Rhododendron abounds. It covers the hillsides here. And when it gets cold outside (like the 5 – 15 degree temperatures, not counting the extreme winds and wind chill factor we’ve had this past week), the rhododendrons “retreat.” Their leaves curl up tightly and turn very dark green. Obviously, they are reducing their exposure to the elements. It’s a strategy that works, because they always come back strong in the spring and create beautiful flowers in the summer.
When I’m curled up inside my warm house, I sometimes wonder about the creatures — plants, animals and all the tiny bugs — which must live in the winter somehow. Thank goodness nature knows how to survive without extra special protections (even the pesky bugs, along with the “good bugs”).