Saturday, July 19, 2014

Insects, Bugs, and Not Bugs...

We are continuing to present our Interpretive Programs here at Farragut State Park.  We typically do a program on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Evening, as well as programs on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

This morning's program was a new Junior Ranger program, and we invited the kids to catch some type of bug and bring it to the program to be identified. The park has a small collection of insects that we brought along, and Teri and I caught a few things beforehand just in case.  But we shouldn't have worried, as kids (and their parents) came up with plenty!!

The first young man to arrive brought a great big slug with him.  I don't have a Field Guide to Slugs (though one does exist!!) so we weren't exactly sure what kind it was.  Turns out it was a Leopard Slug.
Watcha' got in the bag??
Leopard Slug!
As more folks showed up we got an assortment of bees, moths, butterflies, ants, beetles, etc.  Plenty of bugs to go around.

We had a group of girls show up with the best (biggest) beetle of the day. I gave them the field guide and pointed them to the beetle section, and in short order they identified it as a Yellow Douglas-fir Borer.  These kids are good!
Got a big beetle!
And when it came time to release the bigs, some of the kids let them crawl around on them first. Much to the dismay of a few squeamish parents.
Yellow Douglas-fir Borer
Overall, we are getting good response to the programs.  It seems like kids have enough energy and imagination to make just about any program work.  You've just got to get them there!


Monday, July 7, 2014

You Don't See This Everyday...

Teri and I were checking our nest boxes this morning, and were getting close to the end of our route.  The final boxes are back in an area that requires us to drive our Kawasaki Mule along the "Horse and Buggy" trail.

About halfway down the trail we saw what we thought was a horse pulling  a buggy, but as we got closer we discovered it to be a llama pulling the buggy!  We immediately pulled our Mule off to the side and shut off the engine, as we know that stock animals can be easily spooked.  The first llama passed by without much fuss.
Llama Pulling Buggy.
But there were two more llama/buggy combos, and those llamas were not the least bit interested in passing us by.  Those riders had to get out and have a little discussion with their animals.

Trying to Reason with a Llama.
About the time we thought that we'd need to reverse course down the trail just to get the llamas through, the riders re-mounted and with much coaxing got going again. 
Do we have to?
We half expected some sort of excitement as they passed us, but things went smoothly after all. 

The End!!