formerly Ridgefield + Wilton Magazine
Do frogs die in the winter?
Jase. B – Ridgefield, CT
I get asked this all the time and I love to answer it. Some species of frogs can survive the harsh winters by hibernating in the mud beneath bodies of water and others will dig under the soil or underneath rocks on land. Wood frogs and spring peepers will freeze during the winter months! You could find one that will look like it’s frozen within an ice cube, but large amounts of glucose are present within the vital organs which keeps them from freezing, just like antifreeze. These frogs will actually stop breathing, but as temperatures rise in the spring their heart and lungs will begin to function normally again.
During the cold winter months, should I help wildlife by feeding them?
Jack. M – Wilton, CT
Trust me when I say, I have thought of doing this myself many times. How can you not feel bad for animals out in the bitter cold? The truth is, it can be harmful in many ways. Feeding animals in your back yard can invite bobcats, coyotes, and other predators who you wouldn’t want hanging around your neighborhood. Deer you feed in the winter will be sure to stick around to eat your flowers and veggies in the spring. Winter survival can be tough, but it’s natural for sick or weak animals to die during this time- as sad as it is. Some things you CAN do to help is to fill your bird/suet feeders, make large piles of leaves to create habitats at the edge of your property, and plant trees and shrubs with berries.
What kind of pine tree is this?
Amber. S – Ridgefield, CT
This is the incredible Eastern Hemlock tree! These beauties produce some of the smallest cones in the pine family and take 20-30 years before the tree can even produce them. If you are standing in a forest of mostly hemlock, then you are in a very old forest because this tree may take 250 to 300 years to mature and can live for 800 years or more. Hemlocks were valuable to the Native American Indians who also referred to this tree as the “medicine tree”. They used them for basket weaving, wool coloring, and tanning. The bark is a source of tannic acid and can be used to treat coughs, fevers, and diarrhea. Needles or twigs contain vitamin C and can be brewed to treat kidney ailments. Today, the lumber industry relies heavily on hemlocks for furniture and flooring.