It is tough to believe 2022 is already coming to a close. As I look back on everything in 2022, I think of all the things I wanted to do this year that I did not get to do. So, I am adding a vanilla bean greenhouse to next year’s agenda.
But as I reflect back on what I did get to do in 2022, there were moments of concern but also, amazing beautiful nature moments.
Moments of Concern? The monarch butterfly went on the endangered species list. UGH! Honestly, I never anticipated having that kind of news. I am lucky enough to be on the migratory corridor and now feel as though I have taken this beautiful species for granted. While I can’t save the world or even all the butterflies, I can do small things that will hopefully make an impact. I recently purchased milkweed to make sure I’m providing extra elements in my environment that make better butterfly habitats. And, we all know testing soil and increasing organic matter levels can help capture more carbon and combat climate change.
This year I got to enjoy all the phases of the monarch butterfly from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and finishing with the butterfly. I hope to see even more next year!
Another creature that has been seriously impacted by climate change and compromised habitat conditions this year is the already endangered manatee. Record numbers of manatees are dying as polluted waters kill off their food sources. This year, our federal and state government representatives stepped in with emergency feedings in an attempt to save the endangered species. As we all use fertilizer, remember that while it helps in cultivating a lawn or garden, it’s important to use the right product, at the right rate, and for the right reason. Misuse and abuse causes excess fertilizer to move past our soils and into waterways where it can eventually impact our marine life. I sound like a broken record, but soil testing is the way to make sure you’re using fertilizer responsibly.
As for amazing beautiful moments this year? Nature showing off. Most people know sunflowers are my favorite flower and in 2022 I was able to not only enjoy the field of sun bursts, but to see what a pollinator event it created and an unexpected outcome. The flowers stood so tall, literally trying to reach the sun, the bees buzzed all over throughout the field and we now have a bee hive colony on the farm that is producing the sweetest honey. Nature is stunning, but it is also so much more….it provides life to bees, who in turn provide us with a sweet treat…honey. The kids loved bottling the sweet juice to give away and enjoy throughout the year. And all of this began with a flower grown in fertile and balanced soil.
The last and funny amazing beautiful nature moment….. my purple martin update. For those who follow my blogs – Remember how I put up a fancy purple martin condo at my house? Well guess what? My mother and the farm have the same purple martin setup and they enjoyed the best songs and dances this year….but I did not. My purple martin house is still vacant. Looking ahead to 2023, I am doing a vanilla bean greenhouse and I am going to figure out how to recruit a purple martin to make my house a home.