I love to see wildlife, and I actually travel sometimes with the specific purpose of doing it... and this wasn't one of those days! This was a beach day, with a surprise on the way back! And as I entered this community, I discover that Surprise is actually the theme for a little competition going on, so this is more than suitable.
At the very western tip of continental Europe, lies a pretty cool beach called Praia da Ursa, our destination for the afternoon.
There are a number of reasons for this beach to be awesome: it's in the middle of nature, has those cool rock formations, and it's a steep walk down there, meaning no tourist hordes on the sand!
You might be wondering by the sky's colour "it doesn't look like beach weather". The problem with Sintra, the region where this beach is, is that it has a micro-climate. Only 5 km to the side, and it was warm and sunny! But since the walk is nice, since we were already there, we went all the way down. And true, the weather was crap.
We enjoyed the fresh breeze for a while, and then started the walk back. Over half way, and my friend freezes and tells me to come and see. And in the middle of the track...
... is one of the coolest insects I've seen!
If I'm not mistaken, it's a bush cricket, probably from the Tettigoniidae family. But my area are birds, reptiles, and mammals: I'm mostly clueless about insects. I do know it's a female, because of that sword-like structure in the back.
It's called an ovipositor, and it's how they lay eggs. In fact, the little critter was walking, sticking the ovipositor on the ground, and wigling her bum!
We enjoyed the show a little more, and then left her alone on her posture spree. But this definitely wasn't expected; and how amazing are her colours??
Nature has these things, and it's good to still be surprised! By the way... any insect pro out there that can pinpoint the species? The photos were taken in Sintra, Portugal, and the geek in my is an identification freak! :)
Have a great week everyone!
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