Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sometimes, it's the little things!

Often when I'm hiking, it's the little things by my feet that give me a kick (so to speak!). Here are a few I found recently.

The green color of this caterpillar (larva) of a Sphinx moth was almost neon!
It would have been hard to miss this very bright Sphinx moth caterpillar crawling along a rock on the trail. Usually it would be feeding on green leaves so its color does make sense for camouflage. Probably it fell from the trees above the trail. 

Ever been in the woods in the early spring and heard what sounds like ducks quacking?
They were wood frogs.
In early spring, I've heard the distinctive hoarse croaks of wood frogs coming from vernal pools as I walked in the woods. The male calls to attract the female. After breeding the female lays her eggs in the pool; the eggs become tadpoles, and in about 2 months they become small frogs. Most of the life of this frog is lived out of the water. I saw the one in the photo above a week ago. Later in the day, we saw a less fortunate wood frog being eaten by a garter snake. Such is the way of nature. For more interesting facts about the wood frog, click here

So is this a centipede or a millipede?
We knew it had to be one or the other, but what's the difference? So I looked it up and found out that centipedes have one set of legs per segment and millipedes have two. This, then, is a millipede. What species it is I don't know, but I now know that it's a millipede!

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