An easy hike up from the trail head on a normal day, this turned into a workout in the heat and humidity. No complaints here.
3/4 of the way to the ridge, we were greeted by several Cicada Killer wasps - huge wasps that hunt cicadas in mid flight, then return with them to their burrows to feed their larvae. They're quite intimidating, but if you realize the ones that seem to fly at you are male and have no stinger, you allow them to fly toward you. The larger female can sting, but is timid, and usually won't bother. They're about the size of an adult's thumb.
After several minutes watching the wasps battle for territory, we headed up to the ridge of the dune for a great view of the wetlands below. In summer, the view is mostly shielded by green leaves, but in winter when the leaves are gone, you have a wider view of the area.
Also found along this trail are six lined racerunner lizards - in fact, at times you can see half a dozen in a few yards. These lizards are found in many locations within the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Posted by Tom Gill at Tuesday, August 05, 2014