Aug 6 2010

Emerald Green Beetle

Melissa Crytzer Fry

“Dorothy! We’re not in Kansas anymore!”

That’s what I thought when this emerald green, shiny beetle sauntered along under our breezeway, garnering attention with his vibrant, metallic “bling.” Yes, I said “bling.”

The “Fig Eater Beetle” (aka June Bug of the desert) looks nothing like the dull brown June Bug of my youth in Pennsylvania. They’re rarely seen in the remote desert due to lack of moisture (and fruit), so I feel privileged to have caught a glimpse! Click to enlarge.

I have never before seen one of these guys in my dozen years of desert living – and most assuredly have never seen one in my home state of Pennsylvania. So I am instantly amazed by his brilliance but, once again, I’m most moved by the invisible webs that seem to connect nature and man – even when we don’t know it.

Take a look at the photo above: pretty incredible how our manmade metallic motorcycle and hotrod paint jobs (which most of us think are the result of man’s creativity) mirror NATURE – not the other way around.

After some serious searching, I discovered that he is a June Bug (this, after telling my friend Kathy, “No way. It was definitely NOT a June Bug.” Ha… But he certainly didn’t look anything like the drab brown June Bugs of Pennsylvania.). No … certainly, we are not in Kansas – I mean Pennsylvania – anymore.

For Writers: We all know that setting is one of the key elements of novel writing. And it’s no surprise that nature is frequently at the heart of compelling settings. Have you ever considered giving nature a starring role in your novel – allowing it to become its own character? What novels have you read where nature (via ‘setting’) is integral to the storyline, a character unto itself, or so vividly described that you wish you could click your heels in the hopes of visiting that enchanted place someday?


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