Welcome March

On the first Wednesday of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us.  We’ll highlight some nature and environmental news, give you a bit of inspiration, and ask you to partake in a monthly sustainability initiative with us.

I think Sarah and I are both suffering from a case of seasonal identity crisis, for lack of a better term. We excitedly anticipate spring on every warm day, and yet, aren’t quite ready for winter to end. I think it’s mainly because the year just seems to be passing so quickly and we have so much we want to accomplish, all while snuggling with these little boys that are growing right before our eyes. Are you in the same boat? Do you feel like the year has pulled the rug out from under you? Or are you just ready for spring to arrive in all of its blossoming glory?

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Welcome February

On the first Wednesday of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us.  We’ll highlight some nature and environmental news, give you a bit of inspiration, and ask you to partake in a monthly sustainability initiative with us.

With all of the snow that’s falling, there’s no doubt that we’re definitely deep in the middle winter, yet the slowly growing days are making it all bearable. Did you join us during January in trying to reduce your salt/chemical use when clearing the snow? Katie spent a boat-load of time shoveling her Colorado driveway. All of that exercise was fueled by her afternoon milkshake habit!

This month we’re excited to share our new challenge as well as a bit of inspiration and some stories that caught our eye in the news.

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Welcome January

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A new year! Ugg/yay. I’m feeling so many feelings about the flipping the calendar from 2015 to 2016. Excitement about all to come while wanting to slow down time because I don’t want to miss a moment and there’s so much to do, but I’m sure many of you feel the same way. I’m assuming that this is a sign of old age? blah.

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Welcome November!

On the first Wednesday of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us, with a particular focus on animal activity, celestial events, and our farmers’ fields.

liveseasoned fall15 welcome november hiking-1-5liveseasoned fall15 welcome november hiking-1-2Happy fall y’all.  I’m positive that’s not the first time I’ve used that phrase here this year, but whatevs it’s fall and I live in the south, I can say type y’all all I want!  Autumn is way up there on my list of favorite seasons, they’re pretty much all my favorites, except winter, winter is the middle child bratty step child, but we’re working on our relationship.  For me, Autumn is a time of no excuses, I try to get outside as much as possible even in the rain.

I truly love hiking all year round, but there’s something spectacular about walking through the woods during fall.  The air is cool, crisp and clean and the colors can keep my camera and I occupied for hours.  The summer humidity and bugs are almost nonexistent and there seems to be activity in the thick of the woods.  Animals are bulking up before hunkering down to wait out the winter. Just like the woodland creatures, humans are stocking up on food and hunting as well.  If you are going to hiking during the fall, and you really should, besides extra camera batteries, here are some things to keep in mind:

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Welcome September

On the first Wednesday of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us, with a particular focus on animal activity, celestial events, and our farmers’ fields.

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September is a great time to take a hike.  The extreme heat disappears, rain moves in and cooler temperatures arrive.  The damp woods are bursting with fungus. You could even think about joining a mushroom club or going along on a foray this month.  If you’re trotting along you’re sure to see squirrels and chipmunks gathering nuts and seeds for the winter months.  Overhead you’ll hear birds migrating, check out this post to see how to properly prepare for those on the move.  If you’re interested in following along with this season’s migrations, the Cornel Lab of Ornithology produces a bird migration forecast.  You’ll learn what species you should expect to see traveling in different regions of the United States.  Migrations are heavily dependent upon weather conditions.  The best times to see large flocks are directly after a cold front passes and very early in the morning.  That’s why birdwatching groups always meet at the crack of dawn, if you wake up early, head to the nearest native habitats with lots of water.

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Bats are also on the move this month.  As fall approaches big brown bats are looking for a place to hibernate.  Cool nights with fewer insects are the primary force that starts the migration to hibernation.  Some of these migrations may be very short, only a few miles from their summer homes.  At this time of year, big brown bats are plump, healthy and ready for a long sleep.  Unheated attics are actually ideal hibernation places for bats so keep an eye out in case some make their way into your home.  You’ll want to have them removed before they hibernate or else you shouldn’t disturb them until spring!

 

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Welcome August!

On the first Wednesday of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us.

Just like last August, we’re fighting the melancholy feeling we get knowing that summer is more than half over. Although, we’ve planned accordingly this year and are ending summer with a bang. Sarah’s getting ready for a photo exhibit, followed immediately by the annual Schufest that she and our other siblings put on at the farm in PA. All of that comes after she flies out to Colorado for a quick visit and to help me wrangle these two boys on our trip east where we’ll spend a month at the beach (hoping to avoid Mary Lee!). It’s going to be a fun month!

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In anticipation of our beach trip, this post is filled with photos from past visits. If these photos having you craving more, you can check out the posts from last summer. There are some photos from life on the island. Many of the men on the island work in the seafood industry, either hauling in oysters or hatching softshell crabs. The island itself is surrounded by miles (and miles!) of tidal saltwater marsh, we love it so much that we put together a little profile of our favorite ecosystem. This year we’re so excited to see the island, the beaches, and the water through the eyes of two-year-old Alex!

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Welcome April

On the first Wednesday of every most months, you can find us checking in with what’s coming up on the calendar, both literally and figuratively. 

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Don’t you feel like April is the month when we have at least one foot firmly planted in Spring? Sure, there was a little snow shower up in the mountains last week, but it didn’t seem to dampen any spirits, because there’s no going back to winter now : the first flowers are blooming, and spring is definitely on its way!  I love seeing the definite transformation from winter to spring.  Tiny buds, blossoming flowers and pollen in your sinuses.  It really is a beautiful world we live in. That and it’s finally dress and moccasin season.

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I’m so excited to see how the perennial gardens develop at our house in the mountain. Currently, the daffodils and grape hyacinth are in full bloom. The larger hyacinths are starting to develop, but I think it’ll be a couple of weeks until we have flowers yet, but down the mountain in Boulder proper, I saw a few hyacinths in full bloom just in time for Easter! It’s expected that peak bloom for the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be April 11-14th this year, again later than the average bloom date of April 4th.  In Sarah’s neck of the woods (North Carolina) the magnolias, dogwoods, crabapple and cherry blossom trees are blooming already.  The weather has hovered in the seventies for the past week and looks to be warming up even more next week.

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I have to be honest, we have bees on the brain this season (maybe we need an insect of the season category!). During last month’s welcome we highlighted bees and talked about some of the early spring activity that you may observe in their colonies. When introducing nuts as our ingredient of the season, we mentioned the valuable services bees provide as pollinators to the country’s almond crops, but their work doesn’t end there. Migratory beekeepers have many miles yet to travel this spring as they move their hives across the country. Around this time, hives have been placed in the cherry, plum, and avocado orchards in California, some have moved north to the apple and cherry orchards in Washington state, and others have traveled east to pollinate the tupelos and gallberries in Florida.

In other buzzin’ buddy news, hummingbirds are on the move! I spotted my first of the season earlier this week, which prompted a post about filling and hanging hummingbird feeders. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any drinking out of the feeder yet, but I’m hoping that’s because they hit the nectar early in the morning.

Besides birds, I’ve seen lots of reptile and insect activity this past week.  There was an enormous black snake in the driveway of the pottery studio and I saw a tiny green garden snake in my yard yesterday.  Spring is a popular time of year for our slithering friends.  They’ll be boppin’ about during the warmer days this month and next so watch where you step!  In insect news, I spotted my first tick yesterday *groan* while I was hiking with Cash. It was crawling on my leg.  If you’re a dog owner, vaccinate your pup!  It looks like we’re getting a little bit closer to preventing Lyme disease for humans too.  I’ve also dealt with my fair share of fire ants this past week.  Apparently my yard is full of fire ant mounds, which became apparent after a few barefoot escapades. Ouch.  As the season rolls on I’ll let you know if I take action or try to ignore the enormous underground anthill that is my yard.

Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, which is the 24th this year and the eve of baby AMax’s second birthday! We’ll have to plant a tree in honor of that little guy and all the growing he has done over the past 24 months.  If you’d like to plant a tree or ten, you should become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation. It’s only $10 and you receive ten free trees when you sign up! Sounds like a steal to me.

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Earth Day – It’s the 45th anniversary of Earth Day this year and we think focusing on the health of our environment is of utmost importance today and every day.  We also love a good Earth Day celebration.  There’s an Xtreme Zero Waste event going on in Boulder that we may have to check out.  How will you be celebrating? Planting any trees? Walking to work?  Every bit counts.

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