Monday, February 9, 2009

Snow Fleas!

I suppose if I'm going to complain frequently about the bad weather I should give the good weather equal air time. So I'll go on record as saying we've had several sunny days in a row!!

Today I enjoyed the sunshine on my walk out the driveway to meet the kids off the schoolbus (they're old enough to do it themselves, but I'm like a referee whose presence wards off the worst of the after-school bickering).

And I saw snow fleas!!!

Those tiny specs that look like dirt or maybe freshly ground black pepper are a tiny sign that winter is on the slow slide out. Don't pass up a chance to watch these creatures. They're fascinating. Really they're not fleas at all. They're more properly called springtails.

Here's a great article from Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine about them, and another at Environmental Education for Kids also from Wisconsin.

And just to prove that they do jump and jiggle, here's my really amateur video of them:

[This is having technical difficulties--I'll post it when I can get it to work]

On sunny days, near the bases of trees,


You just might find your own snow fleas.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Fascinating! (and I love your little rhyme at the end)