Entries to Win Afghan

From now till March 31, pre-order the set of the first three Dubois Files children's mysteries, signed and at a discount. Go to Books Leaving Footprints and look in the left column.
panel of three covers for Dubois Files children's mysteries

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flora and Fauna

The weather is defining our lives- of course it often does, but temperature records in March are getting shattered by 10-30 degrees every day this week. In some ways it's quite enjoyable, but there will be a lot of damage when we get an inevitable freeze. (The idea that we might not get cold again is really unlikely. We generally have a chance of freezing through May.)

Flowers are blooming and critters are out. These pictures are from yesterday and today.

First we have the ever-popular skunk cabbage. It might actually be expected at this time of year. This one is particularly handsome in deep purple.

skunk cabbage

However, the hepatica is about a month early. Last year's pictures show this blooming on April 25.


I hunted hard, because I wanted to show Loren a liverwort, and I found a couple of patches! I've told you about this strange plant before. The "leaves" are one cell thick, and they only have a half number (haploid) number of chromosomes. I sure haven't even thought seriously about identifying different liverworts, but I think this is a different one from what I showed you before. (link at end)


Today, I was lucky enough to spot some critters! Here's a sleek black squirrel. One might see them even through the winter.

black squirrel

But here's another little Eastern chipmunk. Definitely not seen until the weather warms.

Eastern chipmunk

I also got some OK pictures of a sweet little bird, but I think I'll save those for tomorrow! Spring is here on the calendar, and on the ground- really strange in March.

See Ruffled for more liverwort
See Ruby Creek is Golden for hepatica
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Lin said...

It's too weird having all this warm so soon. My redbud tree is blooming--something that doesn't go until early May. I'm really afraid for my plants, but I have saved the branches from my Christmas tree and I can cover them if I hear we are going to get a major chill.

I'm worried about the frogs. They are awake and hopping about, but there is no food for them yet! I may have to run out and buy some crickets and hope they eat them.

It's just weird. I don't think I like seeing my white thighs in shorts in March!

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Lin- I'm so sorry about your froggie. They are singing like crazy here already. Wayyyyyyy to early.

Ratty said...

I think it's the black squirrels I'll miss most from Michigan. I've seen no evidence of them here.

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- Who knows? You may find some. I looked up your park, and it appears you are way over on the west edge.

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