There was a great change in the weather that allowed for cooler, dryer conditions...but it was still very windy. Once I hit the trail, it felt really good and relaxed to run and I didn't feel the need to rest the knees very often. I tacked on an extra 5 in the middle and clipped through in what seemed like no time at all.
When I was running past some of the plants along the path, I noticed the tell-tale sign of the spittlebug, also known as a "froghopper". I've noticed the froth on the plants before but in today's sun I just had to stop briefly for a photo!
The froth serves a number of purposes. It hides the nymph from the view of predators and parasites, it insulates against heat and cold, thus providing thermal control and also moisture control. Without the froth the bug would quickly dry up. The nymphs pierce plants and suck sap causing damage, and much of the excess filtered fluids go into the production of the froth, which has an acrid taste, deterring predators.
15 miles this AM and hiking yet this evening.