Thursday, May 30, 2013

Snow Plant

This is a pretty little flowery thing isn't it? After walking through desert mountains and seeing only desolate brown and grey stuff for hours, it is a delight to once in a while spot one of the red things popping up among the dead fallen branches of the Red Fur trees. Yes it looks like a plant and it looks like it has flower blossoms all over it, but it is neither a plant nor a flower and it has absolutely nothing to do with the snow. In fact, there is no snow. Whoever named this thing must have eaten some of it because it does not properly describe the thing at all.

It is actually a type of fungus that lives around and feeds on the roots of Red Fur trees. In the spring they can be seen all over the forest floor popping up everywhere. They are visible for only a week or two and then they wither up and die. They have no predator as you can imagine. They have no spine so they can be knocked over very easily. They feel like Jello that has been left in the refrigerator for a week uncovered. 

This was a light snow year. During normal snow years, the Snow Plant can be seen coming up through the snow. Many years it is the first color and first sign of some kind of life for spring. Hence the name "Snow Plant".

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