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Old Nov 15, 2013, 6:37 PM   #1
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Default Autumn "Critters"

Been out on the trail a lot this fall, both working on trails and sharing nature discovery with school groups. Along the way, have enjoyed noticing some of the small "critters" of autumn in East Tennessee.

Here's an Eastern Box Turtle, enjoying perhaps his last sunbath before burrowing under for the winter.
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 6:38 PM   #2
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You can see why these salamanders are called Two Lined salamanders (I believe it's the Blue Ridge Two Lined, but not positive). Sure was a cooperative little "poser," anyway.
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 6:38 PM   #3
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It's about too late for any odonates, but this Southern Spreadwing was out sunning on a rather cool autumn afternoon…
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 6:39 PM   #4
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Spiny Micrathena spiders are still rather common in the fall, usually in the deep forest and lower elevations. This female was kind enough to hold still for a few snapshots. You can see how those spines would make it hard for a bird or other predator to swallow her.
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 6:40 PM   #5
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And here's a first for me - just happened to be in the right spot to "catch" this GB Heron in the midst of enjoying his catch! Not very high quality photo (shutter speed too slow, too much vegetation in the way), but really enjoyed the fish eye looking at the GBH eye!
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 6:40 PM   #6
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And one more late-season predator: Some sharp-eyed students noticed this Carolina Mantid "hanging out" on a tree in their schoolyard. Unlike the Praying Mantis, this is a native species in our region. They also seem to stay active later in the year than their larger, non-native cousins.
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 6:41 PM   #7
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Hope you enjoyed a peek at some autumnal animals, and that you'll share your comments & critique!
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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Nice series, love the Box Turtle shots.
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 6:01 PM   #9
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They are all great but I also favor #1..
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 7:49 PM   #10
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JJ and D/D - Thanks for your kind words, and thanks for taking time to comment!
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