Once again, I am awed by nature. This morning walking on the beach I saw this lovely little purple snail shell; during my walk I found about six more of them. They seemed to be blowing bubbles?! I did try to remove/pop bubbles on one, but it was clearly attached to the dear slug inside the shell, so I left it alone, except for placing it at the edge of the tide. Turns out that these Common Purple Snails live on Men of War as predators. However, when a situation arises where they detach from the Men of War then it automatically secretes a foamy pillow as a floatation device. Wow! So simple and so effective! I am humbled and impressed.
See one of my favorite reference books: Florida’s Living Beaches by Witherington, for more information.
The Butterfly World in Coconut Creek Florida seems like a world to itself. Today I am sharing a few images from last winter’s visit. They reopened today: https://www.butterflyworld.com/hurricane-closure-and-preparation/, and will release the butterflies and finches back into their outdoor habitats. There was no damage to the facilities by Irma.
This Lichen lives atop a rock at Lover’s Leap in Starved Rock State Park. Though its tiny, its resilience merits appreciation.
Difference between fungi, lichen, moss and algae: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/you-moss-be-joking-if-you-lichen-this-to-fungi
Winter along Lake Michigan is only for the hardiest. It did surprise me to come across a bicyclist on the path along the Lake’s shoreline. A young family chose throwing snowballs into the lake instead of the traditional pebbles.
Tough and strong are not the usual adjectives used to describe Daffodils, yet they perfectly describe their nature. Their bulbs are considered lasting in the garden because they are ignored by squirrels who prefer to dig up tulip bulbs. My focus on these spring beauties is on their stem and flowers’ resilience. Warm days followed by snow are typical of Chicago’s springtime weather. This can test both the heartiest Midwesterner as well as spring blooming plants who all seek the warmth and cheer of springtime sunshine.
Over the years I have learned to resist running outside to rescue daffodils lying on the ground frozen in a coat of white. It seemed a kindness to cut them, place them in a vase filled with warm water, and set them nearby to ensure their beauty would last a few more days. I underestimated their resilience.
These images show their falling blooms under the weight of fresh snow and ice followed by their return to upright stance and brilliance the following storm-free day. This analogy serves me well when I feel that trials are weighing me down. They may melt away in time if I stay strong. This spring these blooms have survived three consecutive rounds of sun and snow followed by more sun. Wow!
Submissively aggressive, the Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana), has several heavy-duty survival traits. This perennial is quick to spread in the garden, yearly claiming wider and wider territories. If that trait is not enough for its survival, each flower has the ability to move around its base stem when brushed. Passersby, accidently too close, will not harm the flower, ensuring the plants ability to be a prolific seed producer, ensuring future new plants. Try it, the next time you encounter Obedient Plant; see how easy it is to move the location of the flowers around its base!
Last night’s fresh layer of snow formed a condensed blanket on these Yews as the sun’s heat competed with the airs 14-degree temperature this afternoon.
Yews (Taxus) is the food of choice, sweet treat, when the deer cross border from the forest preserve into our garden. As the snow covers any remaining plant life, on the forest floor, it becomes more and more common place to have morning and afternoon visits with our neighbors. The result is tidy shrubs and contented deer.
For information on the preferred diet of deer, check out http://njaes.rutgers.edu/deerresistance/.