As we say goodbye to 2022 and look ahead to a new year, I find it very inspiring to reflect on the positive experiences that I’ve enjoyed with family and friends during the past year. The fond memories that are created as the result of a special moment with loved ones can’t get lost or stolen, and it surely won’t expire. These special memories can make us smile and warm our hearts for years to come.
I will always truly appreciate a nice experience with loved ones over a material gift every time.
Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year! ~Shayne
“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?”— J.B. Priestley
The winter solstice occurs tomorrow afternoon at 4:47pm. On this day the sun takes its most southernmost path resulting in a day with the least amount of daylight hours and what is commonly called “the longest night”. You’ll notice that we start to gain precious minutes of daylight each day as the sun sets later and later up until the summer solstice (the longest day of the year) when the days will begin to get shorter again.
The lush greenery and colorful flowers of summer are long gone, but that doesn’t mean your property cannot have winter interest. There are various elements that will provide color and texture to an otherwise bleak or barren landscape.
Evergreen shrubs and trees are the first thing we think of when picturing a winter landscape covered in snow. But, there are many additions you can make to ensure there is plenty of beauty in a winter landscape.
Fruits & Berries: There are many plants that produce colorful berries during late fall into winter. Not only do they look great, they can also provide food for backyard birds. With colors like red, orange, white, purple and almost black, there are many plants that produce fascinating fruits! Some of these include: Crabapple, Snowberry, Holly, Coralberry, Beautyberry, and Chokeberry.
Twigs & Stems: Many deciduous shrubs and trees can look great in winter by showing off their interesting stems once they drop their leaves. There are some that have brilliant colors such as: golden yellow, light green, bright scarlet red, a combination of yellow and red, and even black. Dogwood and willow varieties are the most common.
Branches & Bark:Some trees do not grow with straight, orderly branches but rather prefer to twist and contort in any direction as they grow while with other trees, the bark is their interesting feature. Contorted willow, contorted beech, and varied directions larch all live up to their names. Birch bark, along with American sycamore, Shagbark hickory, striped maple, and black cherry have appealing bark that looks great in any season.
Reeds and Grasses: Ornamental grasses help create beautiful winter scenes and also add shelter for wildlife and seed for food. Tall reed grasses often have feathery tufts that sway in the breeze and look enchanting when covered in frost.
Holiday Plants Can Be Harmful to Pets
If you are a pet owner, please take precautions if you currently have any of these plants or will bring them into your home this holiday season. Some may only cause excessive salivation, but others can be very serious causing convulsions and cardiac episodes.
Our holiday decorations are up and we’re included on the map for Light Up New Milford, aholiday decorating event sponsored by NM Parks & Recreation. You can access the map of all the businesses and residences that have registered to be part of this town-wide celebration. Download the map, plan your driving strategy, make a thermos of hot cocoa, put on some holiday music and view this community extravaganza! Judging took place on December 17th and 18th.
We’ve added more lights in 2022 and estimate that we have approximately 36,000!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Q: In Scandinavia, which animal is a significant Christmas symbol?
Boar? Goat? Otter? Swan?
Last Issue: Q: At what time on Sunday, Dec. 7th, did the first attack on Pearl Harbor occur?