Saturday, January 2, 2010

Beauty in Beginnings

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!*

We'd had a white Christmas and snow fell lightly off and on all day, keeping the landscape whitewashed with fresh, cold fluff. If winter would live out its days like this, I think I could actually make it through January and February without wishing I were somewhere walking along a sandy beach, feeling the sun on my shoulders.

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.

Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies'

The birds have flocked to the feeders, once the snow covered things.  We have many, many goldfinches, wearing their muted winter colors.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

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.

Hippeastrum 'Piquant'

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.”

Here's to a GREAT 2010!

*It is said that a baby Smurf is only born "once in a blue moon."


Unknown said...

This is a wonderful post, of course, Kylee. I think we can do without any baby Smurfs, personally, but I too am thinking this is going to be a good year. We are, indeed, in charge of our attitudes.

Christina Salwitz said...

Lovely New Year Post! Great photos too. My favorites are the finch and the Hippeastrum.
Thank you for the great inspiration.

Pam/Digging said...

How cool to see Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies' under snow cover, Kylee. We don't get much of that here, obviously, but I know that yucca is tough enough for both our climates. Gotta love that!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your garden looks lovely with its winter white frock. The Yucca does look marvelous peeking out from the snow. Try to stay warm. It will be a great 2010.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I've never thought about how Yucca looks in the snow, it's really neat. It kind of reminds me of a Coneflower seedhead. I wish I had started my Amaryllis sooner. Yours is a knockout!

Anonymous said...

Like others, I too like the Yucca photo. It's easy to get caught up with the hassles a snowstorm creates...the city sidewalks must be shoveled; the driveways needs plowing...getting beyond all that, there is such beauty in the snow! :-)

Gail said...

Your garden is beautiful in the snow.

Anonymous said...

Happy 2010, Kylee! Your frosty photos are lovely -- I especially like the composition in the shot of the yucca. Nice perspective. :) Those little red houses are adorable, too. I hope you had a lovely holiday and thanks for your get well wishes...feeling almost human again!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Kylee - Happy New Year!
Great photos. I love the birds feeding - my feeder is a bit too far away for my camera to get decent photos so it's lovely to see yours!

I really enjoyed that piece on attitudes. Himself can be a bit (a lot!) of a pessimist at times so I've copied it and emailed it to him at work...hope you don't mind?!

Thanks for all your blog posts and your lovely comments on my blog this past year. I'm really glad I found your blog :)


Anonymous said...

Oh Kylee, that quote is just perfect! I love the one string idea, it is true, every word of it. Your winter scene with the bench and sweet goldfinch do make winter more civil if not warmer. Our highs have been in the twenties the last couple of days, without snow cover of course. My attitude about that is..... nothing I can do about it so might as well do something constructive inside. :-)

Melanie J Watts said...

Happy 2010 to you.
It made me laugh when you said , referring to your amaryllis, " they'll still bring bright color in the waning days of winter."
I can't imagine the beginning of January being referred to as the "waning days of winter." The middle of March or April is when winter starts losing its grip, where I live.

Lona said...

Hi Kylee! Your red birdhouse stands out so prettily in the white snow. I also am glad for the snow with these cold temps and winds.
You are so right 'Attitude' is the key to starting any day or meeting and situation in life.We have to learn to control these brains of ours. LOL!
Stay Warm girl!

FilipBlog said...

nice pictures in the snow


frazzledsugarplummum said...

Thank you for the lovely photos that you share with us all. All the best for a happy and healthy 2010.

Kylee Baumle said...

jodi ~ For some reason, every time we have a blue moon, I think of those darn Smurfs! LOL

Christina ~ Thank YOU!

Pam ~ I sure hope it makes it! It's also on the south side of the house, which can't hurt. I have other Yuccas, but they're good and hardy, no problems. We'll see about this one!

Lisa ~ I love winter when we have snow on the ground, but I know there will be more than our share of gray days, too. But spring's a-comin'! (Eventually...LOL)

MMD ~ Oh I have plenty of Amaryllises yet to be potted up! Remember, I'm the Queen of Procrastination! ;-)

Mary Anne ~ You said it! I'm not the one that does the plowing here at our house and my husband rather enjoys that, unless it's too cold and the wind is blowing hard. But yes, it sure is pretty!

Gail ~ Thanks, Gail! We think so, too. :-)

Nancy ~ Thanks you! Glad to hear you are once again among the living! Winter illnesses can be so awful.

Nutty Gnome ~ I'm lucky that my camera has a 20x zoom or I wouldn't get photos like that either!
I don't mind at all that you sent the Swindoll quote to Himself. I have the same quote on our bulletin board here, because a certain someone else who lives here needs to read it now and again!
Thank YOU for all the lovely comments YOU have left. I always smile when I see you've been here. :-)

Frances ~ Oh how well I know that worry that we plant mamas have when it gets so cold and there's no blanket of snow for our babies. I always count on losing a few things. Last winter's ice was horrible. I'm hoping we don't have a repeat performance of THAT this winter!

Melanie ~ Actually, the comment was meant about the ones I have potted late (and have yet to pot up!) It takes them 6-8 weeks from potting to bloom, so by then, we hopefully will be seeing the latter days of winter! Or at least the worst will be behind us by then! It all depends, but I'm very glad to see March get here. April, even better!

Lona ~ I'll bet it's just GORGEOUS down there where you are. I really must pop over again to see what you've been up to. I'm sure you have some really wonderful snow photos! I mean to visit more often, I really do! Your blog is really so very nice. *hugs*

Filip ~ Thank you!

frazzledsugarplummum ~ My pleasure! And may 2010 be good to you!

AK said...

Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies'! I can't WAIT to see how yours fares! I've waffled over ordering it for a while. Very much hoping yours will survive and thus enable yet more plant shopping on my part...

Suz @ Slow Family Online said...

Those are such beautiful pictures. Every single one! Happy Winter, Happy New Year. Your enjoyment of both is quite inspiring.

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