I checked our porch light the other night to meet some nocturnal inhabitants of our new yard, and I was totally surprised to find this amazing creature:
A Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)! I swear I've never seen a walkingstick (or as I usually call it, a stick insect) outside of zoos and nature centers, so this was an exciting visitor indeed! This creature was big, too, about the size of my hand. When I went to pick it up, it demonstrated a great defense mechanism and dropped immediately all the way to the ground and out of sight. (I could practically hear it saying "I'm just a stick, really!") Our Ohio yard just gets more fantastical every day!