Sunday, March 08, 2015

A bagful of bugs

Over the winter, I wrap a few of my more sensitive potted plants in several layers of recycled brown paper bags. In the spring yard cleanup, the bags get their second (or third) recycling, this time shredded into the compost. After I remove the critters that have used it for their winter quarters, of course.

In the bags around my sausage vine, besides a humongous slug, I found a nice assortment of tiny creepy-crawlies.

A striped springtail, Orchesella cincta. Most of these were impossible to catch, and went into the compost with the bag. This guy was lucky.

A quick red mite.

There were quite a few of these long snails, about the size of a short grain of rice. (Update: Columella edentula)

Spiderling with a yellow belly.

As I demolished the bags, I brushed off all the little ones I could into a pill bottle. Before I took them outside and set them free, on a whim, I pointed the camera straight down into the bottle. I liked the result:

8 or 9 snails, several different springtails, a couple of spiders, and a handful of sowbugs. The mite is in there somewhere, too.

And then they all went out into the warm spring night to find a new home.


  1. Yuckingly beautiful. Only you could capture it. - Margy

  2. Margy,
    "Yuckingly beautiful." I love that description!

  3. I love your creepy crawlies. I've been busting my eyes trying to photograph springtails. I really don't have the correct equipment, but at least I got some identifiable shots.

  4. Elva, The trick with springtails is lots of light, so the camera can work fast. I use good ambient lighting, then the camera flash and a slave flash on the side. And then I throw away most of the photos. My equipment isn't all that great, either.

    Identifiable shots are good!


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