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My first blog ever

Posted in Bulletin Board

So, I must make an admission. This is my first blog...ever. I have given birth to a blog. Hopefully I can raise this blog into a competent, mature, productive member of the online blog community. To kick things off I want to share something special with you, something so incredible you will be required to jump and scream with glee. Wanna know what its about, ey? How about this: Bugs!

Somewhat anti-climatic. I know. Well, I'll let you make the call after you read the story.

It was Dec 23 and I was guiding a snowshoe tour at Snowmass. The previous day had been unseasonably warm, we're talking in the 30's above 10,000ft. But this day was much different, we were hiking in a veritable blizzard, a drastic change from the day before. We began hiking into the trees and we all noticed some peculiar "dust" on top of the snow...it almost looked like residue from explosive charges that are left behind after ski patrollers do avalanche control work. But in the trees? Away from any ski run? This didn't make any sense, so we needed to take a closer look. Upon closer inspection, we were suddenly surprised to see the little dust particles jumping around on top of the snow. Hark! Springtails, a.ka. snow fleas. Thousands of them springing all around on the snow. Of the countless tours I have given over the years and from my own excursions in to the woods during the winter I had never noticed these little arthropods! These little guys are pretty common in the spring and summer when the ground is really saturated with water but it was my first sighting and it was quite a surprise for me and my guests, considering that we were in a blizzard. We saw them concentrated in a 20 square foot area under a cluster of trees but there were thousands of them, and they were very easy to spot against the white background of snow. Quite a sight, you never know what you'll see in an area even if you've been there hundreds of times.

Follow the link to read more about these interesting little insects. Thanks for reading! More observations and stories to come.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05602.html

~Micah Davis