Friday, November 13, 2009

Is it a stick?

Meet the thread-legged assassin bug. It is not a stick (though it mimics one), nor is it a stick insect. This slender predator uses its mantis-like forelegs to capture unsuspecting prey. This photo was taken by John Howard at the new Shoemaker State Nature Preserve in Adams County on Wednesday, November 11.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shoemaker State Nature Preserve

A group of us celebrated Veteran's Day this year by exploring the newly formed Shoemaker State Nature Preserve here in Adams County. Shoemaker Preserve is 22 acres in size and is located near the Plum Run Quarry along Pine Gap Road, Peebles. During our 1.5 mile hike, we saw natural arches, dolomite cliffs, and sparkling Plum Run, a tributary of Scioto Brush Creek.

The following description was taken from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website: "Shoemaker State Nature Preserve was a gift to the state in 2007 by Joyce Shoemaker in memory of her husband, Alvie Shoemaker. A portion of the land had been in Mrs. Shoemaker's family for more than 100 years. The 22-acre site protects several significant natural features including seven state-listed plants. The rarities found at this Adams County preserve include heart-leaved plantain (Plantago cordata), a state endangered species only known from three other sites in Ohio. Not only botanically significant, the site is geologically significant as well. It features two natural arches, dolomite cliffs and slump blocks harboring several species of ferns and other plants found in calcareous cliff communities.The preserve also protects both banks of Cedar Fork for nearly a half mile. Cedar Fork is a tributary of Scioto Brush Creek which is considered one of Ohio's most pristine waterways."
Photos, from top to bottom: Walking Fern, Asplenium rhizophyllum, Elliott's Beard-grass, Andropogon elliottii, Cricket Frog, genus Acris, British Soldier Lichen, genus Cladonia. All photos were taken by John Howard.