Investigating The Pit

Posted by F&S

So on Friday, we Frenchies, blogged about how the pumpkin patch is being enlarged to grow even more amazing autumn pumpkins, gourds, and squash.  The pumpkin patch happens to be above the wetlands and near a place called "the pit."  We thought it was a swell time to investigate and here's what we discovered.

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Francesca, we haven't been exploring lately in the big pit near the wetlands.

1 Francesca, we haven't been exploring lately in the big pit near the wetlands.

You're right, Sharkey.  A dog can find some pretty interesting things down in that pit.  Let's go and have a look.

2 You're right, Sharkey. A dog can find some pretty interesting things down in that pit. Let's go and have a look.

This pit was made to accommodate all of the rain run-off from various drains on the farm.

3 This pit was made to accommodate all of the rain run-off from various drains on the farm.

When it rains, the water travels through drain pipes and it ends up pouring into this pit.

4 When it rains, the water travels through drain pipes and it ends up pouring into this pit.

Ryan and Wilmer put a lot of compostable material from the gardens in here.

5 Ryan and Wilmer put a lot of compostable material from the gardens in here.

And consequently, there are a lot of critters in this pit eating away at all that vegetation.

6 And consequently, there are a lot of critters in this pit eating away at all that vegetation.

Let's dig down and see what we can find.

7 Let's dig down and see what we can find.

Dig just a bit deeper!

8 Dig just a bit deeper!

Ah-ha!  Just look what we found!  Roly poly, or pill bugs!

9 Ah-ha! Just look what we found! Roly poly, or pill bugs!

Sharkey, did you know that although we call them bugs, pill bugs are really crustaceans like shrimp and crabs?  Like their marine cousins, terrestrial pillbugs use gill-like structures to exchange gases.

10 Sharkey, did you know that although we call them bugs, pill bugs are really crustaceans like shrimp and crabs? Like their marine cousins, terrestrial pillbugs use gill-like structures to exchange gases.

They require moist environments to breathe, but oddly, cannot survive being submerged in water.  Pill bugs love eating decaying vegetation, which is why they love this pit and other compost areas.

11 They require moist environments to breathe, but oddly, cannot survive being submerged in water. Pill bugs love eating decaying vegetation, which is why they love this pit and other compost areas.

The reason they're called roly polies is because they curl into tight balls when threatened.  Very little can penetrate through their hard exoskeleton, sort of like an armadillo.

12 The reason they're called roly polies is because they curl into tight balls when threatened. Very little can penetrate through their hard exoskeleton, sort of like an armadillo.

Another interesting fact about these little buggers is that sick pill bugs turn bright blue.  Like other animals, pill bugs can contract viral infections.  In fact, like many crustaceans, their blood is blue.  Poor little guy!

13 Another interesting fact about these little buggers is that sick pill bugs turn bright blue. Like other animals, pill bugs can contract viral infections. In fact, like many crustaceans, their blood is blue. Poor little guy!

Comments (9)

  • Gee, the pit sounds like a cool hang out! Even the roly poly's are getting in on the action! :) Kind of like a critter watering hole of sorts!

    It snowed a bit here in NH last Friday! Yipes! Just a bit though, all is melted. Whew!

    Looks like Spring is here to stay..

    I hope! :)

    Happy Monday to all...
    gail

  • Good morning ladies,
    Wow, this was an interesting blog this morning. Those pill bugs look relly neat when they change to a blue color. But, that is a shame when they are that pretty color cause that means they are sick. I wonder if they ever get better. I hope so. I commented very late on Friday. It was a busy weekend. How about the rest of you?
    Love to all,
    Maddox

  • Good Morning F & S

    Pill bugs - gross!! Mom finds them in our yard but we never knew they were called pill bugs. That pit looks like a cool place to hang out I bet you find all kinds of critters to chase ;)

    What a great weekend. Mom worked around the yard Saturday and we relaxed by the pool on Sunday. Mom was on the chase lounge and I laid right between her legs at the bottom - oh it was so nice. The best part was Abbie came over and I got some cheese curls. I was so happy she asked for a snack because those are my favorites :)

    I think we can say Spring has arrived :)

    Zoe

  • Hello Girls & Glue Squad Buddies,
    Looks like the Roly Poly Convention is in the pit. That is a cool place to find critters. That poor blue guy being sick. Maybe that is like people when their fingernails turn blue if they don't get enough oxygen.

    It sounds like everyone so far had a great weekend. I am getting a wonderful response to Lady Ruby Gem's Landscape Design Business. Rebel says he will get all the tight spots and Sonya thinks it will be fun to see our portfolios. Mom says while I am designing that my nail polish color is called, "ooh lala Mud." LOL!!!! Spring isn't here yet, as it seems we in Colorado are a bit late on the snow this year. Now mounds of snow are coming to the mountains--just when the ski slopes for the most part are closed. This morning there was snow on the roof and sleet. Zoe, has Mom found the critter in the garage yet? Keep us posted. Have a GEM of a day.
    Love & licks,
    Ruby

  • Hello Sharkey,Francesca,Zoe,Maddox,Ruby,Missy chow and all my glue squad buddies,
    Wow you two are brave to venture down into the pit. I was worried there might be snakes lurking down there. Nice job those little pill bugs do, chewing up decaying vegetation.
    We had a busy weekend too! Mom ran in a nice trail race on Saturday,worked yesterday and also got out to her metal shop. Abby is all tuckered out from barking and running around in the yard. I am doing research on today's Boston Marathon! Happy Patriot's day to Missy Chow and our New England friends.
    Hope everyone had fun this weekend! purrrs- James Dean the persian boy

  • Hi F,S,&GK+ Glue Squad, You two beautiful girls sure did have fun investigating the pit that collects water there at the farm!! We don't have a pit but we do have lots of those pill bugs in many parts of our garden and yards. I even see many of them walking on our patio and sidewalks! Was fun to see you digging in the pit and I would love to have been there with you!! Sure is fun to see all that you do at the farm! Say Hi to our buddy GK again! Gail, sure glad your last snow went away and hope you get great weather! Maddox, we had a busy weekend, also! Once the rain stopped, I was able to go for a nice hour+ walk! Zoe, glad you had a nice weekend and happy that your weather is better, also! Only heard from 3 of you buddies so far and will check back later for more of your comments! Cora-Belle, sure hope you are doing well and hope the rest of you are, too! Love, Dudley Do Right XOXOXO+

  • Good Monday morning to all!

    Franny, your brindling in the sun light is gorgeous! I am also a Brindle so I can apprecite your coloring!! Jakey and I both love chasing bus so were quite excited about this blog today.

    This weekend Jakey and I went to Doggy Day Care at Camp Run A Mutt here in San Diego. We just were there for a few hours to get used to it when our human parents go on vacation. we LOVED it! No more cages and we got to meet lots of new furry friends. We came home after 3 hurs and were exhausted. Niether jakey or I moved till the next morning. What fun it was to meet all those new friends. They said that when we stay overnight, we all sleep together too on beds put out just for us! Aren't we lucky?

    Molly

  • Hi Francesca & Sharkey,
    The information and pictures you gave us of pill bugs was all very interesting. Thank you!

  • That's great to have a run off pit, I sure could use one...we have flooding in our front and back yard...it was extremely windy and helped dry some of this out. Frenchie girls you are well rounded and very nice to share this with us, except I can't stand those bill bug crustaceans ugh :-(

    I'm late today because I had no internet connection till now.

    Kitty brought her first Chippy kill ;-( ate half and left the rest for me...gee thanks!

    Another sad day in our country...making it a terrorist event from a tribute event...I don't get why people have to be like this...so very sad. My prayers go out to all that were affected from this tragedy.

    till next time
    delia & Kitty =^. .^=

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