We have a small pond, and with the drought we have had it has completely dried up.
That’s not such a bad thing, really. It has dried up before. The occasional cycles interspersed with the wet change the character of the critters which are found here. Several species of small frogs can be found in and near the pond (when it is wet), rather than the bullfrogs which tend to drive others out. Fish don’t live here, but lots of invertebrates do.
Perhaps saying the pond is dried out is a bit of a stretch. There is a dry layer of dirt, sand, and dead creatures on top of a layer of soft, deep mud. There are deep cracks in the dirt, and many creatures are waiting out the dry spell in the cracks.
Butterflies come to the area to obtain a little moisture.
Notice the drop of water on the tip of the abdomen of the eastern tailed-blue on the right.
There were two groups of eastern tailed-blues and a group of sulfurs. Here are a couple of orange sulfurs (on the right) and clouded sulfurs (on the left). While the species can interbreed and have hybrids, the sizes of these individuals are distinctly different, and give a pretty good clue as to their identity.
This snail (probably Physia) is covered with the bodies of ostracods. Are the ostracods still alive and dried out, or are they dead? I have to say I am not sure.
Two additional unfortunate creatures can be found. Amphipods?
The tracks are from some strange creature that belly-crawled across the mud as his elbows dug into the substrate.
Then he had to brush the sand off his elbows before he could download his photographs.