A Rhinocerous in our BACKYARD!

Ok, so my title is slightly misleading, but still -- check out this awesome beetle we found outside! You know the bug is big when you can HEAR it crawling around under the leaf litter:

What a great find! If you were wondering, it's a beetle in the dynastinae family, a rhinoceros beetle. Just check out that horn, if you've found a cooler beetle, I want to see it.

If you're on the hunt for a beginner's field guide to identify the creepy-crawlies, I highly recommend you check out the Peterson's First Guide collection. I think we've checked most of them out of the library and the insect and bird ones will make an appearance under the Christmas tree this year. I find these guides are great for an intro to taxonomy without being too bulky and overwhelming for little hands (and at $6.95 I won't cry for too long if they're lost).

Claire loves to watch the bugs do their work, the insect world is certainly a fascinating place. I loved her reaction when we tipped over a log and found a nest underneath with oodles of ants running around. Check out her estimation skills below, judging by her confidence in the number, I'm sure there are exactly 88 ants. Heehee!

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