Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trails Day at Moreau Lake State Park

If you take a hike in Moreau Lake State Park, you can thank these folks for making trails safer and easier to follow.

Sunny and cool, a little breezy:  a perfect day for working hard in the woods.  The gang in the photo above (plus another group off in another part of the park) spent Saturday morning lopping twigs, sawing branches, raking pathways, and clearing fallen logs from the trails in Moreau Lake State Park.  This particular group (I helped, too) cleared a new trail that looped down toward a small bay of the lake.  The new trail passed by the Black Tupelo tree I fell through the ice trying to visit this spring, and I was able to point it out to a park naturalist, who said he would put some screening around the trunk to protect it from hungry beavers. (Almost all of the others of this species that grow in the park have been destroyed by beavers.)

We worked up a little sweat, spilled a little blood, got a few blisters, picked up a tick or two, but all in all we had a great time working together.  And eating together after, when Friends of Moreau Lake, a group of volunteers committed to park improvements,  provided a wienie roast for all who pitched in to make the trails safer and easier to travel this summer.  Folks from Adirondack Mountain Club and an area mountain bike club participated, too, along with park staff and friends of the park.

I, of course, had my camera along, hoping to spy some wildflowers.  Not many blooming in this particular woods, but we found some awesome critters:  the biggest grub I have ever seen, a big fat millipede with rosy legs, and a brilliantly colored Six-spotted Tiger Beetle that would not sit still for the picture-taking.

What monster-sized bug is this grub the larva of?  Anybody know?

This millipede (?) comes in designer colors.  Click on the photo to see all those rosy legs.

The camera cannot do justice to the brilliance of this Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (who kept running out of focus).


Ellen Rathbone said...

OH, what wonderful finds!!!

Millipedes get either overlooked or misjudged by most folks. We had soem giant ones at the zoo - great education animals. I found a large one one along the upper trail at Machu Picchu nine years ago - had to share with with other hikers - they were not impressed.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

The world would be better off if more people learned to love bugs -- especially the kind that don't do any harm to us. Like millipedes. This one was BIG, just about filling the palm of the hand holding it. (Doesn't that polka-dotted garden glove provide a nice foil for the bug?) I tried to get a photo of it walking, showing the rhythmic waves of its "thousand" beautifully colored legs. But it moved too fast on all those legs!

Ellen Rathbone said...

Jackie - may I use your millipede photo in an Adirondack Alamanack post? I'll give you full credit.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Yes, Nature Girl, you certainly may use the millipede photo in your Adirondack Almanack post.

To my other readers: be sure to check out Nature Girl's new commentary about nature on the blog starting May 6.

Kathie Hodge said...

Your big millipede is Narceus americanus. Last week my son and I pulled one out of a hole in our garage drain, where it was either stuck halfway in, or maybe just too slow in trying to escape from us... They don't bite but do excrete some kind of toxic juice from pores along their sides.