Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Woodsplitting Diversions

The majority of the firewood rounds delivered so far are Incense Cedar, Libocedrus decurrens. The fragrance is pretty noticeable even before my mall hits a round, but each newly split one exudes a wonderful aroma that keeps me going. I always keep my camera nearby because there are worlds to discover inside the rounds and underneath the ones that have been on the ground for several days. Today I encountered five kinds of bugs (using the term loosely) and will report four of them here. The fifth one was too fast.
First, the cockroaches. They're quite fast, so I had to catch one in a plastic cup in order to photograph it. It immediately went into shock (top photo) which allowed for a sharp photo of its underside. When I dumped it out of the cup, it remained in shock for a few seconds before disappearing down a hole. In all my years in California, I've never encountered a cockroach indoors. During my several years in the Deep South, I never encountered one in the woods. They were always in houses , motels, and restaurants. In California I can actually like them, but in Louisiana and South Carolina it was difficult.
When I tipped over rounds that had been on the ground for several days, there were usually gatherings of Pill Bugs (AKA Rolly Pollies), Earwigs, ants, and spiders. The Pill Bugs are easily confused with Sow Bugs, but the latter cannot roll up into a tight ball. Today's ants and spiders were not particularly photogenic, and the Earwigs were too fast. The beetle larva shown in photos 5 and 6 were living inside the logs and fell out when I split them. Some were victims of my mall, of course. My favorite find of the day was the Wood Wasp. Several were nearly ready to crawl out of the logs, and I saw no larvae. They'll be in my next post.

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