I don't know what this iridescent, shockingly-blue insect is, but it was beautiful against the green leaves and bright red berries!
There was a sign on the trail warning of a hornet's next 15' ahead on the left... and there it was. Protected by a police tape barrier, even, so no one would destroy it or (shudder) walk into it accidentally. It was surprisingly large and beautiful.
Suddenly as we were walking, Aki lurched into the leaves—fortunately Kelly had a strong hold on her leash. Do you see what she was after?
It was a handsome little toad! His camouflage was SO good, we'd never have seen him, except that he hopped, and Aki pounced. I'm very glad she wasn't able to catch him.
And after our main hike, we drove down to the stream and met up with Mr. Toad's tiny cousin froggy. He was a bit jumpy, but finally allowed me to hold him for a photo:Whenever I hike, I wonder as much about the animals I DIDN'T see, as about the ones I did. How many others were hiding just beneath our noses that we never saw? They sure have a beautiful place to call home.