Friday, January 7, 2011

Things to Look For in January

The days are ever so slowly getting longer, but spring is still long away. And yet, there are still plenty of things to look for outside.

>> What have you been noticing in nature this winter? Leave a comment below.

Umbilicaria mammulata
Rock Tripe by Paul J. Morris
Among wild edibles, rock tripe is not prized or even particularly appetizing...actually, it's pretty cardboardy. But as a survival food, it's been used for centuries. And even if you don't want to eat them, lichens are a pretty amazing phenomenon.

DC Squirrel
Squirrel by Vicki's Pics
January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day. We know you know squirrels when you see them, but do you know them when you hear them? Listen to these chirps and you may realize some of the birds you thought you'd been hearing were actually rodents.

Pine cones
Hemlock cones by DaveSF
Eastern Hemlocks are rare in our area due to our climate (they prefer the mountains), and becoming rarer due to an imported insect known as the wooly adelgid. It's worth seeking out these "redwoods of the East" while you still can. And winter's an easy time to do it, since they're evergreen.

2 comments:

Lynette said...

I saw skunk cabbage poking up on December 30 in Beltsville - spring is coming!!!

Elizabeth | The Natural Capital said...

Thanks for the heads up, Lynette -- we saw them coming up through the snow at Scott's Run today!

Post a Comment