We found a bunch of cool critters on our hikes to and from climbing spots at the New River Gorge over the 4th of July weekend.
Leaving the crag one day I spotted a newly emerged luna moth (Actias luna) hanging out on a stick. The camera was buried somewhere in the backpack, so I found this (undoubtedly much better) photo on flickr to share. This was my second ever luna moth spotted in the wild, and the first for Doodle and Roo.
We found six of these juvenile red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens, red eft form) at the base of the Honeymooner's Ladders at Endless Wall. They made themselves scarce not long after we arrived, but we felt lucky to have spotted them out and about.
While J was retrieving the last bits of climbing gear at the end of our final day there, our friend Brenda spotted this brilliantly-colored bird hanging out in the understory - turns out it's a Scarlet Tanager! This is another flickr photo, as yet again the camera was buried.
We also found a beautiful Promethea silkmoth during our hike out in the rain. This is another photo from flickr, as we only paused briefly during the rainstorm to admire the gorgeous, large male moth obviously trying to stay dry on a tree trunk as we passed by.