05 August 2015

Local Wildlife: Green June Bug, with Bonus Fig

This One is Mine - Get Your Own
I live in the cheapest one-bedroom-with-a-garage apartment in Eastside Costa Mesa. It's not that bad of an apartment, but as my good friend Mitch Broadsky once told me, "you know what 'not that bad' means? It means it's not that good, either." (This is a universal life truth that I love and cherish; they should print it on money.)

Looked at moving but the garage requirement and the fact that I prefer to put my money in the bank light my money on fire keeping my car running means I am better off where I am. You care. Anyway, one of the highlights of this dumpy-ass apartment with the shady-as-hell alley that runs behind it is the adjacent truly-shithole-of-a-triplex that fronts the shady-as-hell alley. That place is very definitely a dump but at some point in the distant past a resident planted some fruit trees: apricot, peach and fig, plus probably others that didn't thrive on neglect and have since given up.

The adjacent backyard is fenced, overgrown and filled with derelict trash. The fig tree is something of a minor miracle, situated adjacent to an alley that runs between a strip mall and apartment complex, surviving the worst drought in recorded California history, and literally covered with the most delicious figs you could hope to eat. In order to get to them I have to stand on a rickety-ass fence and maybe lean on another rickety-ass fence (of course all fences are unstable, bc: see previous descriptions of the units) and brave birds and bird poops, fig leaves (not for nothing, but: fig leaves are irritating as hell when they touch your skin), and green june bugs that are perfectly harmless but can be a bit distracting if they lift off in front of your unsuspecting face and/or you grab one when you are trying to get your mitts on a tasty fig, which: fucking hell, man.

Turns out another name for the green june bug is "fig beetle", which makes sense as these guys are all over the figs, as are the local birds and whatever else can get their paws/claws on them (raccoons, possums, rats, and etc). They are very beautiful - photos do not do them justice as they do not come close to capturing their radiant green iridescence. They are also only slightly more aerodynamic than a VW bus, and although lovely to look at they will bump into / land on your face if you accidentally harass them. Just clumsy or something more... sinister? Hard to say. Proceed with caution.

Note that they will not actually do anything to your face but if you want a big ass beetle strolling around on your gob while you stand/lean on two rickety ass fences then you should become an entomologist and/or stop by my house and see how it feels. To be honest, it's not that bad. And the figs are superb.

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