The Thin Red Line

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 22 May 2016 13:41

This is the stunning Chrysolina sanguinolenta (Na). It's quite unusual how I came by seeing this awesome beetle. About a month ago, I received a Twitter message from Jane Hawkins and Vicki Morgan (it was Vicki and her daughter Tilly, who found the original specimen) saying they had found an odd looking beetle on their allotment at Craven Vale & Whitehawk Hill in Brighton. I went up to look for it but couldn't find it. Several weeks later, they found another but this one escaped. Finally, third time lucky I went and had a look. I love the genus Chrysolina, has to be up there as my favourite genus. What I wouldn't do to see cerealis! What's your favourite genus? Anyway, a big thank you to Jane and Vicki.

Here he is again playing dead. This rare species hasn't been recorded in Sussex for some time. It feeds on toadflax so it's food stuff is hardly in short supply. It's very distinctive though and I think it's unlikely that it has been over-looked.

I am a big fan of Terrence Malick. Most of all the film The Thin Red Line. I'm not really a fan of war films but this is something else. Beautifully slow, full of internal dialogue and perfectly shot scenes of wildlife and landscape. This is a war film for people who don't like war films. It's a powerful movie. I often think about my Great Great Grandfather who we'll never know the name of but who died at the Battle of the Somme without knowing his partner was pregnant and without knowing he would father six generations. He died alone thinking his partner had forsaken him when what was really happening was her mother was intercepting the letters he sent, so she thought he had left her. All those people that exist because of that guy and he never even knew it. So, whoever you were. Thank you.

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