Water springtails mean we are soooo close to spring! While everyone just a bit south – and east – and west – of us is enjoying Big Night, the official coming of
spring and the emergence of spotted salamanders and such, we are still in the last clutches of winter.
However, I’ll happily take water fleas while we wait!
Look at those colors! Water springtails, or water fleas,or Podura aquatica. Related to the snow flea (which I never saw this year, bah
humbug!), but living it’s entire life on the surface of the water, scavenging for organic matter.
Just like their ‘flea’ and ‘springtail’ common names imply, springtails don’t stop moving!
Of course, combined with how tiny they are, this makes for interesting macro photography. See those dots? Those dots are
springtails! Each one is 1-2mm in length.
How cute is he? I had to use all three extension tubes to get this close, but was unable to a tripod since they were moving around so quickly. For getting photos while outside earlier in the day luck, and the sun, were on my side and the bright light allowed a very quick shutter speed and a decent ISO (1/320, ISO 800, f/5.6). For back at home (this picture above), even though I had every light I could find on, the best I could do was 1/60, ISO 800). Keith sharpened it for me in
his astrophotography software, and I’m pretty happy with the result.
We are headed out again today and it’s supposed to be 50 degrees! Melt snow, melt!