Sunday, January 20, 2013

Like a Kid FInding a Bird

 I was moving firewood from my woodshed to the front porch in 10-degree weather when I came across a beautiful, iridescent longhorn beetle that appeared dead.  It was out in the open, not protected by a beetle-made tunnel in the wood.  I thought I'd bring it inside for some photos regardless.

 After a few shots of its backside (dorasal) and front side (ventral), I left it on a piece of copy paper and went about my business.
 Some four hours later, I came back for a closer view of the ventral side.  I wanted to show how the segments of the antennae closely resembled the segments on the distal portions of the legs.
 When I poked the corpse to turn it over, I thought I saw a slight movement in one of the legs.  Hmmmmmm....  I decided to put a little water in the lid of a yogurt container and see what would happen.  Darned if more leg movement didn't occur.  I set the lid down on a sheet of ukulele chords I'd been using to work out a new song.  I might have been humming it.
 Lo and behold, my beetle started walking around and appeared to drink a little water.  The last photo in the series shows the beetle assuming a life-like posture, antennae poised for receiving information.
I felt really good about saving a beetle.  Reminded me of childhood experiences rescuing baby birds that had fallen or got pushed out of their nests.  Not really sure we saved any but for a few hours.  However, the experience taught us kids a lot about the nurturing attitude.
I knew I couldn't feed this beetle, and I thought the best I could do was return it to the woodpile.  While I enjoyed the feeling of being a rescuer, I realize I might have shortened this beetle's life by putting it through two radical temperature changes.  One beetle may not be important in the scheme of things, but thinking about protecting creatures that most people are inclined to destroy without question probably is important.  I love beetles.

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