Circle of life in winter

Most people say, plants stop growing during winter. I never doubt about that until this winter. I moved from north to south east this summer, so that I get a chance to hug warmer winter. Yesterday I took a walk, surprisedly, I saw new-born buds, twigs and even flowers. Unbelievable! Fortunately, my camera was with me -- see, I shot something beautiful:

In this picture, there are red flower buds of Silver Maple clustered along the silky twig; Basswood seeds, catkins of Ironwood together with buds on brown twigs:

Again, Basswood (Linden) seeds, overwintering leaves, and buds:

What a lucky pine tree, living in the arm of Ironwood with shreddy bark:

I never see this type of species before. I searched a lot and eventually got its name: Lichen

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