Winter Wildlife

Erin Conant

Beneath the fallen leaves, atop bare branches and deep within the soil exists the kind of life we don’t normally notice in the midst of wintry weather.

While we retreat to the toasty confines of our homes from the seemingly dormant winter outdoors, vegetation continues to grow and bloom and wildlife still scurry about the earth.

  • Bluebirds, mockingbirds and cardinals create a visual treat and testament to the liveliness of the season. Siren reds and deep sky blues can be seen flitting from their perches to the ground and back in search of seeds and vegetation provided by cold-hardy plants such as the evergreen sumacbeautyberry and native hollies.
  • Meanwhile, more aboveground busyness is exemplified in the hive of honeybees who continue to work and feed on stores of honey to sustain their body temperatures.
  • Toiling out of sight and out of mind beneath frozen plant stalks, microscopic organisms such as nematodes remain alive and well, breaking down organic matter into beneficial nutrients plants need for strong and vigorous growth.

From this, we gain opportunities to help by nurturing and protecting our soil with natural nutrients, such as compost and mulch, and by setting out seed treats for the flocks.

Keep a watchful eye on the world around you this winter. Under bare limbs, beneath the soil and across the sky, life continues to thrive – even in the coldest and most slumbering of settings.

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Agave benchPurple Lantana