December 30, 2015

Twelve of My Favorite Things (2015)

What do you look forward to in the year ahead?

For the past two years, I've created lists of favorite garden and nature "things"--simple joys of the present year, which I anticipate again in the months ahead. I tend to think of these lists throughout the year, and they help me appreciate each moment and each season in its time.

Here are my reminders for the next 12 months:

January

In January, I hope I'll find colorful Turkey Tail fungi sprinkled with ice crystals and snow.

February

For February, I'll be pleased to see the first buds and flowers on my indoor potted plants.

March

March will launch the return of the seasonal songbirds, starting with increasing Robin activity at the melting birdbath.

April

The bright, sunny days of April will encourage the first bumble bees of the season to visit early spring flowers.

May

As I plant my vegetables and annuals in May, the flowering Lilacs will perfume the garden air with their heavenly scent.

June

While I hope to see a few butterflies in springtime, June will launch peak butterfly season. I'll be impressed with the perfect and the tattered souls, alike.

July

A definite highlight of July will be berry-picking. I hope the summer's Mulberries and Black Raspberries will be as plentiful and delicious as they were this year.

August

If I'm fortunate, many Monarch butterflies will visit in August (and earlier) and some will lay eggs on my Milkweed plants. I hope several eggs will hatch, grow into healthy caterpillars, pupate, and emerge into new butterflies in my garden.

September

September will introduce the exquisite final flowers of the growing season, which will inspire me with their beauty and persistence.

October

For next October, I anticipate the regal, golden glow of the Shagbark Hickories.

November

I'll be mesmerized by November's glowing seedheads framed by the autumn sun.

December

And, finally, in December, I expect the tough, well-insulated gray squirrels to entertain me with their cuteness and their silly antics.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

When I think of these simple pleasures, and many more, the year ahead looks bright and hopeful. Each month carries its own unique blessings.

My wish for you in the year ahead is that you'll find many simple "favorite things" and gifts that will bring you much joy.

Happy New Year!

74 comments:

  1. Love your simple favorite things too. The simplest things give us the most pleasure and happiness in life.
    Wish you all the best for 2016 with lots of garden pleasure!

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    1. Yes, so true. The simple pleasures are the best. Best wishes to you in the New Year, too!

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  2. Dear Beth, that is such a good idea to bring the special pleasures to mind that each month brings to appreciate each month in its own right. Even the more tougher ones, well, I think you know which ones I mean, come with their own beauty and joys.
    Wishing you an your loved ones a wonderful New Year 2016!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Thank you, Christina. Yes, I admit some months are more difficult than others--especially in places like this where the winters are rough. But it hasn't been too difficult this year, so far. Happy New Year!

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    1. They are cute little puffy buddies. And fun to watch when they congregate at the birdbath. :)

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  4. The Robin is very cute, although quite different to ours. And yes, I have to admit the squirrels are too.
    Happy New Year Beth.

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    1. Yes, our robins are different, although with similar coloring. Both the robins and the squirrels are dependable and entertaining visitors. :)

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  5. What a beautiful way to look ahead and all positive.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. It helps me focus on the moment, and it (sorta) helps me appreciate the winter months. ;-)

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  6. Lots of cool things to look forward to!

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    1. Yes, absolutely. We live in a great state, don't we?!

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes, they're all blessings to look forward to in the year ahead. :)

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  8. Those are all wonderful things and great photos! I hear the monarch population has grown a bit this year so maybe we will have more in the garden for 2016.

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    1. Thank you, Shirley! Yes, that is wonderful news about the Monarchs increasing in number. I hope the trend continues! :)

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  9. Thanks for the look back...and forward, Beth. Lovely photos and wishing you and yours a good 2016.

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    1. You are welcome, and thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year!

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  10. The list is a very good idea. I hope you have a very good 2016 (with of course an excellent gardening season).

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    1. Thank you, Alain. All the best to you in your life and garden, too, in the months ahead!

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  11. Lovely thoughts. It will be interesting to see if some of your expectations are moved to different months and you have some surprises what with the weathers as they have been. Happy New Year.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I know--I was thinking the same thing. It will be fascinating to experience the springtime after a mega El Nino. Anyone's guess for this gardening year, I guess. Happy New Year!

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  12. What a great list! How great to think back and appreciate something each month, especially during the winter months! Have a wonderful New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Indie. There's always something to enjoy in nature and the garden, I guess. I just need to work harder to get outside and appreciate it in the winter. Happy New Year!

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  13. I love this post and it's reminder of the charms of each season! May you have a healthy, happy, prosperous, and peaceful new year filled with all of your favorite things!

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    1. Thank you, Peter! It is true--there's always something to look forward to. Best New Year wishes to you and yours, as well! :)

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  14. Oh Beth I adore these monthly remembrances....a perfect way to celebrate the year....and here's to a great new year ahead! Happy New Year my dear friend!

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    1. Happy New Year, Donna! Thanks, and I wish you all the best in the year ahead, too. :)

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  15. I love your favorite things; they would make a good calendar. Happy new year to you!

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    1. Thanks, Les. It's always fun to look back at photos from the past year and remember happy garden moments. Happy New Year to you, too!

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  16. What a lovely post - I find myself gravitating towards and enjoying simple things more and more as I get older. They bring about such a feeling of well-being and peace. Have a wonderful New Year, Beth!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. I agree: The simple things are increasingly more fascinating and precious as the years go by. Happy New Year!

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  17. Great post, Beth!

    I am looking forward to seeing how many, many new plants (annuals and perennials alike) grow in the garden in 2016!

    And of course, as you say, looking forward to seeing old favorites return :)

    Best wishes for the new year!!

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    1. Thanks, Aaron! I'll look forward to your posts about your new and returning plants! Happy New Year!

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  18. A beautiful reminder that there's green and flowers and warmth ahead! Best wishes for 2016.

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    1. Thanks, Hollis. The cold months seem to last longer, but there's always something interesting in the garden and in nature. Happy New Year!

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  19. Beth, these photos make me happy, especially the cute robin. Hope you enjoy the new year.

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    1. Oh, I'm glad. :) Yes, the robins are reliable and entertaining. We have robins here year-round, but they hang around open water. Happy New Year!

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  20. Hi,
    I loved this.What a grand idea.
    I like how each month - no matter the weather or gardening troubles, you show a positive side. Thank You!

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    1. Hi Carla: Thanks, it's become an annual tradition. It helps me live in the moment and appreciate each day. Happy New Year!

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  21. Beautiful Favorite Things Collection Beth . . .
    Even Mr Squirrel . . .
    Hapoy New Year to you and yours . . .

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    1. Hi Lynne: The little things bring much joy. Happy New Year!

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  22. This is a great idea since right now my garden is a mud pit thanks to crazy warm weather and tons of rain. Love all the photos! Just beautiful! :o)

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. Part of me is glad that we have snow and a little colder weather. Floods and mud don't sound like much fun. Happy New Year!

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  23. The squirrel is so cute. Happy New Year Beth. I enjoyed your look back through the months. I did that a number of years ago, but it was more a look though the garden during each month. Some months, like you know, the only color is the birds.

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    1. Happy New Year, Donna. Yes, some months are harder to appreciate (the outside part anyway) than others. But that gives me more opportunity to work on indoor projects. :)

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  24. I love your list. Such great things to look forward to.~~Dee

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    1. Thanks, Dee. Yes, there's always much to look forward to--especially the simple joys. :)

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  25. Wonderful selection of highlights for the year, great images also. Great post! Happy New year to you and your family.

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    1. Thanks, Jason. All the best in the year ahead for you, Judy, and your family! Cheers!

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  26. A lovely post and great photos. I saw a bumble bee today, everything is topsy turvy this year. But you are right, there are wonderful things to look forward to every single month in the garden. Happy New Year Beth.

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    1. Hi Chloris: Wow, a bumble bee already?! Yes, the weather is crazy. Blessings to you and yours in the months ahead. Cheers!

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  27. What a lovely post, Beth! I am reminded of the verse "To everything there is a season..." Too often we look forward to just the flowers of spring and summer, but this is a great reminder that there are simple joys to be found in every time of the year, if we only stop to see them.

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    1. Thank you, Rose! Yes, that verse is beautiful and puts everything into perspective. :) I need to keep reminding myself about that!

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  28. Beautifully showed the pictures months of last year. I wish you a wonderful 2106 years and meet any dreams!

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    1. Thank you, Giga. I hope your New Year is full of much joy, too!

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  29. 2016 came and brought the first real freeze, but somehow, I start feeling spring. Your post reinforces my feeling! Thank you Beth and Happy New Year to you and yours!
    P.S. I showed your squirrel photo to my boys. What an excellent shot!

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    1. Why, thank you, Tatyana. The squirrel was bracing against the snow during our first storm of the season. He sat cuddled with his tail over his head for quite a while. I captured some video of him, too. Happy New Year!

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  30. So many wonderful things to look forward to! Your photos are lovely and are a good reminder of why we all garden. Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year, Deb! Thanks, and yes the memories help me focus on pleasant garden happenings in every season. :)

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  31. This is wonderful, Beth. I'm looking forward to March when we've planned to visit Brownsea Island, one of the few places in Britain to see our native Red Squirrels.

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    1. Thank you, Tim. Your trip sounds wonderful! I hope you'll post some photos on your blog. Happy New Year!

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  32. Gorgeous calendar highlight images, Beth! Happy New Year fun friend!

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    1. Happy New Year, dear Joey! Thanks--these posts are fun to pull together each year. :)

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  33. Lovely photos and great things to look forward to during the year.but right now some bright blue skies would be nice.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. Yes, we've had quite a few grey days here this year, too. Every time we have a sunny day it feels so refreshing!

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    1. Thank you, Urszula! Just catching up on some comments that slipped by me. :)

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  35. happy new year Beth. Wonderful post to celebrate the start of 2016.

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    1. Hi Sue: Hope all is well with you. Sorry for my delay in responding to this comment. Cheers!

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  36. Cool January photo and love your robin. Looks like winter has finally arrived here, eh? Brrr!

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    1. Hey Heather: I'm tardy with this response--just in time for the first signs of spring ... and the robins! Yay!

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