I guess they aren’t technically horns, but check out the protrusions on these buggers I found!
I am definitely a live-and-let-live kind of person. That basically applies to my dealing with creatures as well as people…I think I like critters better, but I am willing to leave people or critters alone to do as they please as long as it doesn’t hurt me or my family. I don’t think it hurt these guys, though, when I picked them up for a little inspection.
The grasshopper actually sort of hurt me a little…I picked him up and he wandered around on my hands for awhile…and then he bit me! It wasn’t a big deal, but I saw his tiny mouth reach down and just take a taste! I didn’t fling him off or mash him but I figured that maybe it was time to set him free! I know I am sweet and all, but he wasn’t my type!
We were working on the deck at the deluxe shed last weekend and we heard this incredible sound. Circling about overhead was this oddly shaped black flying machine. It wasn’t a black helicopter so I began to wonder if my tinfoil hat was screwed on a little too tight. The black flying machine continued to circle though and finally came into my field on approach! Honest to goodness, the new technology is amazing! This new stealth fighter landed on one of the boards for the deck on which I was working!
We moved over slowly to where it had landed, not knowing if we should be honored or afraid. I pulled out my camera figuring it would be the moment of truth…either the flying machine would remain still and let me take a pic or I would feel its sting. I felt bold and alive and the tingles of adrenaline poured over my body!
I looked back at Abigail who had first spotted this stealth fighter and she said, “Dad, you’re an idiot…it’s a fly. Take a picture before it flies off!” Parenting is so humbling! I think this baby is a horse fly (Tabanus atratus) but I don’t think I have ever seen a solid black one or one of this size! He was a beauty and he posed very well for a pic…no bites at all!
We are doing a little bit of fancy building out in the back yard to convert a bit of space from grass to a food plot. A few years ago I cut down and old tree that was both ugly and in the way. I had high hopes of sawing the tree into boards (just to see if I could) and doing something interesting with it. Three years later, the log is pretty well rotted…and in the way like the tree before it. I rolled it out of the way so we could work and we found a regular entomological wonderland!
These two huge beetles dashed around in circles. I dubbed them vampire beetles because they just wanted out of the sun. I think they were actually Patent Leather beetles (Odontotaenius disjunctus). I let them crawl around on my hands and arms a bit, trying to get the kids excited (in a “my dad is so brave and awesome” kinda way). It didn’t exactly work as I expected but I was delighted that the kids at least wanted to touch the beetles. I am a country boy trying to raise city kids to not be too much city and a little more country…touching bugs is a good step on the path. I delivered both beetles to a safe spot nearby…I do not want to harm such cool and beneficial bugs.
We also noticed a large millipede cruising around quickly once we moved a chunk of bark. We could not pick him up but he was super cool though a little shy. He had no interest in posing for a photograph. I am not sure about exactly what type of centipede he is but I think he is in the genus Cryptops. I also learned a little something about centipedes versus millipedes. Millipedes have 2 leg pairs per segment while centipedes have one leg-pair on each segment. Centipedes have venomous legs while millipedes do not. Centipedes are fast while millipedes are typically not. Gosh, there are so many other differences…read some more here.
Anyhow, I think what made me happiest about this log was the worm family we found there. Abigail bent right down and grabbed up a worm. It’s a simple little thing but I love that my darling little daughter will pick up a worm without worrying about it being slimy or wiggly. She relocated a family of worms the other day while some other little girls looked on in shock. I have city kids but even in the city, under a log, lies adventure and wonder and just a little bit of country!