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Coolest and Ghoulish

Every day is Halloween if you know where to look in nature.

Boogie woogie aphids, or beech blight aphids, are covered in white waxy fluff that deters predators from eating them. They live in groups on American beech trees, giving the branches a ghostly appearance.

The boogie woogie aphids secrete honeydew. This sticky, sweet excrement is exclusively associated with a fungus called “sooty mold.” The fungus turns tree branches black, adding a spooky ambiance to the forest. 

“Nothing’s creepier than hearing a fox make all these crazy sounds in the middle of the night. They’re commonly misidentified because nobody associates these blood-curdling shrieks with a beautiful, cunning red fox.”

These beautiful pitcher plants are carnivorous. “These beautiful, sweet-smelling, attractive-looking plants just lure insects in. They end up slowly digested in a pool of digestive enzymes.”

Fishers are aggressive weasels that live on The Nature Conservancy’s Cranesville Swamp Preserve and that eat everything they can get their paws on. “If you’re a small animal, you don’t stand a chance. Nothing fazes them.”

Bats are obvious Halloween favorites. What’s really scary is their disappearing act. A disease called white-nose syndrome has killed an estimated 5.5 million cave-hibernating bats across the US and Canada.

Beware this forest ghoul. Each of the hairs on the flannel moth's caterpillar has venomous spines that cause a stinging, painful rash and welts when anything comes in contact.

Black-crowned night herons haunt the woods appearing to wear a dark cloak and sitting hunched over, waiting for small fish, crayfish, and frogs to swim by in the middle of the night.  Return to story

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