Thursday, September 4, 2008

End of the Hike

The last phase of our Bob Straub hike took place in a large, inter-dune area containing sedge meadows, stunted spruce and pine trees, and patches of open sand. We had hiked through this area once before and were impressed with arthropods we found. Once again, we found many interesting creatures. I was able to photograph a few of them.

In the open sandy areas, there were many spiders and grasshoppers that were perfectly colored to match their background.

Tiger beetles are some of my favorite insects and we rarely see them in western Oregon. They are usually found in open, sandy areas which are plentiful in this part of the park. These beetles are ferocious predators that fly close to the ground like bees and they can be pretty hard to capture. Luckily, I spotted one that could not or would not fly and I was able to get some pictures before turning it loose.

Check out the terrifying jaws!

After hiking several miles in the sun, we passed through a nice wooded area then returned to the parking lot. It had been a great hike with a lot to take in.

Later that night, we enjoyed a nice sunset over Haystack Rock, a fitting end to a great day.


NW Nature Nut said...

Cool bugs AND a nice sunset. What more can you ask for?

Doug Taron said...

Hey Max,

Nice tiger beetle. It's Cicindela belissima, the Pacific Coast tiger beetle. They are found in dune areas right along the coast from southern Oregon north to the tip of the Olympic Penninsula. Imagine that! Were they fairly abundant?

Max said...

Thanks for the info! We found quite a few of them in the sandy patches.
Last week in Bend, we also found a huge, screaming ponderous borer beetle.