ecoscapes blog

Gifts of the Seasons

Every holiday season much effort goes towards buying and wrapping the perfect gifts for family and friends. Yet there are gifts we receive all year long which may slip by without much thought. These are the gifts of nature—beautiful, entertaining and nourishing.

Let me take you through a tour of the gifts of the seasons I’ve experienced around my home this year.


· Colorful red twig dogwoods, evergreens and ornamental grasses counterbalanced gray winter days.

· Hungry birds swarmed about our feeders, fluttering back and forth from the protection of surrounding shrubs.


· Bulbs planted in the fall paid off with vibrant daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses.

· Ephemerals such as Virginia bluebells, Dutchman’s breeches, woodland phlox and red trillium emerged in a colorful display.

· Birds sipped and splashed at our bird baths including a Cooper’s hawk that came to bathe.


· Monarch butterflies layed eggs on milkweed and swallowtail butterflies feasted on native plant nectar.

· A rain barrel nearly always filled with fresh water.

· Nectarine and serviceberry trees provided delicious fruit.

· A red oak offered cooling shade and ample acorns for squirrels.


· A vegetable garden that produced a sizable harvest from late summer to fall.

· Birds discovered berries on a newly-planted Kousa dogwood tree.

· Leaves transformed to vivid shades of yellow, red, orange and purple.

· Fallen leaves left in beds ensured shelter for overwintering insects.

I hope you too will reflect on the gifts nature has given you throughout the year.

Have a joyous holiday season and a nature-filled New Year.