Liveblogging from the Smithsonian

Can anyone tell me what’s so significant about this stick that the Smithsonian would put it on display?

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3 bugs + 1 lizard

Yesterday, Lily and I embraced my first day of no-more-classes by taking a hike. We drove out to Massanutten Mountain and hiked up to Signal Knob, a ten-mile (roundtrip) jaunt with about 1500 feet of elevation gain. Along the way, we saw a lot of Massanutten Formation quartz sandstone (Silurian), a few trace fossils, a few good birds (eastern towhee male + female, some warblers), and some good wildlife, by which I mean more insects and reptiles.

Here’s a young bug (literally, from the order Hemiptera). Sorry for the lack of scale; this guy is like 2-3 mm long:bug_1

Fat, juicy caterpillar:bug_2

Beetle of some sort, with a lovely golden iridescence: bug_3

And a lizard:liz_1

Enjoy. Happy May!