Friday, June 11, 2010

Giant Walkingstick

The Giant Walkingstick is the largest Walkingstick species in North America measuring in at anywhere between 75mm and 150mm (5.91 inches to 7.09 inches). Their camouflage is so good in fact that one can often miss these dazzling creatures in the wild.

Identifying features are that they are red to brown and in some cases a shade of green in color. Colors will seem to become lighter near the rear legs.

These insects are generally found throughout the midwest and southeast areas of the US and feed within forests and grasslands on various greenery.

Like its counterpart, the Northern Walkingstick, the Giant Walkingstick female will lay individual eggs over the winter in hidden areas on the ground such as dead or dying leaves and foliage. Hatchlings will push through their egg casings in about late spring, which then make their way upwards to edible greens. With only about one generation produced a year, Giant Walkingsticks stay active in the later hours of the day where their movement may not be so noticeable to predator and prey alike.

The scientific name for the Giant Walking Stick is:
(Megaphasma dentricus)

They can be found in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.

I have always found insects to be some of the most interesting forms of life on our planet. Most are scared of us and run away, but some standfast and hold their ground, like the walking sticks. They don't call it a walking stick for nothing, as it looks just like a stick laying on the ground and sticks don't move.

Happy trails!

Going to Ireland

I thought I would give you some information on my upcoming 30 day trip to Ireland with my best friend Megan. Megan was born in Ireland and moved here to the US when she was 10. She is 18 now too. We have been best friends for the last two years and her dream has been to go back home and visit her grandparents, so we came up with this idea of going to Ireland back in December of last year as a sort of getaway before college.

It's been a long 6 months of planning, getting money together, and getting all the reservations placed, but we are finally ready and all plans are set in stone. We were thinking of cancelling this trip when the ash clouds started making traveling by plane impossible, but all seems okay right now.

We leave for Dublin in two more weeks! Woohoo! Megan's grandma lives in Dublin and we are going to stay with her for the first week of our trip. We have a car reserved and waiting on us so we can go where we want. After the first week, we leave by car to Dingle, which is in the southwest corner of the island. We have a townhouse reserved in Dingle which is located overlooking the water on Dingle Bay. The place is supposed to be one of the best places to stay in Dingle as it's like a three room condo with all the goodies, two stories, fireplace, full kitchen, and so on. We got a great price on the place and it's been paid in full by our families.

After Dingle, we leave to just drive around the next week exploring the island and seeing the many castles and other places we want to see. We plan on spending a lot of time shopping too! We love to shop!

Once we get back to Dublin again, we will be staying with Megan's grandma again for a few nights, then we are headed to Belfast in northern Ireland to visit Megan's grandpa. We are going with Megan's aunt and uncle to Belfast and stay at her grandpa's for a couple days, touring the many places we want to see in that part of Ireland.

I plan on updating my blog while we are on our trip, but I can't guarantee an everyday blog. We will make an effort to make that happen though. My laptop will be making the trip so I do plan on updating when I can and able to.

Happy trails!

Found At Sea - AMEN!

Abby has been found alive! Woohoo!

I was so worried about her that I barely slept much last night. It's great to hear she is alive but she is not out of danger yet as she has no mast on her boat. She has plenty of food and water, but no way to steer the boat. That's like driving down hill with no tires! Keep her safe God.

Happy trails!