Discussion in 'Survival and Wilderness Skills' started by Strigidae, May 1, 2018.
You guys are amazing. Seriously. This thread is 7 pages of awesome!! Keep up the good work!!!
I went out in the rain today, but didn’t take any pics.
Posting more adventures means more exposure and entries in the prize pack giveaway from @shaneadams90
I got to be a chaperone for a class trip for my little girl earlier this month.
Up in post 131 of this thread, @Klynesquatch wrote: "Lots of insects around today, we saw tiny little dragonflies and got rained by caterpillars. There were also a lot of spiders and ants as usual I'm sure @Stone could identify them."
Just getting back to offer a bit of info.
I think the dragonfly is actually a damselfly. Same order of insects as dragonflies, and closely related. But damselflies usually have a more "thready" abdomen (long and small diameter) whereas dragonflies have larger ones. But damselfies also fold their wings back when not in flight -- unlike dragonflies that don't/can't fold them, holding them out airplane fashion even when stationary. Is the one in your pic flying? That would explain where the wings are.
The larvae are probably lepidopteran -- order Lepidoptera, butterflies and moths -- and I'm betting some leaf eater judging from what appears to be leaf damage. (Were there large "bags" of silk on the trees filled with those critters?) Beyond that, I can't help without some real closeups. Identifying larvae down to family, even sometimes genus, can be done, but unless it's a very common species, ID often requires a compound microscope and a good key. (I took a two semester course in larval taxonomy back in the late 70's. Tedious work, but fascinating.)
But if there's a large number of larvae (rain), then there should be a large number of adults emerging after they pupate. If you get lucky and go back there then, get some shots.
The large beetle appears to be a scarab (family Scarabaeidae) -- which tend to be large -- and may even be a dung beetle. If you ever see one again, look to see if it's rolling a large ball of dung. They roll it up, bury it, and -- guess what they eat?
Oh, and the spider? Not sure. I'm not very good with spider ID outside of a small handful of dangerous ones. But if I had to guess, I'd call that one a 'wolf spider'. I'd at least start with that hypothesis, then compare it to other similar families.
Prize pack is ready...the only issue is that I'm leaving for Blade EARLY tomorrow morning then turning right back around and heading to Idaho....so shipping it maybe a little delayed!
But here it is!!
Well, May 30 -- only two days left for the May Challenge.
Here's a couple of my newest "experimental camp" in the woodland out back (100 acres or so of publicly accessible land that encompass a couple of small eskers with a ravine in between, adjacent to hundreds more across the two-lane highway). I've scratched in a trail system -- about 1000 m - with rakes and saw. (It's all about tick avoidance, and ease of walking quietly to get up close to wildlife, plus not having to worry about eye-pokers when I'm walking back to base camp (my studio) in the moon light.)
I've got about three places out there that are among my favorite spots where I practice hanging my tarps and hammock -- one by the largest glacial erratics in the area; another by another smaller flattop erratic but with a great southern view over the ravine (where the swamp is).
This one is only 70 yds from my studio, but in a very shady spot (mostly beech, birch, sugar maple and poplar). My tarp -- a Go Outfitters Apex -- and hammock (Go Outfitters basic hammock) with their underquilt has been out there for nearly two weeks. (I'm exploring configurations of the tarp, and working on setting up the most efficient camp structure. I'll be spending time up at Nahmakanta near Mt Katahdin in late June (I hope), and it's nice to have the basic camp structure well dialed (proper gear, tools, techniques, etc).
Here's the set up at Studio Two. I found the camp chair in an old abandoned hunting blind just 100 yds from there. The wooden frame under the hammock was 1/2 futon frame that someone threw out behind the dumpster at the apartment. I'm making trail furniture out of it. In this image, I had it bridging a hole under the hammock (until I can fill it in with rocks and soil). This is glacial topography here; outside of yards, campgrounds, parking lots, etc that have been graded, or river flood plains that have been repeatedly flooded, there are few spots in Maine flat enough to be suitable for tents. That's what got me into hammock camping: necessity! But now, I love it and will never go back. (@BlueDogScout and I are planning a Hammock 101 thread when we get some time.)
I often have my laptop out there since I'm doing photography, shooting videos (bushcraft and nature), and even doing some microscopy with a little USB microscope. (Thread to come someday about that.) On this day, last weekend, my new hatchet had not yet arrived, so I thought I'd give it presence in the camp in the form of an image. That's my little Schrade folding shovel in its case. And my disk, of course, "Frisbee" they used to be called, but there are better ones now. (I like Discraft Ultrastar 175 g.) They make great catchall dishes, plus as @Wolfman Zack taught me, make excellent plates and cutting boards, too.)
Oh, the brush? Several times a day, I brush my hair and beard to remove any ticks before they lodge (followed by a full tick check at night back at base camp studio).
My slingshot target box 10 yds away. Here it's sitting on my camp stool. I'll soon build a dedicated stand for it using deadwood.
Finally three shots of me in blackfly avoidance mode.
First is from three days ago, when the main swarm was over, but they were still seeking blood. The main idea: cover as much bare skin as possible, especially head, neck, top of ears, etc. I'm using one of my (three) shemaghs for the task. A pair of safety glasses (that I wear mainly for shooting slingshot) on top of my regular glasses help slow them from getting to my eyes.
This is from about ten days ago when the swarm was peaking -- tens of thousands -- while I was trying to film a 25 min segment for a video. Worst swarm I've ever experienced, especially after the wind died down. I was wearing my full torso net. This is a screen shot from the video (hence the time bar).
In the video itself, I got lucky when one of Satan's little spawn -- one of hundreds that crawled on my lens during the afternoon -- got caught in a fluke of autofocus. I froze that part of the frame for five seconds, and added a speech bubble for laughs.
I can pick it up at Blade and save you shipping
It will be a fun thread! @Stone is the guru and I’m the one needing 101
I'm no guru when it comes to hammocks. I've only owned hammocks since 2015 (the one you bought from me was my first; pics upstream are the new one), and only been really serious about it for a year. So I'm still a relative newbie (compared to some on Hammock Forum who've been at it for years to decades). Shug comes to mind.
But I've learned a thing or two for consideration, so I'll share.
But it'll be Hammock 101 (lowest number for a college entry class), not Hammocks 499.
And He doesn't disappoint folks!
Thanks for the insight @Stone!
I’ve owned a hammock for 2 weeks lol
Exploring the Virgin River Gorge today....
I love Maine.
But as a guy who trained as an evolutionary ecologist for 15 years in the Chihuahuan deserts of NM, backpacked in the Sonoran desert of AZ (Superstition Wilderness is the schnitz), and the Great Basin of UT (plus those southern canyons) and NV, who is a desert rat at heart, I miss desert! That Virgin River area looks stunning. I can almost feel it ...
I hear ya, Stone. It's the environment that, for some weird reason, I am pulled to the most. I used to live in Tucson many years ago, and have spent lots of time in the Mojave, southern Utah canyon country, etc. I'm increasingly thinking that some day I'm going to move south again.
I know what you mean, @Hammer. When I lived in western OR (the hippie side of the state), but found solace in the upper Great Basin (just west of Virgin River -- eastern OR, Alvord Desert, Hart Mt, etc), I thought about moving back to the SW, but came here, instead. (Yes, there was a woman involved, but it's my own damn fault.)
Once I got here, I fell in love with it (instead of her), and stayed.
Later this year, though, I'm planning to go over to Scotland, in the highlands up the west coast, toward the Orkney's. When you get up that far on an island jutting up into the North Sea toward the Arctic Circle, it starts to look like desert. But then, tundra is really a kind of desert. The available water is frozen so much of the year that it may as well be desert, and the ecosystems reflect that. (No trees.)
No Teddy Bear cactus, rattlers, scorpions and tarantulas, though, and I confess, I won't miss them that much.
Just been hiking a lot. It's hot in the desert now though. 100+ on today's hike.
^ Wicked nice cactus shot. ^
Quick hike to a cave, full report here.