Male Tree Cricket "singing" (click on photos to enlarge)
Another amazing insect was the Thread-legged Ambush Bug. We saw two of them in spiderwebs, not as unfortunate prey of the spider, but as a predator that was unaffected by the web. If it hadn't been for the sharp eyes of a couple of the participants, most of us would have never seen these strange insects. They are well camouflaged, they look like a thin twig caught in the web when they hold their front legs together. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction! Kenny and I learned a lot and we enjoyed meeting the other participants. We'd like to go to another Bugguide Gathering in the future!
Thread-legged Ambush Bug
On Sunday, Charlie, my friend and photography mentor, and his friend Joe, invited me to go up to Max Patch, a lovely bald located near the Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina. It is located in the Pisgah National Forest. It is part of the Appalachian Trail. We picked a perfect day to go up there; the temperatures were in the upper 60's, the views were spectacular, and the sky was surprisingly clear. We enjoyed munching on juicy blackberries and blueberries on the hike up to the top.