Field Notes: Microhabitats, worlds all on their own.

I’m back at E.L.M. Its cold outside, but I am hoping to find some early breeding salamanders. They will start breeding en masse in January, but one can still hope.

I’ve found no Salamanders thus far, but I have admired all the microhabitats. Under logs, inside stumps, and between stones, there is loads of life. Roaches, spiders, larvae, centipedes, ants, earwigs, fungus, egg masses; every flipped log carries its own unique world.


A world all to itself
Little centipede under a log


As I stand around hearing the noises of Beltway 8, two teens walk by blaring music. I say nothing. It is not my place to say how people enjoy nature, despite how it takes away from mine. They only make me more thankful for the micro-worlds that I am exploring. This should be a place to relax, to connect with and appreciate how lucky they are that parks like this exist.

I cannot change people. I cannot remove the highway or eliminate the music. For now, I take solace in the seat on which I am writing. A decayed stump from a massive tree. It has become hollow with age and is now filled with leaves and dirt. I stick my head into the middle and am transported to a new world. Layers of decayed bark shield me from the outside world. I hear almost nothing and see only leaves. I say I am looking for salamanders in here. However, I think I’m finding a world all to myself.


Inside of a stump I kept sticking my head into


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