Ice, Snow, and Life

After it felt like spring was almost here, the Portland area is now in a cold spell.  We got our one obligatory “snowstorm” (i.e. about 1″) of the year, and it got down to about 20 degrees F last night.  Above is my black walnut tree with a dusting of snow on it.  Yes- even this amount of snow is a big deal here and TV news crews are dispatched everywhere to report on the paltry snow amounts.

A columbine with ice- the sun came out and you can see by the water drops that it was beginning to thaw.

A dwarf blue spruce with some snow, also beginning to melt.

And, for some reason, birds were everywhere.  More photos later, but this Dark-eyed Junco was on my neighbor’s roof.

The only birds that were missing were the Great Blue Herons at the rookery I’ve been posting about.  They have been there around the clock lately, many in pairs standing on nests.  Today, they were gone- I assume they found some shelter to keep warm.

  1. The moss carpeting your black walnut tree really caught my eye, more so than the faint dusting of snow. I imagine it is a result of the damp climate in your region. Have the short-lived below freezing temps caused any noticeable changes in that moss or the star moss on the maple tree callus pictured at the end of your “Do Tree Wounds Heal” post?

  2. Yes, our damp climate is why there is moss everywhere- on our roof, our driveway, our back patio, our lawn, etc. I’ve never noticed if freezing temperatures affect the moss, but admittedly I haven’t really looked too hard. It doesn’t usually get very cold here (not often below freezing for very long). What does hurt the moss is our summer- we get 2 months or so with almost no rain at all and the moss tends to dry out, but once the rains return it recovers.

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