Giant Black Beetle… Palo Verde Root Borer

Right now, we’re struggling to rid our yard of this Giant Palo Verde Root Borer Beetle we spotted last night crawling (actually, walking) in the dark, close to the patio! Quickly placed a pot over it – closest at hand.

Ugh… on the one hand, we don’t want to kill it; on the other, we don’t want it destroying plant roots. Apparently, mature fellas don’t eat for an entire month; then they die – once they’re done with their mating chase dance etc…

Right now, in the morning, it’s suffering in the hot sun… sorry about that… but can’t bring it inside the house! Am seeking suggestions!

Wanna take a look at what it looks like? Well, I found this site; appears the person’s a scientist… and knows all there is to know about this beetle. We’re talking about the southwest!

Well, even as I blog about this, the sun is blazing hot outside; we’ve replaced the pot with a largish glass vase over it. Sounds cruel, I know… sorry. It’s probably running out of steam – air & water… that’s life, right? Time over.

A few more minutes before it passes, I think… 😦 😦

Getting stuck on the highway…

Many commuters may have suffered due to the havoc wreaked by today’s early March Nor’easter… likewise thousands of American investors and those across the globe, due to the financial slides and tumbles on Wall Street; across all of the Americas, Europe and Asia… the dip ranging anywhere from 3% to over 7%!

On the other hand, school-going kids, particularly in NYC, will enjoy the ‘rare’ snow-day that has extended their weekend into a surprisingly long one. Those who missed reading it last week may want to catch up on the story about the humpback whale (baleen or right whale), that was rescued last Thursday after it remained entangled for about two days trapped in fishing gear approximately 8 miles off in New York waters. Ms. Teri Frady, a spokeswoman for NOAA, said that the 25-30 feet long 20 ton whale had serious injuries from the fishing gear, but it swam away. She also said that “It was stuck in a shipping lane; that’s like being stuck on a highway.”

The video on New York Times showed the rescue efforts by U.S. Coast Guard reminding us of “Free Willy”, but it is in such sharp contrast to “Grindadrap“, an annual custom on Faroe Islands.

Pilot Whales from the Dolphin family… 1,000 massacred annually!

Although jet black, or dark grey in color, the dolphins lay in a massive pool of red… soiled with their own blood. Thanks to whaling practices on Faroe Islands in Denmark for over 10 centuries, entire schools of these long-finned pilot whales are slaughtered during summers for “non-commerical” purposes.  On a scale that includes the entire community, it is a free-for-all license to kill! Ostensibly, it is critical to their local culture, history and tradition – a carryover from the days of their Viking ancestry! In fact, here’s what the locals claim, with what I’d call a ‘perverse pride’ in their voices, “Save the whales… for dinner“!

Grindadrap“, the local Faroese term for this ‘hunt’ (an embarrassment to Copenhagen, but nevertheless permitted), entails cordoning off the dolphins in a semi-circle, by boats, which then drive the pilot whales in the bay, or to the end of the fjord, where whalers stab each dolphin individually with a blunt gaff. While women do not participate in the hunt they stand to watch this spectacle! Somewhere along the line, I’m a tad perturbed on reading about the methyl mercury levels among other contaminants, in the pilot whale meat consumed by the Faroese; it’s kind of harmful to the neurological development among their children.

Do I want to write about this any further? I can feel the bile rising inside me. The photos in an email forwarded to me jolted me out of my semi-awake state this morning. I will not add them here. But if you’re interested, you may follow the links below…

PBS Frontline World



What I thought was interesting, was learning more about these dolphins… the pilot whale is also a dolphin… like the killer whale, and second in size just like it. It is as intelligent as the Flipper, or the bottlenose dolphin, most visible on North American shores.

Although I shut my eyes, I can see them suffer.

Although I’m far away, I can hear their cries.

I’m straining my ears… but am numbed

By the public outcry.