Survival Skills

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It’s been a hard, long winter with temperatures falling below -30c or lower. Despite a fur lined parka my face still got frostbitten. The unsightly red blotches last several days. Edmonton winters are brutal. It’s incomprehensible that a few leaves of this little strawberry are still supple and alive. It’s true that a few plants stay green under the snow, but this little guy is completely exposed. I wonder what magic of chemistry keeps him going while I freeze in minutes.

Now You See Me Now You Don’t

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A few weeks ago we were eating breakfast and saw the most magnificent sight: a coyote sauntered down the middle of the street. “Saunter” is not the exact word, he was floating on the snow. I have never seen such a noble stride. This amazing creature may account for the sudden disappearance of rabbits in our back yard. There are only a few tracks now, perhaps they belong to this lone, well camouflaged rabbit.

First Rain

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On the prairies we have five months of winter a few weeks of spring and then hot dry weather with occasional grey clouds of smoke from forest fires. Rain is an ephemeral and for me an endlessly exciting event. And it’s not just me, as I write this and gaze out the window, two girls in red and purple rubber boots jump into all the puddles as they walk down the street.

White Fern

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Just a small magnification and the world looks like an entirely different, unfamiliar place. If I turned this photo of snow drooping off lattice upside down and coloured it green it would be identical to fern fronds. That’s the mystery of mathematical fractals that permeate our world. Nature is conservative, instead of wasting good ideas it recycles them.