Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tiny Wonders

As I hiked to Lonely Lake today, I noticed the presence of tiny insects known as springtails, which come out on the warmer winter and early spring days. When you look closely at the snow near the base of a tree, or near an area where the snow has melted to the ground, you may see these flea-sized insects hopping about. Many people give them the nickname of “snow fleas,” but this is misleading as these insects are not at all related to the fleas, and they are vegetarians. Once you see these insects for the first time, you will see them in the snow almost every time you do a daytime hike on a warm spring afternoon.

Have a great day, and remember to look for the tiny wonders of nature.

John Silliman
Gunflint Lodge Naturalist

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