I just graduated from high school on Sunday, which means the next two months for me are opened up for nature-related escapades!
Today, May 28th, 2013, I stopped at Shallenberger State Nature Preserve in Fairfield County with my girlfriend Olivia. Now, I live 20 minutes away from Shallenberger SNP in Pickaway County yet no one around here has seemed to have heard of it. It's a shame though; Shallenberger offers a little slice of the Allegheny Plateau of Ohio without being a long ride if you live in Pickaway or Franklin County.
Cicindela sexguttata. I was lucky to get this photo. Olivia pointed this pair out, who were busy and did not flee immediately like tiger beetles tend to do. As a result, I was able to creep up with my 55mm-not-made-for-flighty-insects-lens (which was a funny sight to the onlooker) and shoot this photo. Six-Spotted Tiger Beetles are common in Ohio, especially if you look at sunny areas along dry forest trails in Southern Ohio. They look ferocious, especially with those large mandibles, but they will not bite humans unless handled and prefer to scurry and fly away from any person sauntering down a trail. Their brilliant flash of green will certainly grab your attention though as it catches the sunlight.
This was a successful trip and kicked off the summer season for me. Since I'm finally done with AP classes and the massive amounts of homework they entail, my time is open for hiking! I'll be moving down to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, halfway through August to attend college, so this blog will begin featuring things from that area more!