Most of last year's perennial wildflowers have gone to ground and are protecting themselves from winter cold in subterranean haunts... most, but not all. If you look carefully, you'll spot the rosettes of genuine hardies that tough it out fully exposed to frigid temperatures and desiccating winds. These plants have all sorts of adaptations, from thicker and waxy, cold resistant leaves to the ability to ensure that ice doesn't form inside cells and rupture cell membranes. These botanical survivors actually fare better if there's a thick coat of insulating snow on the landscape, but even without that white blanket, they know how to make do. Among the survivalists is an early bloomer known as the Virginia Rockbreaker. The little gem doesn't exactly live up to its name, but it sure knows how to live on top of granite boulders, rather than reducing boulders to rock chips. Peer into the Rockbreaker's center. There resides a flower bud... and hope for an eventual spring.