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New Year’s Cheer

by Dawn
pink peony

Cheerful Summer Pictures for Dark Winter Days

Can you believe it’s 2019?? Where in the world did the time go?

Now that we’re moving into the dark days of January (at least those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), with a good chunk of the US and Canada in the grip of winter, I thought it would be fun to do a post devoted entirely to beautiful pictures of summer and flowers and happy things like that.

So, to that end, I asked some people in several of the Facebook groups I belong to if they would send me pictures I could use in this post, and many were kind enough to respond. I’ve attributed the pictures to each individual in the caption of the picture. If there is no attribution, the picture is mine. Enjoy!

bumblebee in thistle flower
Can’t you just hear this little guy buzzing as he does his work?
painting of trees in winter
https://facebook.com/marisa.calvo

This GORGEOUS watercolor was painted by my wonderful friend, Marisa Calvo, whom I met years ago at the gym where I work. She doesn’t *technically* have a business selling her paintings (although she totally should!), but if you go to her Facebook page and see something you love, you might be able to convince her to make it for you. Just ask really nicely, ok? **sigh** I wish I had your talent (or even a tenth of it), Marisa!

pink crape myrtle tree
Victoria Jones at denimanddoilies.com

Isn’t this tree stunning? When Victoria sent me this picture, I was so embarrassed to have to ask her what it was, but I swore I had never seen one before. I was right!

This is a crepe myrtle tree, and they don’t typically grow in CT because they aren’t cold hardy enough. What a gorgeous tree, though! I wonder if I could grow one in a pot and bring it in every winter? It could keep Spike company. Like I have room for another massive tree in my house!

If you have a minute, please visit Victoria’s website at Denim and Doilies. She has a lovely website full of wonderful craft ideas and all things country.

dog picking strawberries
Pam Fennig

I just love this picture Pam Fennig sent me of her adorable rescue dog, Berkley, checking to see if the strawberries are ripe. She tells me he can also be counted on to steal carrots, peas and raspberries! When I was growing up, we had a dog named Tag who loved to steal grapes straight off the vine. Maybe they’re related……

lilac blossoms
Sarahbeth Craker Nedwed

I just love this picture from Sarahbeth! Can’t you just smell the lilacs? Oh, I can’t wait for May!

beneficial wasp on flowering tree

This scary-looking guy is actually a beneficial wasp. If you’d like to read more about beneficial insects, you can do that here.

We have a tree in our yard called a Beebee tree and it attracts them, along with tons of other bees and butterflies, by the hundreds when it blooms late in the summer.

I LOVE this tree! We got it because my daughter used to call her great-grandma Bebe, and I just couldn’t resist when I found it. Its scientific name is Tetradium danielii. I believe it can be an invasive in warmer climates, so do your homework before you purchase one if you live in a zone warmer than 6, please!

child picking mint
Laura Davis

I love this picture from Laura Davis! I always wished my daughter would be interested in gardening, but she was never the outdoors type. I’m hoping there may be grandkids someday who love gardening as much as I do though!

bee in hibiscus flower
Melanie Whittington

Such a beautiful picture from Melanie Whittington! If you look closely, you can see the pollen “britches” on this guy! Love it!

baby praying mantis
Isn’t he cute?

I took this picture of a baby praying mantis in my yard several years ago. I’m fascinated by praying mantises, probably because I see them so rarely. Again, I wrote about them in my beneficial insects post.

Many years ago, I purchased a praying mantis egg sac and hatched it in my yard, so I did see a few of them that summer. I wish we had more, but never see more than one or two in any given summer. Do you have them where you live?

white daisy flower with raindrops on petals
Sarahbeth Craker Nedwed

Another beautiful picture from Sarahbeth! I love how you can see the raindrops clinging to the petals.

bumblebee on flower

I’m endlessly fascinated by bees of all kinds, bumblebees, honeybees, hoverflies (ok, not technically a bee, I suppose, but they look like bees and they’re pollinators, so they count).

Even those beneficial wasps I mentioned above that look so scary are amazing. And, as a bonus, they might look scary, but they’re completely nonaggressive, and many of them don’t even have stingers!

I’ve been known to stand under the Beebee tree and watch them all buzzing around and they pay absolutely no attention to me.

It’s also possible that I *might* occasionally pet a bumblebee. Yes, you can do this. If one is busy on a flower, touch its back gently. It will likely reach up with a back foot and kind of swipe your finger away as though you’re tickling it, but it’s fun. Ok, I might be weird, but seriously, try it.

That wraps up my post for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little taste of summer in the middle of winter (and while you’re in the middle of summer, you Southern Hemisphere people, I hope you’ve enjoyed it too!). The first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere is on March 20, 2019, so only 79 days to go! We can make it!!!!

If you have friends who are gardeners, I would love for you to share my website with them. And if you’re not an email subscriber yet, what are you waiting for? I don’t like spam any more than you do and you’ll receive instant access to all my FREEBIES in the Subscribers Only Resource Library.  You can sign up here.

If You Loved this Post, You May Enjoy These too

Feel free to leave me and my wonderful contributors some comment love. The below pics are pinnable if you’re so inclined and have an appropriate board. As always, smile and have a crazy organic day!

pink magnolia blossom
baby praying mantid

Cheerful Summer Pictures for Dark Winter Days

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50 comments

Carol 01/18/2019 - 7:36 pm

I loved this blog..great writing and beautiful pictures.

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Dawn 01/19/2019 - 8:45 am

Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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Pauline 01/13/2019 - 5:15 pm

What a fun post!!!! I really struggle with the dark and winter months because of no sun. This was a great read for a cold Sunday morning.

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Dawn 01/13/2019 - 8:26 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed it! I struggle with it too, so this one was fun to put together!

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Georgette 01/11/2019 - 4:21 pm

Thats a unique and great idea and so cool how others shared photos for your blog. Signed up and look forward to your notifications.

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Dawn 01/11/2019 - 4:26 pm

So glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for signing up! I hope you enjoy my little blog! 🙂

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T.M. Brown 01/10/2019 - 10:43 am

We moved from the northern part of the country to the southern part of the country last year, so we see the sun a little more often and experience greenery a little earlier. At the same time, I do miss some of the beautiful qualities of winter (well, just a little). I do love how you painted a beautiful picture of what is to come when spring does arrive up there. Also – yeah….I think I’ll leave the bee-petting to you. Not high on my bucket list of things I want to do in life. LOL!! Thanks for sharing.

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Dawn 01/10/2019 - 11:36 am

Hahahaha! But it’s fun!

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Nicki 01/09/2019 - 8:57 am

Beautiful photos! Absolutely need to see this at this time of the year!

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Dawn 01/10/2019 - 11:37 am

So true! It’s so gloomy right now, the pictures make me happy.

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Susan Franklin 01/05/2019 - 9:23 pm

An awesome post to bring beauty to our day! I really loved the watercolor – Marisa is very talented!! Thanks for bringing some sunshine and beauty to us.

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 9:59 pm

You’re very welcome!

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Valerie 01/05/2019 - 8:13 pm

I always get Bumbles on my Echinacea. I can’t wait to try a bee tickle!

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 9:59 pm

It’s fun!!!

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Dominique 01/05/2019 - 6:55 pm

I love this! The pictures are stunning 🙂

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 7:16 pm

Thanks! I can’t take credit for most of them, I had lots of friends to help me out with this one!

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Ruth Iaela-Pukahi 01/05/2019 - 2:05 pm

Oh I love a good post with lots of wonderful photos! And these pictures were so lovely to look at! I’m gonna start my garden again this year with the help of a friend. We are excited! Pet a bee huh? I’ve never been stung by a bee yet and I’m 41 years old… so petting a bee is kinda scary, maybe I’ll get my kids to try. lol

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 6:17 pm

Hahahaha, make the kids do it first, huh? I promise if you’re gentle and you pet the right kind (a bumblebee ONLY!), you won’t get stung. They’re really very docile.

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Flor 01/05/2019 - 1:08 pm

Aww! I loved this post! The pictures are amazing and the idea of bringing sunshine and colors is great Our winter in Texas is pretty mild this year, but I completely understand how it may feel to have such a long winter. I think your idea is just awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 6:18 pm

You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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Judean 01/05/2019 - 12:19 am

It’s beautiful looking at all these pictures but feels weird because it is winter….and while our snow has melted for now, it will be back soon.
Thanks for sharing – gorgeous pics!

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 6:18 pm

You’re welcome!

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Stacy Frazer 01/04/2019 - 11:39 pm

Lovely pictures, I’m dying for some spring weather! You can tell you are a lover of nature and nurture! Thanks!

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 6:18 pm

You’re welcome! I can’t wait for spring!!!!!

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Loni 01/04/2019 - 8:04 pm

This makes me ready for organic container gardening. Chico, CA busts out in Crepe Myrtle blooms all summer long. It’s stunning. Thanks for bringing a glimpse of Spring.

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 6:19 pm

You’re welcome! And you might want to tune in next week. I’ve got an entire post coming out on container gardening!

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Jo 01/04/2019 - 3:32 pm

What a fun post! Love the pictures and look forward to Spring and the new “life” it brings!!

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Dawn 01/05/2019 - 6:22 pm

I can’t wait!!!!

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Katie Mitchell 01/04/2019 - 2:49 pm

These are all such beautiful photos but that watercolor! Wow!

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Dawn 01/04/2019 - 3:30 pm

I know, she’s amazingly talented!

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Tiffany F 01/03/2019 - 11:43 pm

Beautiful photos – something needed during these dreary days of winter!

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Dawnmarie @ EnjoyingtheDays 01/03/2019 - 10:58 pm

What a cheerful collection of pictures this is! I like the bright colors and the different subjects. I will admit, though, that the painting toward the top makes me think of snow. Since I like snow, that is not a bad thing. Haha. If you put together another collection of images, I would be grateful for the opportunity to participate!

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Dawn 01/04/2019 - 8:41 am

Ok, thanks. I will make a note and keep you in mind for sure!

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Janine 01/03/2019 - 10:57 pm

There’s about a foot of snow outside my window so I appreciated this post more than I can say!

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Dawn 01/04/2019 - 8:40 am

I can imagine!

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Shelly 01/03/2019 - 9:05 pm

Gorgeous photos. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Dawn 01/04/2019 - 8:40 am

You’re welcome!

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Holly Bird 01/03/2019 - 8:58 pm

What a beautiful post! I love the watercolor and you should show her these comments..she needs to be selling her work!! Thank you for this inspiring post!

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Dawn 01/04/2019 - 8:39 am

You’re welcome! I know, she really does!

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janice sisemore 01/03/2019 - 8:41 pm

Very beautiful pictures

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Meagan 01/03/2019 - 8:06 pm

These are beautiful! I am already ready to be done with Winter.

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Dawn 01/04/2019 - 8:39 am

Me too!

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Rachel Newlon 01/03/2019 - 6:54 pm

LOVE that watercolor!!!

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Dawn 01/03/2019 - 8:00 pm

Isn’t it beautiful? She does incredible work. I keep trying to convince her she should go into business but she’s not quite convinced yet.

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Chantelle Jeffers 01/03/2019 - 5:26 pm

Great roundup. I’m inspired to take more nature photos already but I reckon we’ve still got a heavy bout of rain to survive over here. p.s I didn’t know you could touch bumblebees :0

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Dawn 01/03/2019 - 8:01 pm

It’s been raining just about nonstop here, so I feel your pain. And yes, bumblebees are very cool to pet. You want to find one who’s really immersed in his current flower and just stroke his back gently. Sometimes, you can even feel him buzz, and like I said, they will occasionally lift a leg and kind of brush at you like “what do you think you’re doing?” I guess I’m a little strange, but I get a kick out of it.

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Kristi @ Way Beyond The Norm 01/03/2019 - 5:25 pm

Love this post! It’s dreadful out my window right now and oh how I love to see sunshine and flowers. Thank you!

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Dawn 01/03/2019 - 8:02 pm

I know what you mean! I wake up every morning and wish the sun would actually shine! We don’t have any snow but I’m almost wishing for it just so things aren’t so dreary (and if you knew me, you’d know how desperate I must be to say that!) I hope the pictures helped a little. Spring will come eventually!

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Tricia 01/03/2019 - 3:19 pm

These photos make me long for the spring days!! 76 more days!! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.

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Dawn 01/03/2019 - 4:28 pm

You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed them!

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