If this is you, let me play out a generalized conversation between us for a second.
ME: (a chuckle on the outside, but giggles uncontrollably on the inside) “You are outside. You are contemplating on eating some snow. Now is not the time to debate vegetarianism.”
YOU: (Scowling defensively) “Who said I am a vegetarian? Maybe I am instead….c-iv-il-iz-ed!”
ME: (Almost sympathetic for my accusation) “OK, so you aren’t a vegetarian. I get it. Take your time. (Pauses for a few seconds, then chuckles) If it makes you feel any better, when you are crunching down upon the snow, you don’t taste bugs, and if you let the snow dissolve in your mouth, (busting a gut laughing) you will not feel the fleas bouncing around your mouth either.”
YOU: (Rolls eyes, throws the snow at me and stomps away.)
OK, so I had to have a bit of fun there, but in all honesty, to this day, I look forward to this time of year and intentionally look for areas of blackened snow just so I can watch the fleas collect by the hundreds of thousands. Do I reach over and eat that snow? Nah, I’ll simply reach over to where the snow looks its whitest and snack on that snow instead. Mmm. There’s something to be said about that flavorless flavor.
Though insects are nutritional in their own right, as they provide calories, protein, iron, carbohydrates, etc. and they are more nutritious and better tasting than that yellow snow, but I think that is left up to the individual’s personal preference myself.
So, yellow snow, or white snow?
Below is a bit of information about snow fleas (AKA springtails). Go ahead and take a minute to read about them. I find them rather fascinating myself. If not, please skip to the bottom and visit our links or leave a Comment if it'll let you.
SPRINGTAILS: Snow Fleas
Springtails are small insects that live in/on damp soils and are most numerous where there is dead or decaying natural debris such as rotting vegetation, as they feed upon decaying plant matter and rotting wood. They are most often found in areas of high moisture, but not so much in saturated conditions, as they too need to breathe a bit without a struggle or simply drowning. They often eat the fungi such as around the base of a tree in the woods. Their population numbers can reach into the tens of thousands per square yard! That’s hard to imagine, I know, but it is true and I am hoping to be able to get some photos for examples to show.
Like all insects, springtails have three pairs of legs, but what makes them different, among other distinctions, is one that helps them with their name. They thrust their bodies into the air. Like all other creatures in survival mode, this helps them make a fast escape from any of their predators. This action results in the springtail catapulting into the air up to about three feet away.
Sometimes springtails can be found outside in the springtime here in Maine and probably other states nearby as well. The snow flea is a particular species of springtail; it is one of the few insects that can be found active on snow during spring months. As soon as the ground begins to thaw in late winter or very early spring, the snow fleas become active. Their dark-colored bodies are noticeable against the white background of the snow and they often collect in large numbers. There is no need to be alarmed, despite their abundance, they are harmless.
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