Nature Walks – February 2016

“So come, get ready.  Don’t delay!  We’re on a nature trail today.”

~Maurice Pledger, from In the Forest

February was up and down as far as weather went this year – we had 50-degree days, a day of freezing rain that resulted in three days of ice wrapped around the branches of the trees, and then snow on top of it, until it all melted off again with more 50-degree weather.  Elizabeth was very curious about the freezing rain, and she and I went out to play while Paul was asleep, though it wasn’t quite what she had been hoping for, and I deemed it a little unsafe as I had branches falling on me as I was shoveling off my porch.  I think February 2016 was ‘In like a lion and out like a lamb’ – we even found evidence of seedlings coming up!  Whoo hoo!  Hopefully, it will stay mild for March and the duration of spring, and no more ice storms will come to damage them.


On a 50-degree day, the kids were out digging in the over-grown garden and found a worm wriggling around all ready!  They both took a turn holding it.  We knew things were good by this sign of life!


A few days later, it snowed.  Not a lot of snow, but just enough for Elizabeth and I to build a snow man – and it was perfect packing snow!  This will have been, and probably will be, the only time it snowed enough for us to make a snow man this year.  Over all, the winter was perfectly mild – not too warm, but cold broken by days of cool.  I’ve enjoyed it!


While the snow man was still standing, the wet came from the sky in the form of freezing rain.  It rained all morning, and about 1pm finally turned into snow.  The following day, the snow melted off while the sun was out, but I wouldn’t have called it warm by any means.  The ice stuck around for about three days, completely enveloping the branches.  Though it is treacherous, I have to admit that the beauty of the ice from freezing rain is one of my favorite things to photograph.


What happened to melt the ice from the freezing rain off the trees was another warm spell, and while it wasn’t too bad out, I decided to rake the leaves from autumn past out of the area where the bulbs are planted, but having started where I knew there were daffodils that would come up, I quickly found signs of spring.  I took a few shots of the shoots, and decided to replace the leaves so that if another cold spell were to sweep over us, they would not get frost bitten (hopefully!).


A few days after that, at the very end of the month, the kids and I were playing near the entrance of the driveway, and I happened to notice more seedlings coming up: those of the masses of tiger lilies that grow all over a mound near the road.  We jumped for joy at the signs of spring, and Elizabeth, who is obviously trying to get a feel for the rhythm of the seasons, keeps telling me that spring is beginning. 🙂  I surly do hope so!

Share your thoughts:  What are some interesting things you saw on your nature trail this month?


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