Category Archives: Animals

Scarab Beetle or is it Scary Beetle?

This scarab beetle should have been in construction or house renovation because its name sounds like Polyfilla, the goop that fills cracks in wood and drywall. But no, it is “Polyphylla” and the rest of its name refers to its ten lines (four long and two short). Like decades of lineage, it is called decemlineata. Now you’ll never forget the name of this beetle whose face only a mother could love. It’s called Polyphylla decemlineata, the ten-lined June beetle.

It’s a big scary inch to an inch and a half long, and hatches from a prawn-like grub when the weather gets hot. Then it waits until dusk when you can’t see it very well, and when you’re standing there waiting for the dogs to pee, it attacks. Mainly it tries to land on your back because that makes it hard to fight  off.

I heard this guy talking as I took his picture while he hung onto my fence.

I push the air beneath closed wings,

To hiss and buzz and make her cringe.

With beady eyes I see her stand,

And when she turns, that’s when I land

Upon her back and hear her shriek.

I only turn the other cheek.

I try to lift my spiky feet,

But threads entangle and defeat.

It seems I cannot get away

I have to stay and watch this play.

She’s running crazy round the yard,

It’s fun to cause her to discard

Her vest and fling it on the ground.

I crawl away without a sound,

But, hee, hee, heeeee. Hee, hee, heeeee.

Anneli’s afraid of me!

Rules of the Road

Being yourself, being natural, is, for the most part, a good thing. But like anything, there are degrees of what is acceptable or sensible. Nudity, for example; it’s natural, accepted in places like nude beaches and nudist colonies, but in the busy downtown shopping area, not so much. It is sensible in that the cost of clothing goes way down, and it’s convenient for swimming, but then when the sun comes out it’s not so sensible to fry your unprotected skin and turn into a lobster, or to get frostbite in the winter.

So it is with breastfeeding. Sure it’s natural, but it’s not always practical or socially accepted in all situations. Difficult to do while riding a bicycle, not a good idea while driving a car. If using a cell phone is distracting, I’d say breastfeeding while driving also qualifies.

Even if you’re not driving, but just crossing the road with the kids, it’s not the ideal place to stop and breastfeed them. It’s just not a good idea.

That’s what this mother was doing as I came upon them in my car. While I grabbed my paparazza camera to get some good breast shots for the next  Playgirls in the Wild magazine, the mom came to her senses and told the kids to scram.

“Follow me,” she said, trotting down the road. Now where was that opening into the bushes?

She ducked in, yelling over her shoulder, “Come on, kids! Don’t just stand there gawking!  Hurry up and get in here, or you’ll get shot! Didn’t you see the camera in that predator’s hands?”

“All right, all right. What’s the big deal?” the more foolish of the two drawled as he swaggered off the road.

There’s always one in the family who has attitude. Let’s hope it never bites him.

 

A Not-so-boring Boring Beetle

Many years ago I saw one of these beetles in my yard and later wondered if it was one of those terrible Asian longhorned beetles that destroy our forests. Should I have killed it and saved our forests?

Most likely our forests were not in danger, and I’m glad I didn’t kill the poor bug. Yes, it bores into wood and lays its eggs there so its progeny will also bore into the wood, but it prefers dead wood. By eating the dead wood, it is actually doing more good than harm.

Today, I found this poor little guy already dead on the walk beside my house. I picked it up with my bare hands in spite of the horror I have of touching bugs. If it had wiggled, I would have been in trouble. But no, it didn’t move. I wanted to take its picture so I could identify it for sure.

I apologized to it for placing it in such an undignified pose, but I wanted to be sure, in case I needed to confirm its I.D. by its underside.  If you click to make the photo below bigger, you can see that it has fuzzy mitts on its front legs and tufts of “fur” on its antennae.

Here is what I found out.

It is a banded alder beetle, often confused with the Asian longhorn beetle, a
damaging exotic pest.

I found more information at this site:

https://entomology.oregonstate.edu/sites/agscid7/files/entomology/Banded_Alder%20Borer_13.pdf

They said:

The easiest way to distinguish these two species is  to look at the segment directly behind the head. On the Asian longhorn beetle the area is entirely shiny black while on the BAB the area is white with a single, large black spot that occupies 60% or more of the segment.

DSCN0767

On the photo above you can see that black circle on its head, a sure sign that it is a banded alder borer, and not the dreaded Asian longhorn beetle.

Linc is back!

Linc is back! I saw him today. Do you remember his mother scolding him just before he ran away from her? She looked all over and asked her friends if they knew “Where de Linc went?” Because he really was a bit of a delinquent!

If you’d like to revisit that day, just click here: https://wp.me/p1uKoT-2a6

I’ve grown a lot in this last year,

I gave my mom some grief, I fear,

But now I’m older, wiser too,

My naughtiness I surely rue.

My momma loves me just the same,

She’s raised me to be much more tame.

I’m working hard to feed myself,

No need for her to stock my shelf.

She’s worked so hard to help me grow,

I love her lots and told her so.

I’ll soon have babies of my own,

My momma says I’m not to moan,

It’s payback time and soon I’ll see

How hard she had to work with me.

Progress?

Change is inevitable, but not necessarily always a good thing. People of my parents’ day were usually glad to see what they called “progress.” It meant that their hard life would be made easier. I suppose when you have grown up without the modern conveniences that we now take for granted, “progress” seems like  a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, progress usually involves an increase in population to support businesses, and with the influx of people comes the bad with the good.

At one time, we didn’t have to fence our semi-rural property because no one came along to ruin its quiet  ambiance. Yes, I had to set aside a small area to put the deer’s favourite plants behind some kind of fencing, but I loved seeing the animals visiting our yard.

Our once quiet neighbourhood  is now a high-traffic dog walk; in many cases a place where irresponsible people come to let their dogs run free. The deer can no longer visit in peace and I’ve been forced to fence my yard.

But as I went through some older photos, I found this one from the days before “progress.”

Light Play

This morning the dogs let me sleep in until about 6:00. Then Emma tapped the edge of the bed. Bleary-eyed, I let her and Ruby out and wandered around the yard waiting for them to do their business. They were more interested in what might have spent the night in the shrubs by an old tree stump. Maybe a rabbit or a raccoon? I wandered away a few feet and what I saw made me run back into the house to get the camera.

I didn’t care that the ugliest hydro pole in the world was front and center of my photo. I just wanted to record that rainbow.

The first rays of morning light were doing strange things. The hedge around our place is usually all the same colour, but when the light hit patches of it, you would think it had two kinds of trees.

These are all western red cedars with no colour variation (except today).

When the sun went behind a cloud only moments later, the sky turned dark and so did the hedge. You are looking at the same stretch of hedging in the photo below as in the photos above.

The cloud hiding the sun moved on and the morning rays went to work again.

It was a real light show out there this morning. I’m so glad I didn’t sleep through it.

Working to Eat

 

The pileated woodpecker has to work for his meals. This is Woody, who came to check out the old fir stump in my overgrown veggie garden. Notice how his tongue sticks out now and then to help lick up anything  he finds crawling around inside the wood.

After he had his meal, he flew into the forested area around the side of our house to have dessert at one of the other stumps we’ve left there.

I followed him to try to get another photo and was surprised when Junior flew in and landed in a tree quite close to me. You can tell that this is a young bird, maybe a female because of no red malar stripe (moustache). The red on her head is not as brilliant as it will be when she matures.

By the time I recovered from the surprise of her appearance, and refocused the camera, the backyard superintendents woke up from sleeping on the job, and came along barking their fool heads off, scaring the birds away.

I sighed, but couldn’t really reprimand them. After all, they are bird dogs.