December 30, 2018

Twelve of My Favorite Things (2018)

For several years now on this blog, I've created end-of-year lists of my favorite garden and nature "things." They help me appreciate each moment and each season in its time. 

Every day is a blessing, and here are some "favorites" of the past year that I hope to experience again in 2019.

January

In January, I look forward to a few mild days for winter hiking.

february

Perhaps the potted Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis) will bloom again in February.

march

Will the garden Rhubarb poke through the soil in March?

april

I'll have to remember to cage or spray (with organic methods) the Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) before the rabbits eat them.

may

Sauteed Fiddleheads (Matteuccia struthiopteris) will be on the menu in May. (Note: Some Fiddleheads can be toxic, so do your research before consuming them.)

june
(Clockwise from top left: Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium), 'Little Henry' Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica), Woodland Pinkroot (Spigelia marilandica), and 'Pearl Glam' Beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.).

How to pick a favorite flower in June? Impossible!

july

July (and earlier!) will provide plenty of opportunities to search for monarch eggs on various Milkweeds (shown here Asclepias syriaca). I'm sure I'll captive-raise a few caterpillars/butterflies, for the pure joy of the experience and to help the species.

august

Our friends, the sandhill cranes, likely will cross our paths as we hike the local prairies and woodland openings in August.

september

I'll spend hours observing the acrobatic ruby-throated hummingbirds in September before they all depart for points south.

october

In October, I hope to have 'Explosion' Dahlias and Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia) blooming until the first frost.

november

If I'm lucky and prepared, I'll be able to refrigerate and display a few Zinnias in early November arrangements.

december

Finally, in December, I'll enjoy the late afternoon shadows and light effects over the lake.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

These simple pleasures, and many more, promise that the year ahead will be bright. Each month carries its own unique, simple blessings.

I hope you, too, will find many "favorite things" and gifts that will bring you much joy in the year ahead.

Happy New Year!

44 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos and a great way of setting the stage to appreciate the new year as it unfolds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kris! There are always things to be thankful for, even if they're only tiny, little miracles or seemingly mundane, everyday observations. Cheers!

      Delete
  2. Love your favorites and the hummer photo was a humdinger of a capture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gail. I think the light and the conditions were just right that day with the hummer. I sat there for a good hour, watching and photographing that cute little guy. HBs are so amazing!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, Endah. The Fiddlehead Ferns are quite tasty when sauteed in butter and garlic, but you have to be careful which ferns you use. I wouldn't eat a lot of them, but once a year is likely just fine.

      Delete
  4. Gardeners are the eternal optimists. And why not? We get our inspiration from nature. Here's to a healthy and joyous 2019, Beth. Gorgeous photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so true, Grace! Thank you. I wish you all the best in the New Year, too!

      Delete
  5. I enjoyed your favorite things and will add sauteed fiddle heads to my list of things to try this year. Right now I am checking the mailbox looking for seed catalogs. It is time to start dreaming of spring.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jeannie. Be careful with the Fiddleheads, Jeannie. Some are toxic, and all should be cooked through. Ostrich Fern fiddleheads (Matteuccia struthiopteris) are edible, but there's some concern about eating too many of them. So, I will only eat them (thoroughtly sauteed) once or twice a season. And, yes, I'm enjoying the seed catalog deliveries, too. :)

      Delete
  6. Beth, what a wonderful series of photos! I love them all, but the sandhill crane especially caught my attention. There is a wildlife refuge in northern Alabama, and during this time each year many thousands of sandhill cranes arrive as they are migrating. Many other birds also arrive, including the rare whooping crane. It is a world-class event for birders. I am not much of a birder, but I do plan to visit this coming weekend to experience the amazing sight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Deb. I hope you'll post about your experience on your blog! Aren't they amazing birds? They spend their late springs, summers, and falls up here, and then migrate south to your area, and Florida, Texas, and parts of California. The International Crane Foundation (savingcranes.org) is located about an hour north of here in Baraboo, Wis. It's the only place on earth to see all of the world's crane species at one preserve! The sandhills are common here, near waterways during the summer and fall, and they congregate in huge numbers along the banks of the Wisconsin River in the fall. They are awesome!

      Delete
  7. What a great year-end review, with such fabulous photos, Beth. All the best in 2019.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat! It is fun to think about all the little joys of the past season, and what we hope to experience again in the New Year. All the best to you and yours, as well!

      Delete
  8. What a delight your positive approach is for the New Year. That Sandhill Crane photo is marvelous. We were lucky enough to have 7 of them fly over as we were doing a Christmas Bird Count this past week. Happy and Healthy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa. How awesome to see the cranes during the bird count! They are pretty common around here--especially during the spring and fall migrations. Happy New Year to you!

      Delete
  9. Double bonus to get both the hummer and its flower so perfectly captured!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Diana. I just LOVE hummingbirds, and it brings true joy to observe them and photograph them. :)

      Delete
  10. Beautiful post. Wishing you a wonderful year of life and gardening in 2019.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia. All the best to you in the year ahead, too. Happy New Year!

      Delete
  11. Gorgeous images Beth! Thanks for reminding us that every month brings its own beauty. Happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Peter! Thinking about these simple joys and experiences helps me to be optimistic about the days and seasons ahead. All the best to you and yours in the year ahead!

      Delete
  12. September’s pic is brilliant!
    Happy New Year Beth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jessica! The hummingbirds are probably my favorite wildlife subject, because they are so fast and amazing and so challenging to photograph. The juveniles are a little easier to capture and so cute! Happy New Year!

      Delete
  13. What a wonderful idea. They are such fabulous shots you should make them into a calender. Happy New Year Beth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year! Thanks for your kind words, Chloris. I have made calendars in the past, and it's kind of fun to see the memories. :)

      Delete
  14. The picture from December is beautiful. I wish you a wonderful 2019 year. Thank you very much for your comment, for your understanding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Giga. It seems we have similar climates and natural settings near our homes. I so enjoy seeing your pictures and reading your blog! I look forward to your posts in the months to come. Many blessings to you and your loved ones in the year ahead!

      Delete
  15. I love this - we should all be doing it! Such gorgeous photos, esp. the hummingbird one - it's a stunner!

    P.S. Refrigerating zinnias to use in November??? Inspired! I'll have to remember to do that next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Margaret. The hummingbirds are always so fun and challenging to photograph, and for some reason I really get into it in the fall--just before they migrate. I miss them during the colder months, as I guess all of us northerners do. :( Re: the Zinnias...actually, I usually keep them out on the back porch, which functions as a refrigerator in October and November, and a freezer during the winter. ;-)

      Delete
  16. A truly gorgeous set of photos! May 2019 be as beautiful in your gardens as 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tina! Many blessings to you, your loved ones, and your gardens, too! Cheers!

      Delete
  17. This is such a lovely way to think about the past year. Here's to another good year in our gardens!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. Yes, cheers to a great 2019 gardening year!

      Delete
  18. Your photography is really outstanding, Beth. Also you have admirable discipline to cull your photos to just a baker's dozen (though I see even you couldn't keep June to just one picture). Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jason! Oh gosh, it's so hard to pick just one photo for each month. I try to think of things I haven't included in previous years and things I'm really looking forward to this year. Actually, May, June, July, and August are pretty impossible for picking favorites!

      Delete
  19. Beautiful year in photos Beth! I even noted a couple of flowers we both can grow in our gardens. Blue-eyed grass and Tithonia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shirley! Oh, yes, those are two of my all-time favorites (but there are so many)!

      Delete
  20. Your beautiful photos picture so many of my favorite things. I have never seen a Sandhill crane up and personal like that. Here's to another great year in the garden !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Becky! I zoomed in on the sandhill crane, but there was a small group of them in a prairie when I was hiking. Actually, they're pretty common here--last year, we even had some walking around our suburban gardens. Cheers for the 2019 growing season!

      Delete
  21. What a wonderful walk through the year!
    Wishing you all good things in 2019!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best wishes for your gardening year and blessings for the year ahead, Lea! :)

      Delete
  22. What absolutely gorgeous pictures and "year in review!" I loved meeting you at last this year and hope to see you again in the future. Wishing you all things beautiful in 2019!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda! Best wishes for you and yours in the year ahead, too. I've enjoyed our discussions at the Flings. Hoping to see you in Denver in June?

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by!

Your comment might not appear right away (even though we love you). PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.

ANONYMOUS VISITORS: Security updates mean your comments likely will NOT be published. Sorry. Also, comments with hyperlinks might not make it through the heightened security system.

Have a great gardening day!