CD and I made our first trip to the cabin in northern Minnesota last week and the spring thaw has happened earlier than we can remember; there was no ice left on any of the lakes that we saw. Although the temperature was climbing into the mid-50s (F) during the day, it was still dipping to below freezing at night, and the only wildflowers I was able to find during our short day and a half were some tiny Hepaticus growing in the grass.
There was also one active squirrel, a hybrid of one of our little pine squirrels (about twice the size of chipmunks) and a grey, who was bold enough to let me get reasonably close, just before we left to head back south again. Good to be in the woods again!
Beautiful photos! We are supposed to have Hepaticus here, but I sure have never found it.
The lichen is nice, too.
You have to look really closely. Some are white, but many have a more or less disinct violet hue. The lichen was a lucky windfall. Thanks, Sandy!
Although the sun shone….it still looked cold
It was actually quite a bit warmer than it should have been for this time of year. Last year at this time the lake was still almost completely covered in the winter’s ice sheet and wildflowers were still only a dream of days to come.
The hepaticus looks wonderful juxtaposed next to the lichen as it is. I am also very jealous that you can capture wildlife on camera and keep a sharp focus. I love your little hybrid!
There were several dozen hepaticus plants, but when I saw this one adjacent to the fallen piece of lichen, I knew this was the one I wanted. I wish I’d had my longer lens on for the squirrel, but it let me get close enough with my 135, and also let me lean on a handy tree for extra stability. Yup, we love all our squirrels, but the little (pure) pine squirrels are my personal favorites.
Hepaticus flowers are small but quite tough. They do well here in the garden on dry chalk. I love the colour and patterns of the lichen against the pretty blue flowers. The squirrel’s pretty cute too!
That was a particularly nice and lucky piece of lichen, helping to remind me that I really need to do another lichen post. Oh, yeah, squirrels are the greatest! I’m planning to see if I can get one or two to take sunflower seeds by hand this year, like the chipmunks.
One of my favorite early spring wildflowers.
Mine too, Jeff, especially when they’re the only players on the whole stage!
Hi Gary, your hepaticus picture is absolutely lovely. And I too really like the juxtaposition of your ‘lucky lichen’. I’m looking forward to your next lichen post.
Hi, Finn, so many folks seem to liking the lichen that i’m likely to feature more of them in the very near future. Thanks again for your kind support! I’m looking forward to the results of your stalking the elusive bee flies!