn’t even need a lid.  I find a lot of symbolism in these beetles.

Our first bunch, we caught nearly sixty of these green scarabs, and we learned that an hour in the freezer only killed the majority of them.  One or two thawed and resumed their beetle buzzings…

Yet another gorgeous beetle

Yet another gorgeous beetle

…they had to go back in the freezer for a bit.  We gave samples of these beetles to the local agriculture people.  They’d never seen them in this area before.  Hopefully, we did some good.  In the meantime, I have gained a lot of respect for the beetle.


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