Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Critter Trifecta

I hit the critter trifecta yesterday. Scored a hat trick. A triple play. Don't take the HIT part literally. No critters were harmed at the hand or wheels of Val.

We are used to seeing wildlife every day. The squirrels, bunnies, hawks, turtles, turkeys, skunks, and occasional deer. But yesterday was special in the Backroads fauna department. The less-traveled-by animals made an appearance.

The least surprising encounter was with a slim dark snake sporting long yellow stripes. He was sunning on the blacktop, about two feet long. I suspect he was an Eastern garter snake, or some common garter. I was careful to pilot T-Hoe over his warming space to leave him undisturbed. I cannot stand it when I see a car veer to smash a snake, then back up and slam on the brakes in an effort to pulverize him. You're not going to rid the woods of snakes by vehicular reptileslaughter. He was in perfect health when last I saw him.

Not an everyday sight, but perhaps a monthly one, was the broken armadillo. I swear, these unsuccessful road-crossers are nothing more than possums with exoskeletons. Sure,  I know they are a different genus and species. But all marsupiality aside, they seem to travel the same circles and push their luck on the same routes. They are no match for swift strong UniRoyal.

The most breathtaking of my creature dalliances was a HUGE beetle the size of two golf balls hooked together. His iridescent green back shone like mother-of-pearl. He reminded me of a scarab that might be used for decorative purposes on a wealthy woman's chest. Research upon arriving home revealed that he was a Green June Beetle. More remarkable than the sighting itself was the location.


That's right. There just inside the door of Voice of the Village was this scurrying beauty. I was stunned. My breath was taken. I wanted to call out to the clerk, "Hey! You've got a giant bug in here!" I refrained. That might have been akin to hollering FIRE in a crowded theater. By the time I filled my cup with my magical elixir, my new green friend had disappeared. A woman and a preschooler were lurking around there, looking down. But they didn't seem to be excited, so I think they were just seeking a snack of the cake variety.

DANG! I never did gather the courage to whisper my find to the clerk. I left a bit shaken, associating that insect beast with the first food source that came to mind: dung. For beetles, of course. Not my food source. Imagine my pleasant surprise upon discovering that Green June Beetles eat fruit. Peaches, preferably.

This encounter will NOT keep me from frequenting this shop. I will, however, be looking down quite often. Wouldn't want one of those things to run up my leg.


  1. I saw a roach last month at "The Olive Garden" and I can not bring myself to ever go there again.

  2. Some of those large beetles are unbelievably beautiful but I wouldn't want to be surprised by one.

  3. Martha Stewart might take care of the beetle until it expired, then she would cut the gorgeous exterior into tiny bits with her manicure scissors, and use the colorful triangles and rectangles as accent pieces on paving stones.

    It's a good thing.

  4. When I was a little girl, my mom told me those June Beetles were my birthday bug, so I chased, caught (and released) them.

  5. joeh,
    That's a step in the right direction. However...I can see that you are not as attached to Olive Garden as I am to 44 oz. Diet Coke.

    It WAS beautiful. Upon hearing my tale, The Pony said I should have stomped on it. Oh, the insectanity!

    Or perhaps a mosaic wall decoration. IF Linda didn't get her crafty fingers on it first.

    It does lessen the expense of a gift. And provide a child with exercise.