2017 Comes to an End & a New Year Begins with 2018 | A Look Back at My 1st Year of Blogging
As 2017 comes to an end, I look forward to 2018 and all that the new year holds for me. Looking back at my most memorable moments and photos, I count my many blessings and recognize not only my accomplishments, but those of my family.
A Look Back at my First Year as a Blogger…
February 2017 brought about the beginning of backyardbirdlady.com and my desire to be a blogger. I’m really not good with computers at all, and I must admit that I’ve fought with mine many times since starting this blog. I have actually learned a lot about computers and blogging in the last ten months. I also learned that I love to write and share my passion for backyard birdwatching with all of you.
In addition to sharing my stories with you, I’ve come to know many of my Word Press followers and not only enjoy reading your posts, but look forward to them as well. Being the Mom of a 16-year-old who works and is active in sports (bowling, baseball & tennis), as well as working full-time myself, doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for blogging. I am also an avid gardener and have a lot of projects around the house to complete, so I’m hoping to find a little more time to devote to my blog in 2018. There are so many topics I’d like to write about and a ton of photographs to go with them!
As 2017 comes to an end, I am working on some items that I think you’ll enjoy, such as bird feeders, bird houses (both outdoor and indoor cubbies for hanging coats & storing hats, mittens, scarves, etc.), jewelry and more. These will be available in my online store located on my blog in the coming weeks. The page is currently under construction.
In addition to starting my blog, some of my most memorable highlights from 2017 include my son, Zachary. He turned 16 in February and started driving (and I started drinking… just kidding- he’s actually a pretty good driver). He is a star bowler, not only for his high school team, but also for the league he bowls on. Zach has participated in quite a few bowling tournaments and won 1st place at two of them and received scholarship money for college. He even participated in the NYS Youth Scholarship Tournament in Kingston, NY this past April. What an honor this was! He placed 9th out of 30 of the best bowlers in New York State. The day after we returned from Kingston, he started his first part-time job. He won the “Coaches Award” at the Saturday league as well as “Bowler of the Year” for the USBC Tonawandas Association. As well, he won a “High Series” award for his school with a 714 series and a 274 high game. That record has since been broken when he bowled a high game of 297 with a 716 series. He also won “High Game” at the opening school tournament in November. I am quite proud of him and all of his accomplishments!
Some more great moments came this year when we installed our Nest Cam outdoor security camera, not for security, but to watch the wildlife that visits our yard. We saw a large possum one night and had been watching a skunk on and off, and decided to install the camera to see what else came through our yard at night. We found out that in addition to the groundhog, birds, turkeys and deer that we already knew about, we had four raccoons, three bunnies, four skunks and two young possums! I totally fell in love with the possums and skunks. We recently found out we have two feral kitties- oddly, they both showed up on the same night about five days ago. Needless to say, I’ve named each and every one of them!
Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies, although this year was a bit of a struggle. We had a mild spring, so I got a jump start on planting my flowers, only to have them killed by a late frost. After the second planting, a groundhog decided to show up and eat virtually all of my vegetables and flowers. So, for 2018, I will be redesigning my gardens to include plants that not only the deer tend to avoid, but now that a hungry groundhog will hopefully avoid. I may have to add some fences to keep all of our newfound wildlife out.
A few new birds were spotted in 2017, both in our yard and the woods behind our house, as well in a nearby nature preserve. We attended two “Owl Prowls” in our neighborhood and both times were lucky enough to spot Eastern Screech Owls. We also finally saw the Pileated woodpecker that lives in our woods- we had heard it on so many occasions and it was a treat to finally locate it. A beautiful Coopers Hawk visited our yard recently, and we spotted a pair of them in a tree across from our house. My hope in the new year is to see and photograph many new bird species and share them with you.
As 2017 comes to an end, I am thankful for my family and friends, as well as all of the birds and wildlife that visit our yard on a daily basis. I am truly blessed to be able to experience all that nature offers us. For 2018, I hope to continue providing interesting and educational content and hope that you will continue to follow me and share my blog with bird and animal loving friends, family and coworkers. What were your greatest moments in 2017? What are your hopes for 2018? Tell me about them in the comments.
Here’s wishing you the best life has to offer in 2018. Have a safe and Happy New Year and Happy Birding! ~Karen