Any temperature over 90 degrees F is not conducive to quality hiking, in my opinion. It's been dreadfully hot and dry here, but we had a reprieve this weekend. 85 degrees F! Borga, too, has been giving us the side-eye, so we decided to go hiking.
I think we're going to the North Carolina mountains next weekend to hike, but this weekend we stayed close and explored some new trails in Clemson. I haven't been outside too much this summer, so I *loved* getting to see a few insects.
Here's a mating pair. Notice how the female is much larger than the male!
Another green lacewing larva, Trojan-horsing it under his load of debris.
Look! Some clever leaf-cutting insect has incised part of this leaf, folded it over, and secured it with silk threads. She laid her eggs within its sheltering cover.
Sunlight makes this leafhopper glow as it basks on a stem.
Some sort of caterpillar, making its way up a tree trunk...
My find of the day! This is a furcula moth caterpillar (Furcula Borealis).
He's in the split-tail caterpillar family, but what's amazing is how he blends in almost completely with the leaf he's on, which has similar brown splotches.
What a beauty! Well, sort of. ;)
He has warning spikes that come out of the tips of his split tail, very similar to the orange spikes that come out of a tiger swallowtail caterpillar's antennae. He looks imposing, but does not sting or bite. See his amazing camouflage?
Here's a tiny gold-dusted beetle...
Speaking of tiger swallowtails, I am *almost* positive that this is one of their chrysalises.
I saw the most amazing funnel web. It went all the way to the ground and the tube had to be six inches long!
(Look away, arachnaphobes!) The spider within, though, is quite small.
Love seeing the wild blackberries...
...and lots of moss.
At the end of the day, Borga was happy, and I was so glad to have gotten some fresh air and nice time out in nature.
At the home front, our "goz" are now indistinguishable from their parents, whom they stay with for about a year.
We don't see them nearly as much. Canadian geese fly at 10 weeks, so it's been fun to hear, and sometimes see, their noisy practice flights.
The big news, though...we have a NEW BEAVER!!!!!!!
He is just as delightful and playful as any member of our previous beaver family, but I'm so afraid that he's going to get trapped and killed. We might try to arrange for a preemptive humane capture and release in a safer location. Meanwhile, though, we're going to enjoy every second of his company!
Have a great week!