Have you noticed how different bird species have distinct personalities?
Some are shy and skittish, while others are curious and gregarious. Don’t you wish you could get inside the head of a bird to see what makes her tick?
Depending on the species, plants either have separate sexes, like most animals, or they are bisexual. But how can you tell a plant’s sex in winter, when there are no flowers? (Hint: look to see if it has fruits.)
Gulls are extraordinarily variable in the way they look. The color of an individual’s plumage, legs, and eyes reveals not only what species it is but also its age, condition and social status.
If it weren’t for fungi, dead trees might not decompose and nutrients would be locked up, unavailable for other plants and animals to use. You can easily find (and make art with) wood-rotting bracket fungi even in winter.
American beech is actually easier to identify in winter than in summer, even at 60 mph, because it holds onto its dead leaves all winter. The reason? The ancestors of beeches evolved in the tropics where plants photosynthesize year-round. Beeches just happened to keep a tight grip on their leaves when they moved north.