Thursday, January 26, 2012

Warm Winter

This crazy warm winter has brought out an interesting variety of insects around our house.  Four days ago, my son found a ladybug crawling around on our sliding glass door. The week before, I saw some sort of insect from the order Diptera crawling around on my kitchen window.  Usually at this time of year, the only things we see on our windows are ice crystals!  Other strange sitings have included Mid-winter swaths of freshly sprouted green foliage on low growing woodland plants and fungus with new fruiting bodies. On January 8th, I noticed that the Nature Explore classroom sponsored by Trees Indiana had many blankets of moss that were shooting up reproductive stalks.  Guess that there was plenty of water present to activate the reproductive cycle of these interesting prehistoric plants. Usually, the water is frozen solid, so the rain drops and films of water needed to trigger the fertilization process for moss are immobilized.  It makes me think that lots of things in the woods haven't been fully 'immobilized' by a long, deep freeze.  I'll continue to watch how this affects the plants and animals I see in the woods.  I think it is going to make for an interesting spring!