An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Archive for March 3, 2010

Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photographs from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

SNOW FLEAS

With the temperature soaring to the mid-40’s today, it was a sure bet that snowfleas would show up. These tiny, dark, wingless insects appear on top of the snow on warm winter days, having crawled up from the leaf litter below, where they feed on fungi and algae.  Concentrations of them are often found in foot prints, like those pictured in the coyote’s track.  Each springtail has an appendage or latch underneath their bodies that their forked tail snaps into before the tail springs down and launches the insect into the air (thus, their common name).  Watch them up close – they tend to hunch up just before flinging themselves forward. Scientists don’t know exactly why they emerge en masse – perhaps it has to do with mating or feeding habits.