Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Frost-hardy Survivors

As these icicles dripping from cliffs along Spier Falls Road attest, it did indeed go below freezing last night.  Way below.  Down into the 20s.   Concerned about how that deep freeze might have affected some of our way-too-early bloomers, I drove out to Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton today to check on them.  My first concern was a patch of Snow Trillium, but as I hurried across the bridge toward where I knew those rare trilliums would be growing, a dot of bright yellow along the stream bank caused me to halt in my tracks.  What?!  Could that really be a Round-leaved Violet?  Blooming in March?!  And after a freezing night?  Well, that is indeed what it was.  Just one, but hard to miss that vivid lemon-yellow bloom, apparently untouched by frost.

As for the Snow Trilliums, they too survived the freezing night unscathed.  In fact, they looked perkier than ever, with many new plants emerged from the ground since last I visited.

Nearby, I could see the bank where Dutchman's Breeches grow every spring, and I noticed this frilly cluster of leaves that told me the Dutchman's Breeches were well on their way.  Isn't it amazing that such newborn leaves would be so impervious to frost damage?

This itsy bitsy Red Spider Mite was also undaunted by the cold, scurrying so fast around a patch of Mnium moss I had a very hard time taking its photo, since it would not stay within macro focal range.  I snapped about 20 shots and this was the best I could get.


The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Thats wonderful, rushing hither and thither, and then to find a dear little flower and one you did not expect.
I worry the same, when they all come out too early tricked by the unusual weather patterns.

June said...

Maybe those tiny plants are so close to the ground that the warm breathes up past them and protects them from the frost. Such brilliant colors and designs . . . beauty for beauty's sake, isn't it?

squirrel said...

Good photo of the spider mite. I have a terriable time taking their photo because they are in constant motion. I guess your new camera fixed that problem.