Greenhouses Made Out of Snow

Okanagan Okanogan

The coyotes come on by in the fog.snow8 Heavy coyote traffic, really.

snow12coyote Birds trit trot through.snow1Mule Deer stalk along.snow3

And the grasses and sages use the energy from these travellers and peck-peckers…

snow20

… to cast their seeds on the snow.

snow21

Lots of seeds.

snow2 It’s easy to see how the melting snow will carry the seeds into places on the soil crust of mosses and lichens that capture the water, making for germination, but there’s even more going on. It’s a fascinating microclimate down at snow level. The snow surface is surprisingly warm. It melts and refreezes daily, soaks the seeds, freezes in complex crystal shapes that then focus the sun like lasers, adding intense heat, and then thaws in a repetitive cycle, breaking open the seed cases— all modulated by water’s temperature range.snowseed

Now, that’s a beautiful thing.

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~ by Sable Aradia on February 2, 2015.

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