Quilting, Farming, Variety

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Free Plaything

I picked blueberries this morning and heard a June bug fly past me. Now if you've never heard of a June bug, this is a description of one: the adult is 3/4" to 1" long, the upper body is velvety green, and the underside of the body is shiny metallic green or gold. They have a distinct, small, flat horn on their heads, and as I recall, rather stout hind legs.

I never could understand why they were called "June" bugs because we would never see them until around the first of July, and most commonly, whenever blackberries got ripe, then we would see them feeding on the big juicy berries. Also, they liked to feed on over ripe peaches.

My cousin, Dane, and I never considered them as pests, but rather as free playthings. We had great imaginations; ( for example, in the picture, that box was put on old wagon wheels and had become our wagon) June bugs became our little flying airplanes. First we had to catch a bug, which wasn't hard to do once they were busy eating. Then we would take a long piece of twine string, make a slip-knot in one end, slide it over one hind leg of the bug and draw up the slack in the string. Holding one end of the twine securely, we let the bug fly --only as far away as the length of the string of course. It would buzz and buzz, flying in circles until it tired, then settling down on the nearest thing for a rest until we pulled the string and the whole routine started again.

Cruel? Perhaps -- but we were being entertained outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, moving, running, laughing and storing memories to recall on a day when we hear a June bug.

Do you have June bugs in your part of the world?



  1. I have them too and this brings back so many memories, playing with June Bugs. Thank you for your post..Susie

  2. This makes me smile Charlotte (love the picture). I grew up in NY and don't think we had June bugs, but we loved to catch fireflies in jars and watch them twinkle.

  3. I've never tied a string to a June bug but I remember well my mother telling me how she used to play with them with them for hours like that. It sounds like good wholesome fun to me. Maybe that is why God created June bugs. :)

  4. Having a june bug to play with is one of the sweetest memories I have of my Mamaw : )

  5. I don't remember doing it, but I remember many kids doing this when I was young. I haven't seen very many of them, but we do have them around here.