Things in the Woods

I went to a place yesterday where I often go, when looking for butterflies and other insects and crawly things. It’s basically a very small meadow with lots of wild flowers, located in the midst of a large forest. I used to go there often, but the few times I did make it up there last year, it made me cry, because it’s one of the many “Tobi places”.

The trip yesterday was worth it. There were hardly any insects (there aren’t very many insects anymore). When I think about how my windshield USED to look after a longer drive and how it looks now, I think I could drive to Hamburg and back and maybe have three dead flies on the windshield upon coming home. Thank you pesticides and thank you herbicides, decimating the desperately needed variety of plants to sustain life, insects and birds, whose populations have also been decimated here in the last 15 years or so.

There were also few butterflies, probably because there are hardly any flowering plants this early in the year.

But I did see this:

Blindschleiche (Angius fragilis)


It looks like an itty bitty tiny little snake, but it isn’t. It’s a wonderful little (about 50 cm long) lizard that happens to be without limbs. It’s called a “Slow worm” or “Blind worm” and the Wikipedia article about it can be found here.

It’s native to Eurasia only, and it’s the first time I’ve seen a live one. I was quite excited. They have teensy tiny little scales and are wonderfully smooth to touch.

We got this little guy off of the logging road where he was sunning himself and back into the grassy meadow, where he won’t get runover.

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