Here's a odd looking wasp-like insect we spied in the back yard the other afternoon -
From what I can find, I believe it's a giant ichneumon wasp, also known as Megarhyssa macrurus and as stump stabber.
It's a predatory insect, notable for its extremely long stinger or ovipositor. It uses this to deposit eggs bored deep in dead wood.
This is the first time seeing such a creature, which always amazes me as I've been around a while.