Thursday, January 03, 2008


The Blue Wood-Louse

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Winter, from the song-cycle The Window; or, The Song of the Wrens:
The frost is here,
And fuel is dear,
And woods are sear,
And fires burn clear,
And frost is here
And has bitten the heel of the going year.

Bite, frost, bite!
You roll up away from the light
The blue wood-louse, and the plump dormouse,
And the bees are still'd, and the flies are kill'd,
And you bite far into the heart of the house,
But not into mine.

Bite, frost, bite!
The woods are all the searer,
The fuel is all the dearer,
The fires are all the clearer,
My spring is all the nearer,
You have bitten into the heart of the earth,
But not into mine.
The wood-louse isn't blue with cold or from Seasonal Affective Disorder; it's blue because it's infected with an Iridovirus:

Photo courtesy of Marc Kummel.

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