A world under the leaf litter.
March is truly living up to its motto - In like a lion... we'll see if it goes out like a lamb (although I've known lambs to be just as roudy as lions!). But random snowstorms aside spring is really, truly on its way. Going through the archives I've found this type of weather is completely normal, 2016 was much like this year, and the plants are keeping on.
Just the other day I was out at Wooster Memorial Park doing an exploratory hike (on the trail but moving at the speed of 1.5mi 3hrs as I do, when hiking with me, pack a lunch!) and just beyond the layer of leaf litter a world is awakening, new hepatica leaves with their fuzzy stems are pushing through, the spring beauties are already budding (any day the first blooms!), waterleaf is broadening, and a very cool creepy critter can now be found - the Gian Red Velvet Mite!
The Giant Red Velvet Mite is super important this time of year as it eats the insects that eat the bacteria that decomposes leaves - that was a mouthful, what does that mean? That means the bacteria and fungi can get the forest leaf litter out of the way so the plants and flowers can bloom and grow (bloom and grow foreeevvver - Edelweiss anyone?). An important thing to note about these giants of the tiny world is that they will not bite humans or pets, they're not out to suck your blood or give you crazy diseases so please leave (leaf) them alone to do their jobs!
Enjoy the slideshow of things found in the park... I promise, in the sea of brown a world of green is just a few weeks away!
3/18/2018 12:21:27 pm
Now I know what Red Velvet Cake is made of! Thanks Emily!
3/21/2018 10:59:16 am
Hahah yum! Tastes like bacteria and leaf litter! ;)
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Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.