Dear Readers, every so often something happens in the garden that reminds me exactly why I have a lot of scruffy hemp agrimony plants hanging around for months, and today was one of them. When this amazing insect flew over at first all I got was a burst of iridescent green, and I was convinced that it was a dragonfly. When it landed and the sun glinted off the carapace, I realised that a rose chafer beetle had landed, the first one I’d seen since I was last in Austria. What a pretty creature it is, as big as my thumb to the first joint and as bumbling and cuddly an insect as you’d wish to find.
Rose chafers have a bad reputation because they are rather partial to dog roses (hence the name). This one seemed to be mainly stocking up on pollen, and the grubs are handy detritivores, munching on rotting vegetation. And really, it looks like a jewel. Who could resist it?
One rather endearing thing is the way that it flies around with its elytra (the wingcases) closed and the wings out.
I can’t begin to tell you how seeing something like this cheers me up – the world seems so full of wonders just waiting for us to notice them. It has been so wet this last week that I’ve barely been able to get outside the front door, so there was a special joy in sitting in the sunshine and drinking my tea this morning, even without this beautiful creature turning up.
And then, it launched itself into the air, did a quick celebratory circle of the garden to see if it was missing anything and headed off at great speed in an easterly direction. They fly surprisingly quickly for such big critters, and I can imagine if one flew into you it would leave quite a bruise.
And finally, if you want to see a really amazing video showing all sorts of insects that don’t look as if they should be able to fly at all taking off in slow motion, have a look at the link below. I suspect you’ll have to belong to evil Facebook to see it, but it’s worth it. Have fun!