I enjoyed looking at the lovely snow storm photos from Ohio (Nature Remains) and New York (Mon@arch). I don't know whether I'm jealous or thankful we avoided another storm.
Instead of snow, we had a windy, cloudy day yesterday. The temperature plunged all day, going from 54 to 32 degrees (F) by 5:00 p.m. Birds were feeding frantically. I counted 10 Fox Sparrows digging furiously on the ground. Usually, I see a couple this time of year. This week, local birders reported similar increases in Fox Sparrow sightings.
On Thursday, my husband and I went back to our big pasture to cut some wood, having exhausted our winter's supply.
From the top of this pasture, we can see Walker Mountain, actually a long ridge that stretches somewhat parallel along the border to West Virginia, almost to North Carolina.
It took a couple of trips to take the wood back to the house. Along the way, I stopped to take a couple of photos.
I spotted this mushroom (Witches' Butter?) several times this winter--just takes a little rain and a few warm days. With the Christmas fern, I first thought it was a flower. The color reminds me of the flower of Butterfly Weed which blooms in June.
This Coltsfoot is the first spring wildflower I've seen (having cheated with crocuses and miniature daffodils blooming near the house). I have seen Coltsfoot earlier--in late February but often miss it because only the small flower pokes through the dead leaves. The flower disappears before the large (cucumber-like) leaves are spotted in late spring.
Coltsfoot is not a native---having been brought here by the early settlers. But, it did not come to this part of Virginia until the 1950s. It grows along our old logging roads but not in the woods. It is considered an invasive alien but I don't think it is nearly as bad as Japanese honeysuckle or multi-flora rose which choke out native wildflowers.