If you read my blog, it's clear my family loves nature and the changing seasons of the year. I never like to pick a favorite season, because truly, there's "something bright in all," but admittedly, a New England Winter can be pretty tough to love. Most years it's a long and messy affair, and it can be a challenge - if not downright impossible - to get out and enjoy the natural world when the weather is so uncomfortable. Sure we get out for the occasional walk or sledding adventure, but the icy/slushy/sleety conditions make it all too easy to turn our backs on nature (and nature study) until grass is underfoot and the sun feels warm once more.
Still ... my feeling on the matter is, if we're going to embrace nature, we should try to do it with open and impartial arms. It's my goal - as a mother and a homeschooler - to help my children learn to notice and relish the nuances of each season. And to do that we must be present for it all - the flowers, the foliage, the rain and the snow. And yes, even the ice, sleet and slush. ;)
One of our favorite Winter activities is tending and watching the birds that visit our feeders. They bring us such joy and we appreciate the trust they place in us - coming to our yard for food, water and a bit of shelter. Our Solstice - or "Happy Winter" - tree is a celebration of Winter Nature - which for us, revolves around the little birds and beasts that call our woods home.
So, when we visited the tree farm earlier this month, we brought home two trees to decorate for the holidays. The big one for inside, the small one for outside. And yesterday Bill moved the small tree to our deck, and wrapped it with colored lights (see above) ... this morning we'll start making treats with which to adorn our tree on the Solstice tomorrow.