Monday, November 9, 2009

Bow chick-a-wow-wow

During one of our hikes in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky, we came across a cool insect: the walking stick (or walkingstick). Make that 2 walking sticks.


I'm kind of bummed that I didn't have my "macro" filters with me that day, or I could have gotten even closer shots of these creatures.


This is the type of insect that both creeps me out and fascinates me at the same time. I mean, look at the coloring on these two - so very... stick-like! Hey, what's going on in the back there, in the out-of-focus part of the picture?


This probably gives you a better idea.


Get a room, you two!

I'm not even going to attempt to identify what species of Walking Stick this is, but I can at least say with confidence that the female is the larger of the two. I'm intrigued by the difference in coloring between the two of them, and it almost makes me wonder if we're looking at two different species here. Of course, that is sheer speculation!

We left these two alone after examining them for a few minutes, not wanting to disturb them too much. Turns out, though, that mating between two walking sticks may last for hours, days, or even weeks, depending on the species. Yikes!

14 comments:

Wren said...

I'm jealous. I've yet to see one of these IRL. They are very cool looking.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I love this little guy and I totally get the creeped-out and fascinated. I am curious about 'macro filter' and what they are? --Michelle--

Susanna H. said...

Well now I'm going to have weird dreams!
That's a pretty cool find, isn't it? I've only seen a walking stick twice in my life. Very neat pics! (Hey - my word verification is "nymph" - Too funny.)
S.S.

Heather said...

Wren - Thanks for stopping by. I think it's supremely cool that someone is jealous of my walking sticks! Nature lovers rule!!!

Michelle - I try to get past the creeped-out part by learning about the subject, but that doesn't always help. Since I'm cheap and can't afford actual an actual macro lens, I use what are basically magnifying filters that fit onto the front of my lens.

Susanna - Oops! Didn't mean to creep you out, but it's not hard with these creatures. I love it when the word verification not only happens to be a real word, but also happens to be related to the post you're commenting on. By the way, you signed off as "S.S" Are you the S.S. I'm thinking of... something to do with a Sapsucker?

RuthieJ said...

walking stick porn! ;-)
Great post Heather!

Heather said...

Ruthie - I was waiting for someone to go there. I'm so glad you did. Thanks for giving me a laugh!

Susanna H. said...

Wait a minute - You already went there Heather! I was wanting to ask if most people even knew what “Bow-chick-a-wow-wow” meant. And thanks, I’ve had that “tune” in my head ever since I read your post last night! The title alone makes me laugh. ;~D

Sentimental Sapsucker said...

Uh oh - Observation skills! You got me. Actually, I figured I should reveal, in the interest of disclosure (?)
Thank you for visiting my blogs! I may slack off though. I’m still battling the blahs, and I’m afraid I might put on my sappy face again. I admire your energy! and Stick-to-it-iveness. ; `)

Heather said...

Susanna - Yes, I know I started it by alluding to it, but I was waiting for someone to acknowledge it. Between this post and the one about the shagging parrot back in October, folks are going to start thinking my mind is in the gutter! And thanks for disclosing your double identity. Hope you don't mind me calling you on it! I understand "the blahs" very much, whether it's blogging blahs or life blahs. Do what you can, post when you're inspired. I find your posts most interesting. And thanks for your kind words of encouragement.

NW Nature Nut said...

I have never seen one of those, I don't think they live around here. They sure are cool!

ramblingwoods.com said...

Hi Heather..You asked about the baby snapping turtle I found. I researched them after I saw them in the pond near our house. There is a very large female who hangs out in the water near our back yard. Over the years I have watched them take waterfowl. Whole if it is small or they grab and hang on and gradually drown them. I interfere and smack them with a rake which I shouldn't do.

Most baby turtles in this climate would hatch and over winter in the nest. For some reason this little guy made a run for the water and ended up in the garage. This guy got cold and dry so the water perked him or her up.

You are welcome to join the Nature Notes meme on any thursday. It is a very small meme..
--Michelle--

The Early Birder said...

Extraordinary images of an extraordinary creature. FAB.

Gabrielle said...

Too cool!!! One time we went camping in the fall in central Pennsylvania and woke up to our tent covered with walking sticks. They are amazing creatures.

And about that "Bow-chick-a-wow-wow" song - one of my managers walks around singing that sometimes and I truly believe he doesn't know what it means (it doesn't fit his character at all). I teased him about it one time and he seemed offended and looked at me as if I was the one with the dirty mind! As if. ;-)

Heather said...

Michele - I honestly don't know if walking sticks make it that far north or not. Most species live in tropical locations, but a few are able to live in temperate areas.

Michelle - Thanks for the info about your baby snapper, and for the invite to participate in the Nature Notes meme. I just might take you up on that!

Frank - Thanks so much - glad you enjoyed them!

Gabrielle - Wow, that would be quite a sight to wake up to, tons of walking sticks on your tent! We've only encountered accumulations of daddy-long legs on our tent before. Where in Pennsylvania did you camp? We like to visit Ohiopyle a lot. Your tidbit about your manager and the song is too funny.