In my recent walks in the woods, I've noticed something that I'd never noticed before, at least not at this time of year:
Skunk Cabbage buds! I always think of these plants as a sign of spring, but as it turns out, the cone-shaped buds form in the fall and then overwinter under the snow, ready to unfurl into dark purple/brown flowers and bright green leaves when the weather starts getting warmer again. Who knew!
These stout buds make me think of some creature trying to claw its way out of the earth:
How cool to see such clear signs of growth, right when everything else seems to be dead or resting. I'll add that to the list of reasons (along with "generates its own heat") why Skunk Cabbages are such fun plants.