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Lady bug…wait…Butterfly…no, wait…Lightning bug!

To begin our day we worked on saving our newly planted trees by adding blue tubes to the top of their protective coverings to stop deer from eating them. We covered up Red Oaks, American Beeches, and Sugar Maples; we didn’t have to cover up the cherries because the deer leave them alone due to the cyanide that is produced in that family of trees.

During our hike we found a lightning bug, which we were unable to identify. We used www.discoverlife.org to find out it was in the genus Photuris. The Photuris lightning bug was consuming another lightning bug likely of the genus Photinus. Female Photuris lightning bugs are able to mimic the blinking patterns of other female lightning bug species to lure in males and consume their faces (and the rest of their bodies). A quick fact is that you can tell different species of lightning bugs apart by the flashing pattern of their abdomen.

After we identified the lightning bug, we went farther down the trail. Walking down the creek, we discovered a mole… a disoriented mole… a “rolly” mole.  The mole was rolling around in the road and was almost hit by two cars.  Brave and courageous Erica walked into the street and saved the mole by putting it in her shoe and transferring it to a safer location.

Our hike ended with a visit to the waterbot located in Waddel’s Run, you can see the data we collected at www.waterbot.org, select the waterbot labeled 0015.

On our way back to the Schrader Center we discovered that our rolly mole had rolled away. ~Jr Rangers Trail Team