Finally some answers to my beech tree beastie questions! Check out these links: 1. Insect Images 2. Beech Blight Aphid 3.The Harvester Butterfly larva eat them. The American Beech Fungus grows on the “honeydew” (Aphid Sh*t?) that drips on the branches and on the ground around the tree.
Thanks to Doug Sprouse of the Triangle Land Conservancy for the reference links.
And then – there’s always Beech Blight Beasties The Movie!