Great Nature walk

We had a wonderful walk this past week with some great friends at a local park. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and even the temperature was great especially while walking on the shady trails. We observed many wonderful, interesting, cute and even a little scary things from God’s Creation. We observed that little green worm/Caterpillar in the pic above, yellow jackets, frogs, trees with huge bumps all over them, rocks (the boys always love these), a cow killer Ant and many other things BUT the hit of the day was the Black Snake that we think was a Black Racer that we all were able to see. We also pulled out our new compass and practiced using it. As I said it was a wonderful walk!
Pic from Wikipedia
Black Racer: The Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) is one of the more common subspecies of non-venomous snakes in the southeastern United States. These snakes are quite active during the day which increases the chance of sightings. They will eat almost any animal they can overpower, including, rodents, frogs, toads, and lizards. They have been known to charge at people in an attempt to frighten them and will usually retreat if challenged. Members of this species generally do not tolerate handling, even after months in captivity, and will typically strike and flail wildly every time they are handled. These snakes are usually thin with a jet black dorsal side with a grey belly and white chin. They are quite fast, giving rise to the name “racer“. Habitat And Habits: The Southern Black Racer is an excellent swimmer and climber, and is aptly named because it has incredible speed and is very difficult to capture. When cornered it will fight—its tiny sharp teeth can deliver a painful but non-venomous bite. Escape is its best defense, but the animal has been known to occasionally turn and pursue humans or other potentially threatening animals that have ceased their own pursuits. Like many other species, the Black Racer will vibrate its tail in dry leaves and grass and the resulting sound is reminiscent of the noise made by a Rattlesnake. The snake favors wooded areas, brush and thickets although it is also commonly seen in suburban yards. While hunting it can travel at good speed even with its head elevated well off the ground.[1]—-Wikipedia
Pic from Wikipedia
The Cow Killer: Mutillidae, or velvet ants, are a family of wasps whose wingless females resemble ants, though only distantly related. The “velvet ant” name refers to their hair, which may be red, black, white, silvery or golden. In some places a few species are also known as cow killers or cow ants. Their integument is very tough and roughly textured, providing protection against the stings of the wasps and bees whose nests they invade. As in other related families in the Vespoidea, the males have wings, but females are completely wingless. They are known for their extremely painful sting, the venom of which was jokingly stated to be powerful enough to kill a cow, hence the nickname “cow killers”. As with all Hymenoptera, only the females sting, and like all other wasps, they can sting multiple times. —-Wikipedia

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