Sunday, May 17

Rain Beetle


This morning Karla spotted a bug we call a Rain Beetle. They usually show up around three days before it rains, trotting about with their tail ends raised for all to admire. I know it sounds like an old wives’ tale, but they’re a pretty good predictor of impending rain.

So far this 2014-15 season (July through June) we are a hair shy of a whole foot (30 cm) of rain! The first year that Karla and I lived here in the boonies after moving up from Hollywood, we were surprised by the five feet (1.5 m) we got. The following year, 1981, we got almost that much, and decided to put up a water wheel in one of the nearby creeks to make electricity. (The place was [and still is] off-grid; later we put in solar power instead.) The wheel is big enough for kids to stand inside and run, making it spin and posing the risk of  having an arm torn off if it gets between the spokes and the support posts.

Reminder: Take the water wheel down. Or chain it to its supports. Or fence kids out. Or burn it in place. Or… put it off for another time.

3 comments:

Susan said...

Do you get ants climbing up and into things before it rains too? That's my natural rain predictor. We have so many different kinds of ants. They have technical names for me such as Big Black Ants, Small Red Ants, Green Ants, Fire Ants (unwelcome migrants), Bull Ants, Small Brown Ants and Little Black Ants. I am sure there are others but I can't seem to remember any more right now. All of them love to climb inside houses about a day before it rains. I lay down barriers of washing powder to try and discourage them, but they just climb up the walls and around so it isn't very effective. Spraying whole doorways/window frames with diluted lemon or clove oil sometimes works better.

Tom Hurley said...

Come to think of it, we do get more flies in the house right before a rainstorm. I don't know how they get in; maybe they just spontaneously generate out of dust.

Pete S. said...

Susan, you have quite a variety of ants! You could make a display box with a glass window showing them all. We mainly have just one kind: small brown ants, which are introduced here from Argentina.