Drunken Hummingbats

And pigeons in love.

Dawn PigeonsI’m working steadily here in Tucson, taking pictures, making pages, writing words, taking actions, feeding birds, trimming trees, answering email, updating web sites, shipping books, and cooing at cardinals.

Here is the yard in Severe Cleanup mode, with bonus Baronet. My landscaper James (who is the one to call when chainsaws, flatbed trailers or heavy equipment are called for) or and two of his cute little sons are outside, removing the sadly dead pink grapefruit tree in front, trimming the big trees, and hauling away the piles.

It’s lightly sprinkling; it may be that the palo verde will escape a prune today if it starts actually raining.

Yard cleanup

The skies are beautiful these days, and the weather is hot and sticky or warm and sprinkly or windy and wild. The sunsets are pink and orange and red and blue and violet and the nights are full of stars.

Sunset and Moon

Sunset Pool II

Sunset pool July 2013

And Miss Fish, although currently on guard re James and his boys, is generally happy.

Zogged Fish

Miss Fish is always a hit. Her priorities are in order- she isn’t going into debt, marrying for position, or offering you an ice cream she has no intention of actually pulling out of her fucked up orange and pink van. Her tail tip is lovely black and her little toes are black and pink. She has a little brown patch on her forehead, leading to Evan’s identification of her as a Brown Patch Tabby.

Heaven Sent

Last night I posted beetle pix on Facebook, along with the photo of the Fish. But I hid the scary picture of the whole beetle in the comment stream so no one who was afraid of giant beetles had to see it. I must warn you that there is a Full Beetle shot below this one, so… proceed at your own risk.

Beetle in her hole

Palo Verde Root Borers are probably my favorite Arizona beetles. The one above was the biggest one I have ever seen… she could cover your entire hand if you were foolish enough to think she wanted that. They have a vigorous pinch but are very laissez faire; leave them alone, and they will not bother you.

They are nocturnal, and come out and fly around at dusk, looking like drunk hummingbats, and at night they crawl around the yard doing their beetle thing. Sometimes I find them in the pool in the morning, alive and dead.

The holes they dig look like this, about 1/2″ to 1″ in diameter (depending I presume on the size and digging efficiency of the beetle. They lay eggs in the holes, and the eventual grubs nibble on roots until they are ready to emerge into the heat and love, lay, and die.

Beetle Hole

Their whole Upper Realm situation lasts about a month, and then their little beetle beings return to All That, leaving exquisite corpses about the yard, and new beetles growing beneath it.

The lady above is (I presume) laying her eggs. Just previously she had been sitting on my chaise lounge, and taking up most of it I might add. She was lurking under my beachtowel, which luckily I peeked under before flopping down on it after the morning swim.

Who is this in my chair

Someone on Facebook said, simply, “Cat was cuter.”

6 thoughts on “Drunken Hummingbats

  1. They are very interesting looking beetles. I hope to see one in person some day. As a general rule bugs do not bother me with the exception of scorpions. I have had my share of near misses with them and now they just give me the willies. There is a great Arizona bug blog I follow with many interesting species! So different than any insects this side of the Mississippi!

  2. I find it a lot easier to look at pictures of creepy crawlies than I do to actually be in the same room with one, so while I admire the glossy sheen of that beetle’s back, if I had sat on that chaise and found a beetle under my butt, you would have seen me do quite the dance while squealing and shuddering! Perhaps due to finding a June bug in my shoe as a child but only after putting my whole foot into said shoe first!

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