We had lying snow for around 10 days and I saw no moths during that time: earlier species would have died off, and new specimens would be staying underground until the snow went away. Sure enough, the same day the snow thawed, I found two specimens of the December moth:
|Male December Moth|
These feed on broad-leaf trees as larvae, and adults can be found from October to January; their eggs staying dormant until the trees have leaves in April or May.
Note the very feathered antennae. These perform a very similar function to the gills on the underside of mushrooms. Feathered antennae are more sensitive, making it easier to find the female, thereby increasing the chances of reproduction. Mushroom gills increase the surface area for spore production, making more spores available and again increasing the chances of reproduction.
As I was taking the shots of the male above, I spotted a minute (3mm) Springtail on the wall just below it:
It looks to be the same species as the one I showed on a mushroom earlier in the year.
A trip to the frozen high area yielded very little. I did see the empty seedpods of Yellow Rattle:
|Empty seedpods of Yellow Rattle|
And this frozen puddle on the path had an entertaining spiral pattern:
|Ice spiral on frozen puddle|