Coolest. Bug. Ever.

The other week, I stopped at the grocery store on my way to work. As I was getting back into my car, I glanced over and saw what I thought was a pretty big June Bug scrabbling around on his back.

Being the awesome parent that I am, I emptied my tupperware of carrots into my (sadly empty) coffee cup and dashed over to capture the bug to bring home to the Littlest Brewster.

And look at what I found!

Bug 1

It’s an Eastern Hercules Beetle.

Is he not the coolest thing ever?!?!?!

Since I knew his majestic-ness didn’t deserve to be squashed in a 0.75 cup tupperware all day, I ran into a local coffee shop and begged a plastic 24 ounce cup. I gathered up some mulch and some leaves and made him his own little terrarium for the day, complete with part of my banana for snacking.

He was so happy.

Bug 3

You can’t really tell, but he’s got an enormous grin on his face.

When I brought my improvised terrarium into work, I was beyond excited. As one of my coworkers said, you would have thought I’d won the lottery. This absolutely amazing, huge, amazing, awesome, and amazing beetle just made my day month. I kid you not – looking at the pictures still makes me want to wiggle with excitement.

DB and I emailed back and forth about the beetle all day, debating whether or not we should get a female beetle from a local science shop that carries things such as that and invest our time in raising a whole passel of Eastern Hercules Beetles. Since we were getting ready to head out of town for the weekend and my dad would have been in charge of the beetle (read: would most likely have killed our beetle buddy, whether intentionally or not), we decided that the best thing to do would be to set him free after blowing the Littlest Brewster’s mind with his awesomeness.

And she was definitely suitably impressed.

June.23.15.2

It took a little coaxing, but she eventually let him crawl on her. She was just overwhelmed with his amazing-itude.

Bug 2

Playing with our beetle buddy

After we tortured admired our beetle buddy for a while, the Littlest Brewster and I took him down to a stand of trees near the pond and set him free. In my reading, it seems that this variety of beetle really likes rotten wood and leaf mulch, so I thought that the pond area seemed the most likely place for him to find damp woody surroundings. (How on earth rotten wood and leaf mulch translated into him being in a Lowes Foods parking lot, I’ll never know.)

Bug 4

Born free, as free as the wind blows! As free as the grass grows! Born free to follow your heart!

It’s been a few weeks but the Littlest Brewster still asks about our buddy when we go on our frequent walks around the pond. And, as evidenced by my excitement in this post, I’m still blown away that I found such an amazing creature, purely by chance.

Crazy as it may sound, I kind of wish we had kept him and gotten him a little beetle wife and had a whole bunch of beetle babies. I’m sure I would have been better at caring for them than I was for the tadpoles! Though then I’m pretty sure my coworkers would have had me committed.

Maybe I should have had a career as an entomologist, rather than a nurse?

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