A Palouse Phenology

by Suvia Judd


We have been having frozen fog all week. Still an open (virtually snowless) winter. Two days ago I went up to the barn in the morning to feed the camelids, and there was a rime of frozen fog on everything. I particularly noticed the bristlecone pine, with silvered needles, seen against a background of horizontal English hawthorn branches covered with red berries, and the dense upright yellow canes of the “Darlow’s Enigma” rose.

I moved some plastic lying on the ground to put under a load of hay, and found lively earthworms and sowbugs, (which I tucked under a layer of composting hay.) The top layer of the ground is frozen, but wherever there is some organic cover it is soft.

I hope all the fleas get frozen!

Next time: What is phenology? (Hint, it is NOT the study of head bumps, or word sounds, nor of fish fins!)