Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where have all the Christmas Beetles gone?

I remember the Summer evenings of my childhood, playing out in the garden after tea, having water fights with my sisters and brother.. the smell of wattle, jasmine and smoke from a far off bushfire. The 'cool change' as a Southerly wind blew in, allowing some relief when we finally went to bed, no air conditioning back then.. a fan if we were lucky, but windows (with fly~screens of course) wide open to the night sky.  And the flying jewels, the iridescent masterpieces of gilt wing and light~seeking radar. They were huge! And each so different from the other. If they got past the fly screens or followed us in before the screen door shut, we would carefully catch and carry them outside, placing them in the willow tree, or in mum's Camellias or Fuchsias, perhaps matching their colours to a flower where they might find company in their beauty. Mum taught us to be kind,  to play in Nature, and to appreciate the colours around us, including those Christmas Beetles. Few are seen here now, at least in the Sydney Basin.. Pesticides? Tree Clearing? As with those othe jewelled treasures the Cicadas, the change in 40 years has been phenomenal.. Vale the Christmas Beetle.


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