Nature’s composters are hard at work on this snag which tumped over last spring. Among them, several varieties of fungus, which are both beautiful and somewhat creepy.

WOOD EAR -- This fungus was a nondescript gray, except when backlit, taking on a vibrant red coloring. The veining almost made it look like some mammalian body part.
GRAY VELVET -- This fungus fell in folds like some gray velvet draped over the lichen.
HAPPY -- This fuzzley fungus looks like a rainbow with a tight palette.

Ticked off

To say central Arkansas has had a mild winter is an understatement. Just yesterday, the National Weather Service reported a record high of 83 at the airport, tying the old record set back in 1904. While it’s great for getting out in the garden or on the trail, it also means there was no winter kill for little arthropodic nasties like ticks. Below are photos of a hitchhiker found after having waded for an hour in the brambles to knock back dead canes, possibly improve blackberry yield and probably scare the stuffins’ out of the snakes in hiding.

SOCK IT TO ME -- Tiny deer tick, about 1/16th of an inch long, navigates the forest of sock fibers.
SAME -- Same deer tick, same sock, different angle.

Arkansas Flower and Garden Show

Each year, the Arkansas Flower and Garden show provides ┬áthree days of ┬árelief from the cold, gray winter with maximum floral eye candy. However, a week of highs in the 60s, cabin fever wasn’t a factor. Even so, thousands of people wandered among the flower show displays and gardens interpreting the “Floral Notes” theme.

WiNNERS -- Blue ribbon pansies from the flower show.
TERRARIUM -- A closeup look inside one of the terrariums (or is it terraria?).
JONQUILS -- Jonquils catch the morning sun.
COME FLY AWAY -- Sinatra themes dominated the flower show. Each table was bedecked with a fedora and a Sinatra album cover.