Buprestid Blues

Lisa and I took a morning stroll through North Valley Park in Inver Grove Heights while Lida practiced sand volleyball. We saw quite a few frisbee golf players and a fair number of dragonflies---Twelve-spotted Skimmers, Common Whitetails, and a single Horned Clubtail. We also saw a couple of skipper butterflies and a ringlet.

Leaving the park, a shiny, blue-metallic beetle on a leaf caught my eye. This was a buprestid beetle (family Buprestidae), also known as jewel beetles. The size and shape, that is being small and narrow, suggests it belongs to the speciose genus Agrilus, a genus that includes something near to two hundred species in North America. The blue coloration further suggests it is the adventive species Agrilus cyanescens, introduced to North America in the early 1900s and associated with honeysuckle.

While some few species of buprestid beetles are considered pests, the real buprestid blues began with the introduction of the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis). This small, bright-metallic-green beetle was first observed near Detroit, Michigan, in 2002, just fifteen years ago, and has since spread into more than fifteen states. Because it kills ash trees, great efforts have been made to impede its march across the continent and to monitor known populations. One of the interesting programs associated with the Emerald Ash Borer is the biosurveillance program undertaken by the University of Minnesota which watches populations of the buprestid-hunting wasp Cerceris fummipennis to see what beetles it's capturing. Having seen this blue beetle this morning, I now know it's time to start looking for wasp nests.

A while after our walk in the park, I had a chance to read a few poems by the Norwegian poet, Olav Hauge and came across these lines which made me smile: "There is so much to ponder in this world / that one life is not enough. / After you're done with your tasks, / you can fry up some bacon / and read Chinese poetry." My introduction to this poet came many years ago through the translations of Robert Bly, then some years later the translations of Robert Hedin. Being from rural Minnesota and a farm kid, I took an immediate liking to Hauge's spare, rustic, taciturn poetic utterances. Then, only a few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and sharing some Russian piano music with Hauge's widow, the artist Bodil Cappelen, during her stay at the Anderson Center. So it's wonderful to have such a substantial newly translated collection of poems and journal entries as Luminous Spaces (White Pine Press, 2016; translated by Olav Grinde).

Publicado por scottking scottking, 04 de junho de 2017, 03:56 AM

Observações

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Junho 3, 2017 08:58 AM CDT

Descrição

Blue Jewel Beetle
North Valley Park
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Junho 3, 2017 08:56 AM CDT

Descrição

Horned Clubtail, female
North Valley Park
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

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