In March of 2013, we had been sledding at the Nara Nature Center and Trails at the east end of town, and had happened to spot a couple of small black insects walking slowly over the surface of the snow. These were winter stoneflies, and they had come from the Pilgrim River that flows through the park. Since the last time I photographed them was in 2008 and the pictures weren’t very good, I’d been wanting to rephotograph them. So, I went back to the river on March 30 to collect some more specimens. I collected two different kinds that day, one with wings that just barely covered its abdomen (and could probably fly);
On March 20, 2013, it had been pretty cold, and the snow was still several feet deep. But, the sun was shining, and so insects hibernating in spots that were in direct sunlight got above freezing. And some of them foolishly ventured out of their hidey-holes – to their doom. Like this unfortunate wasp that I found dead in the snow beside a sidewalk at work.
Sandy spotted this tiny moth (about a quarter-inch long) fluttering around the house on March 17, 2013. There aren’t a lot of insects active around here in March, so I had to take pictures.
This is probably an Indian Meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella, which is a pretty safe bet any time you find a small, bicolored moth indoors. Particularly if you find it at a time of year that moths generally aren’t flying.
We were spotting these smallish (less than a quarter-inch long), pale spiders off and on all through the winter of 2013. This particular one was found on an exterior door on a part that was covered by a snowbank on March 2, 2013. It was evidently running around under the snow.
Sandy has developed a fondness for
Some time ago, Sandy mentioned to me that the bait shops sometimes sold something they called “mousies” for ice-fishing bait. After she described them, I suspected that they were actually drone fly maggots, but we wanted to confirm this. So, last January, we decided to get some and see what they really were. None of the local bait shops had any on hand at the time, so we ended up ordering some through the mail, which we received on January 12, 2013. They were mixed in with sawdust, mainly just to keep them from banging around in the tubes.
Today, we’ve got something a bit different. While I’ve posted things that weren’t arthropods before, at least they were all animals. But, while I was out in the woods looking for late-season bugs on November 22, 2012, I stumbled across this:
“Sorry, Squire, I’ve ‘ad a look ’round the back of the shop, and uh, we’re right out of
“. . . I’ve got a slug . . .”
Actually I’m not really out of arthropods. By the time this post goes live, I will have had all spring, summer, and fall to find more. But I’m writing this near the end of February 2013, and at the moment I’ve got all my usable photos from last year prepped and queued up. And the 2013 arthropods haven’t exactly started rolling in yet. So, you get this slug that Sam found under a pile of shingles on November 11, 2012. Here it is all curled up, depending on its layer of slime to disgust and repel potential predators:
We found this millipede crawling up the side of the house on the morning of November 11, 2012. We’d left the porch light on that night to draw insects, but I don’t know if this one was actually attracted to the light or not – millipedes crawl on the side of our house all the time anyway.
For as common as they are, it has been an excessively long time since I posted pictures of a harvestman (the last ones were way back in 2008). My only excuse is that they are a bit awkward to photograph, because of the long legs – do I photograph the legs and leave the body as an insignificant dot, or photograph the body and ignore the legs? Still, when this one presented itself around the porch light on November 11, 2012 and posed so nicely, I obviously had to try again.