Monday, April 7, 2008

First faces of spring


A beautiful sunny Sunday.
The first faces of spring are peeking from beneath a layer of sand by the creek.
Virginia Bluebells--their buds ready to burst forth, leaves hinting of so much color waiting within.


Some very tiny feet have left tracks here, too, before disappearing down his hole.
Hmm.

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15 comments:

Lynne said...

WOW! Those are some tiny feet!

MojoMan said...

Crawdad?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

One of your salamanders? It looks like those tiny feet were dragging a tail behind them.

nina said...

Think smaller!
Hole is about 1/4 inch diameter.

(and I don't have the answer, so help me brainstorm this!!)

cestoady said...

Fascinating zipper-like tracks -- rather insect -like. I wonder if it might be from a digger wasp returning from its hunt ,dragging its paralized prey up to its hole, and turning around and pulling the prey down into a chamber where it will lay an egg on the prey.

Would be fun to sit a while to observe who lives in this tiny burrow.

Mary said...

Hi Nina,

I love your little needles in a haystack :o)

So happy to see you have blooming going on. I feel you might be outdoors for hours on end soon!

Mary

Sandpiper said...

I've enjoyed catching up on your posts from the past few days. I love all the little details you're recording with your camera. Such fun to see spring emerging.

mon@rch said...

Looks like some wonderful first faces of spring!

Susan Gets Native said...

One of those weird little darkling beetles that come out about now?

Cathy said...

Aren't we wonderful? That homo sapiens kneels gently to wonder at tiny impressions in the warming soil?

I hope we get a positive ID.

nina said...

Thanks to all for suggestions--I wish I could give a positive for this. And, unfortunately, since this was not in my backyard, going back for another look (or following it down that hole) are not possible.
The size is right for either a waspish creature or a beetle larva like a mealworm.

The miniature footprints amaze me. That, with birds and mammals the most observable and memorable of a woods walk--I see the record of something so tiny--preserved in such a grand way.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I am thinking perhaps a millipede, but that doesn't explain the central drag mark. The more I think about it, the more I like the digger wasp theory Cestoady put forth. The other possiblity might be a tiger beetle, also dragging prey. Both digger wasps and tiger beetles live in small round holes in the ground, where the larvae mature, and both kill prey and drag it around. It looks to me like an insect that is laboring along with prey, because the impressions are deep and the drag mark is, too. Looking closely: an art you excel at.

Marvin said...

Some things are destined to remain mysteries -- but make interesting photos nonetheless.

nina said...

Julie--thanks for the idea--I looked up info about Tiger beetle and the environment sounds right--sandy bank of creek--these were from a hike at Lake Katharine. The beetle would have been pretty to see (not to mention, helpful to me!)

Marvin--yes--I love the idea of little feet working and no one seeing them.

nina said...

Julie--thanks for the idea--I looked up info about Tiger beetle and the environment sounds right--sandy bank of creek--these were from a hike at Lake Katharine. The beetle would have been pretty to see (not to mention, helpful to me!)

Marvin--yes--I love the idea of little feet working and no one seeing them.