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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:35 PM   #1
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Default Early Autumn "Creepy-Crawlies"

Have been leading hikes at a number of nearby parks recently, and enjoying finding (and sharing) some of the "little critters" of the early autumn season.

This Crayfish was up out of the water - showing off his defensive equipment - at nearby Steele Creek Park.
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:36 PM   #2
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This little Pickerel Frog was under a rock at a small stream over at Steele Creek Park. He was kind enough to "show off" for all the hikers, and to pose for some portraits, before we returned him to his hiding place.
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:37 PM   #3
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Here's another larger Pickerel Frog that was visiting a nearby school's playground! We relocated him to a safer spot here at the home park.
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:38 PM   #4
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Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park has many natural meadows. Both the Winged Sumac and the Shining Sumac were at peak color there recently.
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:39 PM   #5
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Field Sparrows and Mockingbirds are very much at home in the meadows...
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:40 PM   #6
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Panther mushrooms were already decaying...
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:41 PM   #7
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But Asters were still full of bloom, much to the delight of the Buckeye and Pearl Crescent Butterflies (who enjoy aster nectar), and the Variegate Fritillaries (who lay eggs on asters).
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:42 PM   #8
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These meadows were also full of Goldenrods - a great source of pollen and nectar for many insects...
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:43 PM   #9
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And a great place for a predatory insect to wait for its prey!
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:44 PM   #10
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(A few more views of Mr. Praying Mantis...)
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