Thursday, July 9, 2015

Firewood Fun

 I usually keep my camera handy when splitting firewood.  Today, as I quickly got my last half-cord under cover before the storm moved in, I exposed a couple of bugs that I enjoy encountering every summer at this time.  The two crickets were fun to play with - one had all six legs, and the other was missing a read leg.  Both were camouflaged by remaining very still as well as blending in with their backgrounds.  I prodded them to jump in order to get new positions of pictures.

 This beautiful, harmless beetle goes by many names, but I suppose Dentate Stink Beetle sums up the majority human attitude as well as any other name.  When disturbed, they raise their abdomen and emit a mist which some people find unpleasant.  Let's just say I'd rather sit next to one of these on a plane than to some people I've been stuck with.
 These don't move very fast, so when I pestered this one he just tried to crawl to the underside of the log.
 I then captured him and put him on his back for a photo.  He was able to right himself very quickly, so it took several attempts to get a photo.
 I then moved him to a safer hiding place while I moved the rest of the wood.  By the way, I'm not sure it's a "he."
This encounter is just one of the distractions that has delayed my report on Tuesday afternoon's visit to Oakland Camp that included finding all five local species of milkweeds.

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