Just where expected — the red milkweed beetle.                            (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus)

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daylight          reminder          of our date tonight

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Leaving the rose garden by the house, today, bent upon our knees
and close enough to kiss the ground of Little Crum Creek,

we might just listen to the stridulation of abdomen and wings
beneath the armor of a passing “Betsy” beetle–Horned passalus, Odontotaenius disjunctus–

with the urgency of, otherwise faint and muted, unsettling screams…

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Sown here last year for the monarch and her brood
milkweed has grown to host a new visitor —
like this banded net-winged beetle
(calopteron discrepans, I think) —
on nearly every leaf turned

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Weeks before attracting larger palates with ripening fruit,
blackberry brambles invite the pollinating flights of more modest appetites.

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Analeptura lineola, one of the long-horned beetles known as “flower longhorns,”
busily feeds at a blackberry flower.

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The male reddish-brown stag beetle, Lucanus capreolus,
wields formidable mandibles to battle over breeding females
and sharp enough armor to impress any passerby.

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Little Crum Creek  . . .  Fireworks nightly,
Fireworks for hours.*

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