Monday, June 9, 2014

Pennsylvania Pit Stop

On Saturday, Paul and I were driving through Pennsylvania on our way back from visiting the place we'll be moving to in August (hint: it's on the other side of Pennsylvania) and we decided to break up our trip with a short walk in the woods. So we stopped at Ricketts Glen State Park, where we found deep old-growth forests, lovely waterfalls, and several cool creatures along the path, including this adorable little Red Eft (photo courtesy of Paul):

Also trundling along the path was this astonishingly large millipede (probably Narceus americanus):

I'm guessing I haven't ever lived within this creatures' range, because I'm sure I would've remembered meeting such a monster in the woods before. And here I thought giant millipedes were tropical things! Of course, after I picked this creature up, I read that it can secrete a fluid that discolors and/or irritates human skin when threatened. Well, we both parted ways unscathed, and I'm certainly glad I got to admire this millipede up close. Look at all those wavy legs! (Again, this next photo is courtesy of Paul.)

At one point on our walk, the liquid calls of several Veeries rang out all around us. These birds are quite handsome with their tawny spotted throats, and their song is amazing. I have no idea why I didn't try to record a video of this fellow, who was obligingly performing right above our heads:

As it turns out, I'm fine with a whole day of driving, as long as there's a rejuvenating woods walk in the middle!