The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Saturday chores – OMGSHINY

Saturday morning in the country means “time for chores”.  On the menu today was:

Our main source of heat in the chillier months is our woodstove.  As much as we looooove heating this way (the cozy warmth, the smoky smell) it takes a lot of work.  Twice a year we haul wood:  once in the spring, when two trailer-loads of cut logs are dumped unceremoniously on our front lawn – these we stack neatly between our shed and a lean-to we built a few summers ago; and again in the fall, to move the sun-dried logs to their winter storage.   In the past, we have simply moved them into the shed.  This year we decided to store our wood in the basement…no more trudging out to the shed in deep snow during the dark days of January.  This means we load up our trusty wheelbarrow, run it around to the far side of the house and chuck logs through an opened basement window. 
I really don’t mind this chore – it’s a good workout and and gives me an excuse to play outside.   I’m not particularly efficient though, because I tend to get all OMGSHINY every time I pick up a new log.  Wood and crevaces = bugs in hidey-holes trying to overwinter.   So each and every log gets a quick inspection before being tossed in the ‘barrow.  A few of today’s finds:
From top (species IDs are tentative – I am microscope-less): Flat bark beetle (Coleoptera: Sylvanidae: Uleiota sp.); ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae); mosquito (Diptera: Anopheles punctipennis); woodlouse  (Isopoda: Porcellio spinicornis)
Poor critters were all, “wtf?” and slowly roused themselves as the sun warmed them, eventually dragging their sleepy butts to a darker, less-intruded-upon nook. 
Hmmm.  I really need a new macro lens.  Xmas is coming, yes?  Hear that darling wife?  Xmas?  Lens?
I also need to remember that cut logs=sawdust, and not every speck of shavings I see warrants an automatic “OOH, FRASS!!” response *rolls eyes at own geekiness*.

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