Every once in a long while, you run across something so wonderful you have to share.
I have been tracking hits to the Google search Michigan spiders, ever since an odd combination of page text about automated web browsing tools unearthed a bunch of folks trying to identify the spiders crawling across their day lilies.
Today's search logs turned up this amazing resource, the The Backyard Arthropod Project
A Field Guide to the North Side of Old Mill Hill, Atlantic Mine, MI. The author writes:
This started out as a typical ranting blog over on Livejournal, but it turns out that, overall, I’m a happy sort of guy and don’t really have that many things to rant about. As of February 2007, it has instead turned into a project to document every arthropod that I can find on our property (about 9 acres on the north slope of Old Mill Hill in the Keeweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan). This includes insects, spiders, other arachnids, crustaceans, and pretty much anything I find with an exoskeleton. There should be at least one new arthropod every week, for as long as the variety holds out (which could be years). I’ll also randomly inject whatever thoughts happen to occur to me at the time, although I’ll try to stick with at least some connection to the topic at hand. When I run out of arthropods, maybe I’ll start in on the plants.
While I have always been interested in insects and other arthropods, I unfortunately have zero formal training in entomology (I am an extractive metallurgist by profession), so I’m basically trying to learn arthropod taxonomy as I go. I will doubtless make many mistakes, please don’t hesitate to correct me when I am wrong.
Go, look. There are pictures, there are bugs - arachnids, isopods, diptera, cutworm moths, crickets, katydids. There are tags: found in house and found in yard stand in equal prominence. 9 acres in the UP yields plenty of bugs, in season, and season is year-round, as the presence of the snow fly - Chionea valga will attest.
This is why people live in the UP! Bugs, all with Latin names!