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Cedar Stump Texture

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Snow – 2013

I realize most of North America has had snow for some time but this is our first for the year so we’re right on time for the first day of Winter.  We amassed about 4 inches (10 cm) so schools were closed and there was traffic mayhem. 

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The Front Yard

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The Witch Hazel is just starting to bloom and will do so until nearly the end of February,
filling the Winter air with the beautiful scent of it’s flowers.

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Waiting for Spring

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The Forest Pond

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European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)

What makes these insects interesting are the myths attached to them.  The most common, but untrue, is that they will crawl into your ear and eat your brains.  They are also feared for their painful stings or bites from their rear pinchers (cerci).  Their pinchers are actually used for a clamping device while eating or during sex and don’t inflict damage on humans though I haven’t confirmed this personally yet.

European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)     

Earwigs entered North America in about 1907 and reached our area (British Columbia, Canada) in 1919. Earwigs are considered a garden pest by some and beneficial by others.  Climate tends to affect their behaviour. Earwigs are good mothers and take care of the kids for some time after they hatch from eggs.  I heard that in Germany they are encouraged because the mother is carnivorous and catches harmful plant bugs to feed her kids.  In our area they are mostly vegetarian and chew plants which is regurgitated as baby food.