Photos/Editing: Aline LaPierre & Victor Osaka Text: Aline LaPierre
Beau and Sweetie’s morning meditation is underway. Today, they have chosen to sit in the shade of the fig tree. Still and silent, only one thing has the power to wake these cats out of their rêverie. BUGS.
And today, sure enough, I notice a few big iridescent green and black June bugs arriving to feast on the ripe fruit of my fig tree. Before I know it, there I am alongside Beau and Sweetie, camera in hand.
Bug watching on a weekday morning as if I had nothing better to do.
Meantime, the June bugs are checking off an important task from their to do list: feasting on juicy ripe figs. June bugs come stylishly dressed for the task. Their outrageous iridescent color is in perfect harmony with the soft green fig pouches. How is it that these creatures who look like they just stepped off an alien spaceship know that today, they can come here, in my garden, bury their heads in fermenting pulp and get drunk on intoxicating nectar?
Seize the moment…tomorrow will be too late. By tomorrow, raccoons, possums, squirrels, birds will have had their turns at devouring the figs. If I don’t save a few of these juicy treats for myself, everyone but me will be napping on a full stomach.
While I’m lost in my thoughts, Beau strikes. In a flash he lunges, and before I know it, he is holding a beetle between his teeth. Obviously pleased with himself, he parades a bit to show off his catch and then lays it down before us on its back. To his delight, the bug buzzes loudly as it thrashes in efforts to right itself. Sweetie’s eyes dart wildly as she follows every movement. Unsuccessful, the June bug changes strategy: it closes up into an impenetrable fortress. Beau stares and waits, then impatient, gently nudges it. No response. Fascinated, Sweetie bats it around. No response. Losing interest, they both return to their meditation.
Before long, I watch the beetle fly off, weighted by its full stomach, seemingly none the worse for wear. Its flight path loops wildly and I imagine that it might be in a drunken stupor.
During the rest of the day, the iridescent green of its wings shines like an emerald in my mind’s eye, a reminder that even in the middle of Los Angeles, natural wonder is all around in surprising shapes and forms and that thousands of unseen dramas are taking place.