TRR photo by Ed Wesely
Leathery skunk cabbage shoots in a frozen swamp await cues that will prompt them to unfold in late winter.

Winter dormancy. For a tree in our local climate we know that preparation for winter involves draining water from living tissues into intercellular spaces and transporting sugars into the roots for storage. Water loss from a cell has the effect of increasing the density of the cell sap and lowering its freezing point.

At extreme low temperatures, however, even water bound structurally to other molecules in the cell sap may be removed, resulting in irreversible cell damage.

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A minor tactic, the perfect indicator

In my last column, I mentioned that I had picked up a few tricks over the 2004 season. Occasionally, I stumble upon an idea that actually works.

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River plays a critical role in eagle recovery

A huge bald eagle, stark white head reflecting the bright sun, flattens its sturdy wings as it soars over the mountains. He’s looking for his breakfast, with acute vision four to six times sharper than that of humans’. Below him, the terrain stretches out for miles, and he spies his prey in the crystal clear river.

Is this a scene from a nature documentary? A sight from some remote, mountainous terrain far, far from home?

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