Saturday, March 1, 2014

March comes in like a lion

"Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November,
February eight-and-twenty all alone,
And all the rest have thirty-one;
Unless that leap year doth combine,
And give to February twenty-nine."
-   Richard Grafton

© 2011 by Emily Arnold McCully;
from “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb”

"March comes with a roar,
He rattles your windows
and scratches at your door."

The long, cold may have proven deadly for some hibernating animals that need to dig below a frost line that is much deaper than normal to survive. Hopefully the  continual snowcover provided insulation, slowing the cooling of the ground allowing them time to adapt.
Cynthia Mueller, a state Department of Natural Resources naturalist at High Cliff State Park here in Sherwood, says that small mammal hibernators there either dig burrows 5 feet deep or deeper or hibernate in rocky cliff crevices and caves. Burrowing animals dig a tunnel system that allows them to emerge upon awakening without being inhibit by frost.  Along the limestone ledge that runs through the park, snakes and bats find refuge in caves that may never experience frost.
While the snow may serve as a blanket for the roots of plants, it may also be providing protection for voles to eat and girdle plants.  If soil remains water-logged soil late into spring, perennials may suffer from root rot and snow mold may be observed on lawns.

March did indeed come roaring in like a lion with more snow and below 0 temperatures,

But will it go out like a lamb ???

© 2011 by Emily Arnold McCully; from “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb”

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