hibernating insects emerge (7/72)

(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Kelchitsu’/Insects awaken 6th March until 20th March .
Micro climate ‘hibernating insects emerge’ 6th – 10th March.

Had some beautiful days, although very changeable. Spent much of the time working on tidying our plot. I was keeping an eye out for emerging insects, but have to say the strong winds were probably not helping, as I did not see any flying insects at all. I hope this is just due to the slight difference between Japan’s seasons and ours and not a symptom of climate change. The recent news re-the accelerated extinction of our insects was playing on my mind….

My son and I did have a brief and extraordinary encounter with a beautiful common lizard tho! A creature I always associate with Dreamtime. He moved too quick for me to get the camera. We were pulling up a large, rough grass clump and there he was…I quickly covered him up again as it did seem that we had woken him. Such stunning creatures and am happy to know they are still here in our garden, living around my cold frame. I think they enjoy the protection the glass offers.

(picture courtesy of The Wildlife Trust site)

I was determined to get creative in some way with the bug life in our garden, so went out in the hail and wind today to look under some rocks. It does seem like there is less going on than I remember. A few worms, millipedes and woodlice. A single spider.
It struck me as to how protected and unaware of the outside weather they are, nestled in these, dry, sheltered, nooks and crannies. I am not sure if they are ’emerging’ per say or if they are just always present, out of sight, under the rocks and bits of wood.
I picked up a white legged snake millipede, (62 species of UK millipede…who knew!?) all perfectly spiralled, and set him on my lightbox tablet app….what I really wanted was to capture him all spiralled and opening up, but he did not want to play, preferring understandably, to run as fast as possible on all those tiny legs!
I created these gifs from the resulting footage.

In awe of their flexible co-ordination!! And boy can they negotiate terrain fast! I guess one would have to, to escape predators…..such as the lizard above….

Then I had a play with some effects….an arty animation…..going nowhere fast…a bit like me.

UPDATE: On March 11th, (the day after), the sun was shining and it felt like a perfect spring day.
I saw my first celandines, daisies and periwinkle flowers and my first BUMBLEBEE! So not that far off after all!)

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