The Slow Path

Ever have one of those weeks when you want to take a slower path?

Be a turtle.

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One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Ever seen a creature like this?

For this week’s mystery, what is it, and do you see anything unusual about it?

I’ll check back later!

~~~

The scale here is terrible, but this spider’s legs spread about an inch in diameter, and she will continue to grow all summer, making the wolf spider the largest in our area. They are agile and see well with their eight eyes (eight!), two of which are large at the top of the head.

And how did I know that was a she?

Look closely. The white thing below her abdomen is an egg sac. The wolf spider carries it to protect her young, attaching it to herself with thread from her spinnerets because she does not build a web. Instead, wolf spiders hunt to catch their prey.

 

Thirsty Thursday

Folks,

You don’t have to go to the shore to see giant wading birds. We have them right here in our woods!

The Great Blue Heron seems to be at home in even the smallest pond damned along the streams, as long as he can find fish. Or frogs, snakes crayfish and…yes, sadly enough, rodents.

Luckily this old squirrel is a bit well-padded, I don’t think I’d fit down his gullet too well.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Any idea why this looks like a centipede fossil in this piece of not-fossilized wood?

I’ll be back later to check your guesses!

~~~

The simple answer is bugs.

The long answer is that the long bumpy center–or body of the centipede–is where a beetle laid eggs back when this branch was alive and had bark. Each of the eggs hatched into a larvae, and each little bug began chewing its way into the softer cambium layer under the wood, and we suppose a little into the wood, making the ‘legs’ of the centipede.

Did you notice that those legs grow larger as the bug chewed along? It was growing bigger! Eventually they matured enough that the larvae chewed a hole to the outside of the bark, metamorphosed into a beetle and left!

So this is like a natural apartment house!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

If you have a weak stomach, don’t look… because today’s mystery is scat. In other words, poop. (Nutmeg is making me post this warning!)

So you humans may not think that makes it much of a mystery, but it is! Two mystery questions, in fact:

Can you guess what animal left this in our neighborhood parking lot?

And what did he eat? (Hint: It’s out now!)

I’ll check back with you later!

~~~

We believe a fox left this little deposit, and from the looks of it, he ate fruit. What’s ripe now?

Mulberries!

They are ripening and dropping less that fifty feet from where the very full fox left his mark!