New Year's Eve was cold and cloudy, obscuring the blue moon we'd hoped to see. We hadn't had one since May 2007 and there won't be one again until August 2012. No new baby Smurfs this year!*
The snow is welcome, not only because it's beautiful, but because of its insulating properties for the plants. Our temperatures have dipped down to 0°F the last couple of nights and highs have been in the low 20s, so the plants appreciate the layer of snow that protects them. There are several things in our gardens that are marginal, including this Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies,' which is experiencing its first winter in our gardens.
The birds have flocked to the feeders, once the snow covered things. We have many, many goldfinches, wearing their muted winter colors.
Others that are seen regularly are Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, Blue Jay, and Cardinal, along with the usual assortment of sparrows.
Inside, 'Piquant' amaryllis is putting the final touches on her brilliant, velvety red blooms, while others are shooting up flower stalks for later beauty. As usual, I have been late in getting these potted up, but they'll still bring bright color in the waning days of winter.
A new year always brings a chance for new beginnings. Actually, each day does that, but there's something about the first of the year that provides us with motivation and hope for necessary or desired changes. 2010 will bring many wonderful opportunities, both those that are known now and those yet to be presented. I'm feeling good about this year and as Chuck Swindoll has said,
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
*It is said that a baby Smurf is only born "once in a blue moon."