Saturday, May 8, 2010

Persephone's Beetle

The other day, I was up in my bedroom getting ready to turn in for the night.  There was a knocking and a buzzing at the bedroom window.  When I opened the blinds, I saw a junebug flying clumsily into the window pains over and over again.  Piglet, my kitty, came over and watched the giant beetle for several minutes before walking away. 

For some reason, that got me thinking about Persephone. I wondered if she had any connection to beetles.  So I googled it. 

That was when I discovered the Tooth Cave Ground Beetle.  Her scientific name is Rhadine Persephone.  I continued to read about the beetle that is native to Texas.  Apparently, this little bug lives her entire life underground sort of like Persephone herself.  She is a tiny beetle, just a quarter of an inch and reddish brown in color.  They almost look like pomegranate seeds.  But these little beetles are endangered because of the expansion of cities.  We hear a lot about the cute endangered animals, but it is rare for anyone to rally behind an ugly little beetle.  I realized this was a part of a larger problem.  The link above suggests that we can help by keeping trash and pollutants out of caves.  I see all caves as potential entrances into the underworld, and therefore they are all spiritual places.  By following good practices like "Leave No Trace" when camping we can help keep natural spaces not just clean but also sacred.

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