In anticipation of the rainy season, two types of phenomena occur here in this region. The first, which is quite magical, is the nighttime fireflies. Just after dusk, our whole valley looks like this:
I'm sure you would agree this is a Disney fairytale scene. It really is amazing to walk through the Tinkerbell lights. I love fireflies!
The other phenomenon however is that of beetles. These black beetles emerge from the ground on mass. Like most bugs, they are attracted by light and fly towards it. Since the lights are on in the house when it's dark outside, they tend to smack into the window panes; I imagine bullets might sound like this pop, bang, ping. They have a cycle of appearing every two years. Last year, Kevin and I commented on how few there were, almost none at all compared to the previous year. Well, true to the cycle, this year they invaded with a vengeance. Now, these beetles are harmless... they're a bit gross, and a bit of a nuisance for and hour or so each night, but that's the extent of the damage. They started last Saturday and stopped two nights ago, so they don't even last too long.
This year, Kevin decided – to avoid having them bang against the house – we would turn on the light near the carport and see what happens. We would also dim the inside lights way down. We suspected (and hoped) they would be diverted. Oh, boy, were they ever!!
So, here is what one little beetle looks like (they average 30 mm in length), just so you have an idea of what I'm talking about:
Kevin braved the swarm and took this picture... the black area on the ground is thousands of beetles! Kevin put out some pails and bins to catch as many as possible.
Kevin dumped the ones in the pails and bins in the river. The ones on the pavement crawled back into the ground for the day, until nightfall where they would rise and start the ritual all over again. It was a good idea, but too many beetles remained uncaptured. Kevin thought about it and devised a pulley system over one of the ponds: a rope went across with two battery-operated lanterns hanging in the centre. The next night, we had no beetles at all near the house, and very few near the carport area. The beetles did fly towards the lantern and fell in the pond. There was enough water flowing through the pond to wash them down the waterfall and into the river. We got rid of a whole lot that way.
We had B&B guests arrive on Thursday night and luckily we did not need any lights to attract the swarm... they had run their course by then.
The fireflies on the other hand, continue to grace us with their sparkle.
Speaking of guests... we hosted a lovely young couple from the Netherlands for two nights. They left a nice review in our guestbook... check it out here. Here's John having just caught his dinner.
Last, but not least... take a look at this baby mutant egg I collected yesterday... we've never seen such a tiny one from our hens before. Nature continues to surprise us.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
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