Ten Little Celebrations – September 2019

September was a transition month…the end of the Wings of Fancy exhibit and the gearing up for the Howard County Conservancy’s fall field trips for county schools. That overall theme carried over to almost all the little celebrations I’m featuring in this month’s post.

Beginning yoga. I was surprised that I could do some of the poses with relative ease….and others with a little practice. It’s surprising how quickly the benefits begin to be noticeable.

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Question Mark Butterfly. I was thrilled to notice the butterfly in the mulch at Brookside Gardens when its wings were open. I would have never seen it had its wings been closed. I celebrated a second time after I got home and figured out what kind of butterfly it was.

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Mount Vernon. What a place for a volunteer appreciation day…and the weather was perfect! I celebrated the place and the people I was meeting all day long.

Longwood Gardens. The place is always special – because of what we see there during our visit and the memories of other visits.

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Toad near the stream. There are always those serendipity events that make an ordinary hike extraordinary.  During one of our training sessions at Belmont we hiked to the small stream….and were finding mushrooms and moss and macroinvertebrates….and then a small toad jumped into our midst! Being naturalists…we all celebrated.

Large monarch caterpillar. My milkweed didn’t have many caterpillars this year…but one morning when I looked there was a large one (obviously had been there eating). I celebrated that he was probably big enough to make a chrysalis.

Casemaker caddisfly. We’ve had almost no rain for the past month or so and the stream was low…but we found several casemaker caddisfly larvae! They looked like a small clump of debris at first….and then they moved. It’s good to see living things in the water even when there is not much water around.

Carrot cake. I was celebrating something but the carrot cake itself overwhelmed whatever I was celebrating. Yummy!

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Wings of Fancy. The next to the last volunteer shift in the Wings of Fancy exhibit was a light day for visitors and I celebrated some quiet time with the butterflies.

Day at Little Patuxent River. High schoolers in the river….interested and focused. The water was low but they found some macroinvertebrates and they were so organized in the chemical tests of water quality (my station for this field trip) that we finished everything with a little time to spare. Celebrating high schoolers!

Ten Little Celebrations – December 2017

Merry Christmas!

It’s be a month full of little celebrations too! I’ve picked 10 to highlight.

There has been luscious food all through the month. I managed to spread it out and enjoy it more:

My birthday slice of carrot cake has so much icing that I saved half of it to spread on toast for two days following my birthday!


There were a large variety of homemade cookies to enjoy at the annual Howard Count Conservancy (HCC) Natural Holiday sale. It’s wonderful to enjoy just one of my favorite kinds rather than having to bake a whole batch myself.

A few days afterward there was a surprise event for HCC volunteers…as celebration of our 2017 activities.

I did make oatmeal cranberry bars and enjoyed the cookie dough first…and then the bars (another multiple day celebration).

I celebrated a hike in the woods…seeing a lot of different kinds of shelf fungus…

And a conference about water monitoring….well worth the registration fee and time.

We had our first snow – it was easy to celebrate because it didn’t snarl traffic but stuck enough to make a surface for animal tracks.

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There is something to celebrate in almost every shift I do with the Brookside model trains because there are always young children there enjoying the trains – a vicarious celebration.

I also celebrated a special engine during one of the shifts: it has smoke swirling out of its smokestack!


Finally – we’ve had such dry weather recently, I found myself celebrating a rainy day – realizing that even in winter, plants need moisture. I also celebrated that it was a day I was spending at home.