Sitting outside in front of my mini DNA museum/workshop, melting in the Arizona sun, I am doing the very unglamorous part of my field work, cleaning up recently found bird parts and bits (I have a special permit, don’t trip out, I’m legal) Using a bucket of rain water to clean my hands and what not, out of the corner of my eye I see something bizarre.
Iridescent green is catching the intense sun and beaming from the bucket next to me. The color is so glorious and shimmering I’m immediately mesmerized.
Born and raised desert , using all the animal knowledge I possess, I’m only vaguely familiar with what I am staring at. My limited background around insects tells me it’s a huge beetle. I can’t identify it further than that without Google. But honestly, look at it!! Such a fabulous looking beetle, covered head to toes with an insane level of iridescent green sparkle, this beetle must be part of the community.🌈 These shimmering creatures probably only vacation here in Gold Canyon. The monsoon rains must have ushered them in. Honestly I have no clue if this type of beetle is even dangerous or deadly. End of my TED Talk.
I scoop it out of the water and onto a stack of paper to dry. I’m covered in flies and sweat and filth and need to clean up and go shower before taking pictures of my new green friend and finding it a place in the collection.
The AZ sun is so intense it makes outdoor photography hard at certain times of the day. I wanted to make sure I could capture all the colors bouncing of this beetles entire body. Exhausted from working in the heat, I figured I would come up with a better lighting situation after a shower and a bong load.
Sitting at the table, talking to my husband about work, debating on whether I should eat or nap, Jay looks over at the beetle on my desk and says “ uh babe, it’s moving”
What? No…I took that crazy looking thing out of a bucket full of water almost 30 minutes ago! It’s alive?
Why yes, it was.
And still is! After I took enough photos and videos of this insane looking creature we moved it to under a flowering bush in the shade . Good luck you fabulous green flying machine 🌵💚👍