Monday, July 28, 2014

The Unsung Dung (Beetle)

Todd and I found a hiking trail not too far from our house this weekend, and I was delighted to find a plethora of mushrooms/fungus in every color of the rainbow.




 Of course, green...

Blue (ish)...

Even purple.

Lots of the "typical" whites and browns, too.

I love our walks.  Not only is it great quality time for us and healthy for our bodies, but you just never know what you're going to see.  Someone was digging through the underbrush here for insects or tender plants:

This branch once held tasty insects for a woodpecker:

We paused to watch a spider spin a web:

Lots of woodland flowers in bloom, including one whose center almost looks like it was misted white with spray paint.  

We saw not one, but TWO leaf-footed bugs (Coreidae).  They use those long legs to travel fast and move from leaf to leaf with ease.

Finally, Todd spotted a dung beetle rolling some horse manure along.  Apparently dung beetles fall into one of three categories:  those that roll it, those that bury it, and those that live in it.  They live nearly everywhere and can survive in all sorts of conditions.  They can roll 10 times their own weight.  They improve the soil where they bury the dung, and it's also one less place for flies to breed.  They're really remarkable creatures. 

I can't wait for our next trip out. 

Have a great week! 

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