We heat our house primarily with our wood stove in the winter. Right now we’re in the middle of the difficult transitional period where it’s not cold enough to have a good, ripping fire going 24-7, but too cold to let the fire go out. It’s a delicate balancing act, I tell ya.
Anyways, this all requires some extra chores, namely, the hauling and stacking of logs. Earlier this week I was moving logs from our wood shed into the alcove at the front of our house (it’s much nicer to get wood from the alcove whilst in jammies on a chilly morning), when I found a little fellow who’d been all tucked up in a little nook of bark, ready to wait out the winter.
I was tremendously rude and brought him inside and asked him to pose for a picture or twenty.
He was not very obliging about sitting in my white box, and was quite determined to escape post-haste. This all made for lots of blurry and badly-framed and over/under-exposed photos and an exasperated photographer.
I even tried the TOTALLY CHEATING method of cooling him down with an ice pack…but the moment he warmed up…zoom, off he’d run!
Finally, I decided to try providing him with a more “normal” substrate: some bark and a leaf scavenged from the alcove. On the leaf he went…and you could practically hear the “Aaaaaahhhh, this is more like it!”
He settled down almost immediately.
Then, after discovering the wood chip, he became uncooperative again (he wanted only to be UNDER the chip, not on it), but stopped roaming long enough to peek at me for a final (rather adorable) picture:
(Totally cute darkling beetle: Neatus tenebrioides (Tenebrionidae)