Sunday, March 9, 2008

March Madness

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.


  1. I love colt's foot and only normally my first flowers of the year! Be thankful you didn't get the storm but do note that I am not in PA, I am in NY State.

  2. Mon@arch--Wow! all this time I thought you were in Pennsylvania. I will change the post. Not surprised you got snow then. My sister-in-law lives in upstate New York (near Port Jervis)and seems to get snow most of the winter.

  3. I share your sentiments about the snow. It's now too late for me to hope for the white blanket until next year :o/

    We had the same weather - the temps plunged from 70 to 21 in two days last weekend!

    You live in such a scenic place.

    Thanks for sharing great photos.

  4. Mary,
    We might still get a little snow. Once we had snow in early June--blanketing my tomato plants but that was rare. For now, just looking for early spring wildflowers. Joan