[Another current post from Maine; I’m saving the third gray whale post till next time!]
Spring comes late in Maine. It still snows sometimes, and the hickory buds struggle:
So long as it freezes every night, the ice at the edge of the stream does beautiful things:
In these tough times, small gems are to be cherished, like a single bead of water on a frond of star moss, Tortula ruralis, emerging from the snow:
And when the temperature hovers just below freezing strange things happen, like this hair ice:
The ghostly ephemeral growths are made up of ice filaments that grow from a specific winter-active fungus, Exidiopsis effusa, on dead wood. This was on a dead twig on the ground, and each rosette is about 1/4 inch across.
And the voles or shrews that lived in tunnels under the snow had the roofs of their tunnels melted by the sun, exposing their refuges to the view of passing raptors:
A flock of American robins were undeterred by a late snow shower, and descended on the old apple tree, desperate for the remnants of last year’s crop: