Friday, August 15, 2008

Walkingstick child

My good friend, Kimberly Cloud, paid me a wonderful surprise visit this afternoon. After our chat, I toured her around the front yard a bit and showed her the blue mist, butterfly weeds (where the aphids live), and turk's cap. As we were winding up our visit in the driveway, I felt something lightly brushing against my leg, but I didn't swat because I never want to do that until I see what's there first. As she was backing up her truck, I glanced down and found this little guy–a juvenile walkingstick–hanging onto my ankle. I set my walkingstick friend in an oak tree and then took some best I could. Talk about hard to photograph! Not only was it small (about 1 1/2 inches long), but it kept swaying back and forth, too.

Earlier this year, I wrote about walkingsticks for a children's magazine called JAKES. Here's something interesting I learned related to them: The longest insect in the world is a walkingstick that measures more than 21 inches in length! It's a species that lives on Borneo, a large island south of China. Here in the U.S., our longest walkingstick reaches approximately 7 inches. Texas species grow anywhere from 4 to 7 inches long.

My little walkingstick friend has a long way to grow!

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