As I was walking our precious little sweet-faced mutt this morning (no, that’s not one of the nicknames I’ve given the kids; I mean the actual dog in this case), I stumbled across something I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. And let’s be honest, at 41 years old, you kind of figure that the days of you seeing new things in the world with bright, clear, marveling eyes are behind you.
Well, unless you’ve got a ticket to a grotesque show or something. I mean, if you see the Jim Rose Circus and don’t see something you’ve never seen before you’ve lived a much more interesting—and likely more squirm-filled—life than I have. I mean, I’m pretty sure they’ve got a guy who lifts weights with his nipples or something.
But I digress. Point is, circus freaks aside, most days of middle-agedom are not rife with new sights, sounds, and experiences. Usually it’s more about working the daily schedule and getting to bed before nodding off in front of that episode of CSI: Newark you record for Thor knows why.
Sometimes, though, you take your dog for a walk before leaving for work, and while letting the rain-dense morning air fill your lungs, you come across something entirely new. And kinda terrifying. Like this little guy.
Oh, wait. Did I say little? Sorry, yeah, no.
This monstrosity was nearly the size of my house key. If I’d had a quarter to throw down next to it, I’m pretty sure the beetle would have carried it off to use for parking the next time our exoskeleton’d friend needed to met buddies downtown for happy hour.
As if finding a six-legged-something-large-enough-to-leave-a-palpable-stain-of-goo-ooze-on-your-driveway first thing in the morning wasn’t bad enough, I immediately had to find out the scientific classification, (aka, species), of this enormous, crunchy interloper. Because I’m a nerd and that’s what we do. Shut up. As soon as I showed this picture to twitter (because, I mean, come on, that’s what twitter is for, right? Cat pictures, unqualified outrage, and stuff like this, yeah? ), twitter was quick to indicate that I had been unwittingly staring down the business end of a dung beetle.
Yes, that kind of dung beetle.
With that in mind, what amazes me the most at this point isn’t just the nearly jungled-sized beetle that was making it’s way through life by traversing my driveway, but the fact that over the course of 41 years of living in the same geographic circle with a roughly 15 mile radius, I never knew these crap-collecting arthropods lived right under my feet. I knew they existed, sure, but I always thought they were strictly Asian or South American or something. You know, from a place where you have to sleep with netting to keep the monster insects from crawling into your ear or carrying you away.
(Mental Note: never go to those places.)
At any rate, with a brief bit of research, I did, in fact, find out that dung beetles are happy to live pretty much anywhere there’s cow poop. And goodness knows there’s plenty of that around here. I mean, not in my yard, specifically. You know, because livestock and suburbs go together about as well as tooth paste and orange juice.
Still, the point remains. This world belongs to the dung beetles. The rest of us are just living in it.
And we should probably just be thankful they’re rolling away the s&$!.