Moss and ferns in the frozen high ridges of WNC don’t care about frigid temps, but are as green as ever you might find in the Spring.
Meanwhile, WNC, at least at the hermitage, has by far – no comparison – the longest hoarfrost in the world. Looking at google images, I see nothing like it, but hoarfrost it is. These ice crystals grow out of the always saturated with water forest floor (where there is a break in the ground on a steep ridge). They can be two inches long, or three, or four or even more inches long, breaking up the ground by carrying chunks of the ground out into the air.
Just to say, Saint Francis appreciated nature so very much because nature just “obeyed” the will of God for it, while we, endowed with so very much more spiritually, have gone ahead and become weak through original sin and our own rubbish. Nature is like an exam of conscience, shining a light on our lack of promptitude in following up on the will of God for us, that is, goodness and kindness and truth.
We can think it is easier to go the way of weakness. But, instead, that is so very difficult and full of anguish. Looking to the Lord as little children in humble thanksgiving, with prompt enthusiasm, brings one into amazement before the throne of the Most High. And that’s just awesome… awesome.