Eight-spotted tiger beetle
A morning slug
Our Saturday hike began with finding a snail, which Eliza finds irresistible and well, so do I. Then, just a few jogs down the path from the trailhead, I spotted this interesting orange matter "caught" in a spider's web. I at first thought it was debris from a neighboring rotted stump, but no...
...it was a mass of tiny spiderlings. We all just held our breath, watching them.
Star Wars is the adventure flavor of the season with these boy cousins, (wait. with all our boy cousins!) so every downed log became a starship of some kind.
Our avid tree climbers and log riders were game for it.
At the top of the ravine, I got a glimpse of a scarlet tanager, which I hadn't ever seen before. It was so striking, and my photo is blurred because it didn't sit there posing for long.
The nature preserve where we were hiking was situated along a creek that had cut a deep ravine through the surrounding rock, leaving interesting formations along its banks and narrow "turkey necks" or "backbones" crossing overhead. We made our way down into the gorge and along the creek...
We hiked for longer than we'd expected to, but the kids all helped each other along, finding toads, rocks, fossils, using their imaginations to make it to the next starship. All this before it rained.
My cousins, the true treasures of the trip.