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Snow Fleas

I am not a cold weather person, usually, but I went to a party in my neighborhood Saturday night and the walk there and back was so pleasantly bracing that I decided to try it again. After church (which was super-long due to events scheduled after the service, including a chili cook-off which I came nowhere near winning) Victoria wanted to play with É so I said, "See if she wants to go on a snow hike," and she did.

We went to Highbanks and started on the woodpecker trail. It's a loop and you might be able to guess that halfway around V and É worked themselves into some sort of a tiff. When that happens, any trail becomes a long one. Fortunately, Brian was with us. He and Victoria sped ahead and out of sight, leaving me and É to find interesting stuff. We tracked squirrels, deer, and skiers. We found a spiny seed pod which É ill-advisedly attached to her boot fluff. It soon filled her sock with prickles, which remained even after the pod was discarded. Thank goodness we soon ran into a flock of insects.

I thought winter was no-bug season. But these things love snow. They were crawling over and through it. We saw at least 50 of them. And É is a critter fan; she burrowed after them, removed some from the pathway to the untrampled areas, and had a great time being amazed by snow bugs. Once I got home I looked them up. They're called snow fleas and they're a type of springtail. They're not unusual; I guess I've never seen them before because I prefer to stay indoors when they are most noticeable. They're pretty small, too--B & V walked past all of them without noticing them at all.

Once we were together the girls were friends again, united by a common desire to get a donut on the way home. It was a very full afternoon, what with the drama, the prickles, the snow fleas and all.



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