Yesterday, the cold snap broke– balmy and 40 degrees. I wanted to explore the woods but I had to cook. Last night, we got some some icy slush for a few hours, then it rained, then it did something sort of in-between. By the time I had taken care of my morning duties, the rain had stopped and the morning was warm and very moist. So I walked down into the woods below Tupelo and saw:
Oysters are growing again. It seems like as soon as the temperature gets above freezing, they start fruiting. The brown one below was growing upside down, cup-shaped, and was frozen solid, filled with snow when I found it.
Although the trees are still bare, parts of the forest floor are quite verdant. This moss-covered log was loving the damp day and seemed to glow in the non-sunlight. The ground cedar provided a bright green understory in places. Years ago, someone told me that the ground cedar, although plentiful at Twin Oaks, was endangered in the area. I have since grown skeptical of that claim, but I do see a greater concentration of ground cedar in the woods of Twin Oaks than I have seen anywhere else in Virginia.
Most interesting, I found what I’m pretty sure is a spring (and I’ve seen a few). In a low, boggy area below Tupelo, I came across cold, clear water pushing out of some sand. I think the the ground was so saturated with water, then was frozen for a few days, and now that the ground is thawing out it’s releasing a bunch of water. So it would make sense that there would be springs like these that only flowed when the ground was really wet. Now that I know it’s there, I’ll check to see when it’s flowing and when it’s dry. Not quite the Itchnetucknee, I guess I’ll call it Tupelo Spring.