Meet Your New Summer Nightmare

The Palo Verde Beetle will haunt you this monsoon season


Last week, I was attacked by a living nightmare: a gigantic flying beetle. I?m still freaking out. Seriously, what was that thing?

At first, I thought you might be a whiny newbie who crossed paths with our Apache cicada. But while cicadas definitely fly and can get fairly big, I would hardly classify them as ?gigantic.? Heck, I?ve seen roaches that make cicadas look like flies!

Then I remembered a story my mother told me about a ?gigantic? black beetle she initially thought was a mouse. Mom loves animals, but bugs are another story, and when traditional efforts to dispose of the beetle failed, she resorted to cracking it in half with a shovel. I thought it was a fishing story until I found my own gigantasaurus floating in my pool. Thinking it was drowned and dead, I scooped it up carelessly with a skimmer, only to discover it very much alive. I planted it on the deck, and it picked itself up and promptly took off like a helicopter piloted by a drunk.

I learned later it was a Palo Verde Beetle, a root-boring insect also native to the Southwest. They are indeed huge, with a body up to 3 1/2 inches?longer if you count antennae and rear legs. They typically emerge during monsoon season, which has just arrived. Watch out for low-flying mice!

How much of our power do we get from Hoover Dam?

NV Energy buys about 4 percent of its power from Hoover Dam. Originally administered by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, distribution of electricity from the dam is now governed by the Hoover Dam Power Allocation Act, most recently extended by President Obama in 2011.

Almost 30 million people receive power from the dam, with about 60 percent of the kilowatt hours headed to California. Nevada?s share is about 21 percent, including just under 2 percent specifically allocated to Boulder City, which was created to house the workers who built the dam from 1931-35. Until the early 1990s, Boulder City relied exclusively on that power, but dwindling Colorado River flow meant less electricity, so the city had to contract with NV Energy for supplementary power. So, much like the question, ?How much water do we get from Lake Mead?? the real answer to how much power we get from the dam is ?Not enough.?