June 1, 2013: Saturday morning was a search for our insect and other arthropod friends. The kids started out by holding Stick Insects which walked along their arms as we talked about these creature’s unique adaptations. While we climbed a hill we watched the many Harvester Ants busily gathering seeds. There were butterflies – Metalmarks and Ringlets – flitting about the grasslands. While heading down the other side of the hill we stopped to look at the Trap Door Spider burrows. We opened one up, only to have the spider slam the door shut! Throughout the walk, Cicadas were waking up and starting their songs – which got louder as the day heated up. As we rounded the bend, we quietly walked up to two Tarantula holes along the trail. These Tarantulas are quite friendly and you can often see them peeking out of their holes during the day. We were lucky that we got to see both of them! Following our arachnid visit, we headed down Gato Road and explored the arthropod life in the oak woodlands. There were the terrestrial crustacean Roly-polies (also known as pill bugs) in the leaf litter along with other wonderful little creatures. We discovered many spiders in their webs – the funnel spiders being one of our favorites! On our way to visit the Mother Oak tree, we saw grasshoppers, flies, bees – and insects that we couldn’t identify. There was also much evidence of insect life – like leaves that were partially eaten and oak galls made by wasps. This Family event was a fun, educational, and interactive walk along the beautiful trails of The Conservancy. What a great way to start out the day!