It is a sure sign that spring is getting closer when our Wild Flower Sale friends gather for their annual kick-off breakfast. Last Saturday was the start of the 30th annual Wild Flower sale and there will be more information in the weeks to come. Now to what is happening at the conservancy. Though some of you may disagree, but last week’s snow was really helpful to some of the wildlife at Lac Lawrann. February was the warmest on record. While good for the heating bills, it isn’t so good for many of our resident amphibians. Lack of snow cover and wide variations in temperature make hibernation rough on those species that take their winters respite just below the surface of our leaf litter. Spring peepers, wood frogs and the eastern newt all hibernate just below the layer of leaves covering our forest and wetland areas at the conservancy. These amphibians’ bodies lose much of their water content as winter approaches. This concentrates the other materials in their tissues and body fluids, forming a type of natural anti-freeze. Too long of a warm spell can begin to fool their systems to begin absorbing water again and put them at risk of freezing when the temperature drops. A snow cover, no matter how slight, is a good insulator that helps to keep the environment and their systems stable. So as you gaze out on the snow (and its melting) remember that our amphibious friends look on that cover as a comforter to help them through the winter.
Paul De Chant