I've found a way to stay deeply engaged with nature throughout the winter - lichens! I'll write more about them soon, but the most relevant feature at the moment is the fact that they're available and identifiable year-round.
Unlike plants, they change very little seasonally. They look the same in winter as in summer. And since they colonize the sides of trees, boulders, brick walls, and other surfaces, they can be easily found even when there's snow on the ground.
|Common Script Lichen (Graphis scripta)
The features used to identify them are often miniscule, so I have been going on collecting trips to the Witchwood and bringing samples home with me to identify under a microscope.
|Dragon Horn (Cladonia squamosa)
The more I learn, the more I want to know!
|Smooth-footed Powderhorn (Cladonia ochrochlora)
|Orange-cored Shadow Lichen (Phaeophyscia rubropulchra)