After too much looking at a computer screen, and too much laminating of pictures for classroom presentation props… it was time for a walk outside. Jeff and Ann came with me. We went to the tower, then around Spatterdock Pond… a walk that would take a normal person about 20 minutes… not naturalists, though… Too much to see… too much to learn…
First we had to say hi to New Goose. This goose showed up in late fall. It seems perfectly healthy. Why it didn’t travel with a flock, we don’t know. We’d like to lure it to the backyard and introduce it to Wobbly Goose. No luck so far.
Then we had to ponder berries and speculate as to why Ann’s Winterberry didn’t have berries. Did the neighbor accidentally mow down the female shrub? (Or maybe the male – so the female couldn’t get pollinated.) Don’t tell anyone, but we sneaked a few berries into her pocket so she can try to plant new bushes at her house.
The most interesting part was when we got into the hemlock woods behind Spatterdock Pond. We started seeing all kinds of tiny critters right on top of the snow. For example, we saw at least 30 spiders in just a few yards of walking! There were at least two different species… maybe more?
There were caterpillars, too, though I didn’t get a photo, and this weird looking thing… a beetle larva perhaps? (Jeff seems to think it is a Soldier Beetle – Cantaris fusca. I’m not so sure. It doesn’t quite match up with those in other photos. See link to Bev Wigley below.)
Wanna see more tiny snow critters? Go to this site: Bev Wigney!
(Photography note: as you can see, I haven’t quite mastered getting the snow the color I want it. Still working with that notion of over-exposing for snow photos. I’ll be working on that a lot this winter, I suspect!)
Can you see how a 20 minute walk easily turns into an hour?