The winter solstice arrived yesterday and it is officially the Winter season and we can celebrate the daily increase of daylight hours. We also arrive at the cusp of leaving a very unusual year behind. While we will never forget the challenges the entire world faced in 2020, we are, at the same time, indebted for some of the good fortune we have experienced. While we are all making New Year’s resolutions, let us not forget the unheard-of amount of people affected by the pandemic while we also cheerfully look forward to better days ahead.
Here’s wishing you and all those you care about a happy, healthy holiday and a New Year full of promise and hope.
Mistletoe is a historical and cultural hemiparasitic plant that we associate with winter and renewal because they stay green all winter. It attaches to branches on a wide variety of trees and shrubs drawing out water and nutrients from its host. The Anglo-Saxons called it dung-on-a-stick, the Navajo called it a basket-on-high but a more common name is witches broom. Various owls, hawks and many other birds along with red and flying squirrels will utilize the mistletoe for nesting and are helpful in spreading the sticky mistletoe seeds. Birds, chipmunks, deer and porcupines are fond of the berries that are toxic to humans and domestic pets. A ripe mistletoe berry can explode and shoot seeds as far as 50 feet at up to 60 mph!