Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012: The Year in Review

Merry Christmas!

It has been a great year.  I hiked dozens of miles (I think a rough estimate would be about 300 miles ~~ maybe next year I should keep track...).  I reconnected with nature and found so much JOY in the process.  I loved being outdoors during all four seasons in all types of weather (or at least soon after really bad weather ended).  [Click on any photo to enlarge it.]





Here's a little recap of Things with Wings in 2012:

450 Posts with 59 comments from readers and 11,196 views

52 types of butterflies (up from 23 in 2011)

9 degrees - Coldest hike

90 Miles - Longest distance travelled in hopes of seeing a particular type of butterfly

Biggest Scare:  Barefoot Hiker (because I didn't hear him come up behind me)

124 different types of birds (51 of which were new "life" birds!!!)

Memberships:  Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Massachusetts Audubon Society, New England Wildflower Society/Garden in the Woods, Forbush Bird Club, and Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Insects:  2 embedded tick bites and 1 hornet sting

I photographed a lot of birds "in action".   It was kind of fun to group them in categories.






I saw birds from almost every color in the rainbow, but surprisingly, I never saw a rainbow.

I witnessed nine different birds and butterflies not commonly found in large numbers in Massachusetts.  Some were here due to warmer temperatures; others were here because of food shortages in their normal territories.  One was here with no known explanation:

Painted Lady butterfly

Giant Swallowtail butterfly

Fiery Skipper butterfly

Red-Breasted Nuthatches

White-Winged Crossbills

Snowy Owl

Common Redpolls

Pine Siskin

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck (this one was just an odd visitor....someone said this duck was vacationing in Massachusetts!)

I was inspired by the seemingly endless variety of colors, shapes, sizes and beauty of flowers!

And I loved seeing the local butterflies, both old varieties and new.  My favorite butterfly photos from the past year are those that have a blurred background or bokeh....like these:

I saw several older baby birds after they had fledged the nest but were not yet independent.

When I think about all the birds, butterflies and dragonflies there are yet to find, native plants I have yet to learn about, trees to be identified, botanical gardens, sanctuaries and refuges that I have not yet explored, I can't wait for the second year to begin!

Happy birthday to Things with Wings, and thanks for sharing my journey!

"Make a friend of nature, and you will never be bored."

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