Saturday, June 25, 2016

Custom Race Shoes and TheTotally Awesome Dogbane Beetle

So,  After a is strongly urged to take a few days off from running to allow yourself to recover.   Preferably,  take any entire WEEK of doing NOTHING!   Then again,  what do the "experts" know?    And how does Cheryl respond?

"FOOLS!"   As she runs her way around Wellman every morning this week.  On the hard rocky farm roads in the humid heat.  "They are all MORONS!"

Ok,  she never really said that.   But it was implied.... I just know it.  So keeping with her idea of super human achievement...and reckless pursuit of perfection,   we ran  14.5 miles today along the Keota trail.

And that was when the fun began....

Cheryl's big toe has been bothering her for a while since the Marathon.   Around mile 10, the pressure from her shoe was pressing down on her toenail,  causing a rather annoying pain.   Time for some emergency field shoe surgery!

Would it not be awesome if everyone had a set of tools that they could whip out whenever they need to cut the toe box out of their constricting shoe?
Having none of these essentials,   she was forced to use my tiny Swiss Army Knife to cut out a hole in the top of the fore-foot.  (Called the "toe-box" by people in the know...)  She said that lots of trail runners do it,  so it seemed like no big deal to cut a  hole in a perfectly good pair of $100.00 running shoes.   Whatever works, right?
Cheryl's New Custom Shoes!

It did temporarily fix the problem, and we were able to finish the remaining 3 miles without too much pain and suffering.  However,  now she is concerned that she may not be able to run tomorrow...AND has to buy another pair of shoes.

One of Nature's Gems!
But hey!   It was not all bad.    Before we left the trail, I discovered the most awesome beetle I have yet to see in Iowa.   Behold!   The Dogbane Leaf Beetle!

Big colors in a small package!
Try to capture all of the possible colors 
Now I love all God's creatures,  great or small.  But insects have a special place in my heart.   This guy is not as creepy awesome as the Mole Cricket....Nor as strangely awesome as the Preying Mantis.
Instead,  it is awesome be-dazzlingly colorful!  The little guy escaped before I could show Cheryl,  but I noted that he was not as clumsy as the Japanese beetle....( a local pest....pretty much everywhere)  Instead he was a fast moving guy...on par with a ladybird beetle.   But mostly his color changed as you moved around him.   The iridescence along his back wing-covers changed from red to copper to blue.   Many of these Google pictures do not capture it.   But to put things in perspective...see him side by side with a Japanese beetle.   Compare the colors and the legs.   Japanese beetles are Scarabs.   Although there are a lot of subfamilies of beetles.  I'm pretty sure ( taxonomy was very complicated!)  the Dogbane Beetle is not in that family.   (or branched off of it.
Japanese Beetle.   NOT the Dogbane!
Dogbane Beetle
  Things to note:   antenna on Japanese beetle vs Dogbane.   Also the legs and feet.  It is a minor detail, because they are both  roughly the same size ( about 1 cm long.) and can look the same color from a certain angle. Also,  the Dogbane runs and flies similar to a ladybird beetle.  The Japanese Beetle "runs" like a turtle tipped over onto its shell!
 I could  try to find the "blue " version, but they seriously look like totally different beetles altogether.  Better to stick to the similar colors for comparison.   The one that grabbed my attention looked brilliantly RED in the sunlight.    This one is the closest I can find online that is similar.
Kind of Red like this!

So,   impress your friends with your new found knowledge of trivial things. The Dogbane Beetle....and how they are NOT "just like" Japanese Beetle.
Yes,  same beetle....different angle of lighting.

And just for fun...lets show off the blue version....   Remember these are all the SAME beetle....only different angles of lighting.   Isn't Nature Awesome!   Enjoy!

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