Sunday, May 20, 2012


In the lot that resides next to our house is what was leftover of a mound of sand that I had delivered several years back.  I had been meaning to scatter it in some low areas in that particular lot, but you know how it goes.  Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow.  After those couple of years, the soft sand that it once was had gotten so hard that it made the entry of a shovel fairly difficult.  Also, a bunch of fire ants decided that, well, if he isn’t going to make use of this sand, we will.  And they did, converting part of it into an ant hill, which later I decimated, seeing that my grand-daughter plays close to this area.  Over the last couple of days Mother Nature had dumped a good bit of rain and softened up the sand so I took advantage of this and grabbed a shovel and began to spread it out.  As I whittled away at the pile, I found that beetles had also taken advantage of this area.

Every so often when I lifted a shovel load of the sand I would come across the C-shaped beetle larvae of a June bug.  If I were a fisherman these would make for excellent fish bait.

Females tunneled into the sand many months ago and laid their eggs in this spot.  Over the course of a year these eggs develop into the larvae I am now discovering.  Soon they will further mature into this well-known brown scarab.

Years ago we had a small dog named Muffin and she loved these beetles.  Loved the taste of them that is.  When they began hatching from the ground in swarms in the spring, she would lap them up like candy as they buzzed along the driveway.  She must have been on to something, because while researching this little jewel of a beetle I learned that Native American Indians roasted them upon hot coals, eating them like popcorn.  Even these grubs are supposed to be tasty.  Returning them to the sandy area from which I discovered them, they burrow themselves back into the confines of the sand to await further metamorphosis.  At the moment I have no interest in entomophagy.

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