They must have been caught in the freeze. Or did they die in the midst of procreating?
Life is so tenuous. So temporary. I am thinking of those who are suffering in Japan and New Zealand, still suffering in Chile and Haiti....Give what pennies you can.
The Earth is a harsh mistress and benevolent mother. She provides us with everything we need. But the price of admission for existing on this beautiful, living planet is that when she yawns and stretches, we humans suffer. I doubt there is any place on Earth that is entirely free of possible natural disaster. Hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, they happen because Earth lives. And because we live on Earth we are left to deal with consequences. Someday the caldera that is Yellowstone will explode. Someday the San Andreas Fault will make a big move. Still we build our lives by rivers, below dams, along coast lines, on fault lines, on open plains.
It couldn't be otherwise. We humans are like that, tenacious, determined, stubborn, and courageous. Those who survive natural disasters and human atrocities pick up the pieces of their broken lives and keep on living.
In the midst of breaking hearts and tears, we breathe. It's called Life.