Thursday, January 17, 2008

Schnee!



We're getting ready for another round of snow, ice, and relatively low temperatures (0 degrees tomorrow), so I thought I'd post some images from one of my parks clad in snow:
A losing stream which leads into River Cave. On the back side of the park is a heavily grazed, terribly degraded field that looked, oddly, peaceful to me. I appreciate the undulating nature of the landscape, dotted with post oaks.

A fuzzy shot of a three-toed box turtle found almost a mile into River Cave, having been flushed in by the aforementioned stream--I created a brummation tank for him where he'll spend the rest of the winter. He was pretty cold when we found him, so I packed him, a green frog, two leopard frogs and a handful of trash into my waders before leaving the cave.
I fed him chopped up worms and buried him in a mud-leaf mixture. Not too deep, of course, in the event of a warm February day when he wants to come out to feed. I put the frogs in one of the small pools of the stream where they immediately swam under a rock. I don't know if they'll make it, but the water temperature is a nice 50 degrees. Beats dying in a cave, I think. Chief said I should have left them all in the cave but the trash: "...they're a food source, an important part of the cave ecosystem...." I agree, but they remain frogs and turtles. I will never willingly allow a frog or turtle to die, even if death is what nature dictates.
And finally, on the theme of snow, one of my favorite people in the world, my lovely, stalwart supporter, my baby sister on a recent trip to the Tetons. She's fed up with snow. She wants to be able to get out of her driveway again. She wants to go kayaking. She wants to plant lettuce. Like everyone else in my family, we appreciate the hands we're dealt, making the best of every situation. Everyday, locked in her house because the snow plow guy won't come that far into the country, she dons her cross country gear and takes off to the mountains behind the house.

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