Within a square metre of earth there is said to be up to 40 species of earthworms living. Darwin studied the earth worm not by sailing the seven seas or exploring a remote island but by examining the worm’s behaviour in his own back garden. Darwin was so fascinated he published a book about them which at the time outsold ‘Origin of the Species’. If looking for nature in your own back garden was good enough for Darwin it should be good enough for you.
Choose a warm spring or summer day, this is when the insects and wildlife are at their most active when the temperature is high and food is plentiful.
The pooter is said to get it’s wonderful name from William Poos an American entomologist active in the 1930’s, it consists of a small transparent airtight vial with two tubes protruding. One tube is put in your mouth and the other acts as a vacuum that will suck up bugs safely without damaging them. There is an inherent risk of sucking a bug into your mouth but that is half the fun.
Insects can be classified into four distinct groups
Woodlice, lobsters, shrimps and Doctor Zoidberg from Futurama
These love damp conditions, look near rotting wood or under stones
Millipedes and centipedes, these love damp conditions and eat fungi and rotting leaves so look in soil and leaves
Crabs, scorpions, ticks and spiders, ticks lie in long grass waiting for a passing victim to latch on to, spiders hunt
insects by spinning webs which can be found in bushes and trees
Flies, wasps, bees, crickets, beetles and pretty much everything else, as they are mostly flying they can be found pretty much anywhere, look for crickets in long grass by slowly following the chirrup.
After you have finished examining your speciman make sure you release them unharmed in their natural habitat.Keywords: back yard, garden, nature, insects, pooter, crustacea, myripoda, arachnida, insecta
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