THE ENCHANTED NATURE NEWSLETTER
Greetings fellow nature lovers
Welcome to the first issue of The Enchanted Nature Newsletter in 2021.
The Promise of Springtime Wildflowers
by Victoria Vacher
I just came in from splitting logs and stocking firewood with Chris. We are preparing for a snow storm that is heading our way. As I passed by one of our planting beds, I noticed the little green tips of the Snowdrops (Galanthus spp.) pushing up through the cold, hard ground. One of the earliest portents of spring, they usually bloom in late February. Snowdrops lift my spirits annually with the knowledge that spring soon will arrive. As I gazed over the gardens, I contemplated all of the glorious plants that will soon be born from dormant seeds or spring back to life and decorate the landscape. Beneath a cold snowy landscape, there is life! There are seeds from last year's annuals. There are biennials that will emerge into their final season. There are perennials that reliably appear every year like old friends that I haven't seen in some time.
We have planted many delightful perennials in the years that we have had the privilege of stewarding this piece of land. Mother Nature, of course, had already graced the area with many glorious plants before we came along. There are Daffodils, Crocus, Muscari, Tulips, Iris, Bloodroot, Lily of the Valley, Scilla, Spotted Ligularia, Trillium, Day Lilies, Hellebores and so many more brilliant perennials patiently waiting their turn to emerge.
Then there are the shrubs and trees that will also provide us with sensational visual and olfactory pleasure. In spring, our landscape will be emblazoned with vibrant yellow from the hundreds of Forsythia that we have planted. Lilacs (which I adore), Viburnum Carlesi (the fragrance reminds me of my grandmothers garden), Mock Orange, Azaleas, Grapes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Kerria, Mountain Laurel... on and on! Dogwoods, Magnolias, Peaches, Pears, Apples, etc...The excitement and anticipation is already bubbling up as I type this article.
In addition to avoiding/controlling invasive species, we hope to re-establish native plants and wildflowers in our area. A great deal of poor land management has gone on in the past leading to a decline in wildflower populations. By increasing the wildflower density on our property, hopefully nature will spread them to the surrounding forest. It is a true gift humans have been given that we can partner with nature to become co-creators. Hiking through a forest or park is wonderful, but there is something very intimate about burying seeds, establishing plants, and working with the Earth.
The older I get the more I try to genuinely appreciate every season, including winter. Being naturalists, like us, you all focus on the seasonal details like changes in the temperature, the constellations at night, the plants around us, animal behavior, and everything that each time of year brings. Hopefully that focus is accompanied with appreciation and joy.
After all how many springs do we get? How many summers, autumns, and winters?
ENJOY every one of them!
Spring is indeed coming and we are booking Enchanted Nature Tours beginning in March. If you need a vacation from the virus, it's just a click away...
*From Our Readers*
A trio of our readers shared some enchanting photos they took while trekking up a snowy Mount Avalon (in New Hampshire) earlier this month.
Thank you for sharing!
This appears to be a fruticose lichen completely encased in ice and snow...BEAUTIFUL!
These are some great pictures of a Canada Jay bird (Perisoreus canadensis). Canada Jays earned the nickname "camp robber" because they are nearly fearless when stealing food from campsites, cabins, and from unaware hikers. Canada Jays are actually considered a nuisance by some. They stash the food in tree bark crevices all summer and then retrieve their loot when harsh winter conditions arrive. They do not migrate and are normally only found at higher elevations. Mount Avalon is at 3,442 feet.
Please share pictures of your nature experiences by sending them to [email protected]
NATURE IS CALLING, WILL YOU ANSWER
There are many proven health benefits to spending time in nature. It has also been proven that just looking at images of nature can provide multiple health benefits including: reducing depression, speeding healing, improving your immune system, preventing dementia, improving your mood, and increasing happiness. We plan on ending each newsletter with a short video of a natural scene. Hopefully the videos will provide you with some of the benefits listed above.
is this month's video theme
We will leave you with the sounds of creek water flowing downstream while birds enjoy eating on a cold snowy day.
As you watch our video, try to relax and quiet your mind.
If you don't see the video, link to the it here: https://vimeo.com/506864839
Stay safe, warm, and enjoy nature.
If you haven't taken the time to explore our website, please do.
There are a lot of free educational resources to enjoy:
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