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The Critters Have Thawed

April 30, 2009
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It always amazes me to hear and see the volumes of change that occurs around us during mud season. To think that our family was skiing at Whaleback on well covered snowy slopes just a month ago and yesterday I arrive home in the late afternoon to see a few butterflies. A beautiful brilliant brown flutter with yellow trim and blue pearl beads known as the Mourning Cloak and a second less showy specimen, the White Cabbage. Some buttlerflies and frogs have the strange but awesome abilitiy to be frozen alive and then thaw in the spring to begin their mating rituals. Wood frogs are a species quite well know for that ability but did you know that the adult Mourning Cloak butterfly hides under rocks or behind loose tree bark where it prepares to be frozen.
Body dehydration allows for higher concentrations of sugar alcohols which creates a natural antifreeze situation. They even expel compounds and bacteria which have the potential of acting as nucleoids for ice cyrstal formation. Spring really has arrived when I see and hear the peepers, the trilliums beginning to pop out with their brilliant red and the butterflies begin to dodge the arrival of the bluebirds. Learn more about the strange cryo-preservation techniques of animals at http://www.naturenorth.com/winter/frozen/Ffrozen.html

As trails dry up, get outside and have fun seeing the first wildflowers of the season and more.

mourningcloak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit http://www.nhmountainhiking.com/ for some great wildlife pics.

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