The summer solstice was yesterday, officially the longest day of sunlight of the year. If you are in the southern hemisphere, happy winter solstice to you! In the US, few celebrate anymore, though it is one of the most ancient celebrations and dates back to pre-Christian times. Europe, especially northern Europe, still widely celebrates midsummer. Depending on the culture, it was a time of fertility, a time of crops, and a time of magic.
Dung beetles are fascinating little insects and have a long, respected history. Ancient Egyptians saw this industrious little creature constantly rolling it’s prize across the ground. This reminded them of the sun crossing the sky. They likened the beetle, with it’s round ball, to the sun slowly making it’s way across the heavens. Most likely this was the beetle Kheper aegyptiorum and was seen as an incarnation of the sun god Khepri.
So even though we are past the longest day of the year, there is still lots of daylight left to go out, enjoy, find some cool insects, and study the immense entomological diversity that is in your area. Get your friends involved, go out on a “bug hunt”, pack a picnic, and soak up the sun! Check out these links for more on the summer solstice and like and share this post to get others involved: