Plannig More by SJ

Sue profile_pp This Post by S. J. Brown

The brutal cold we are experiencing this winter has turned out to be perfect for taking time to plan. This year I plan to do a bit more. Like most people I am longing for springtime. This springtime will be different for me in more than one way. This will be our first spring in the new house. The gentle signs of spring I have looked forward to for over 20 years won’t be here this year, but they will be next year.

1 Crocus

At our former home I had spent years landscaping with plants and flowers that returned year after year. The new house is a semi blank canvas I plan to paint with the more than 50 plants I brought with me when we moved. The flower pots that protect them have been safely tucked under layers of mulch all winter, just waiting for spring to arrive. So I will be doing more digging. I plan on adding a tree or two as well.

2 Flowers

For the third year in a row I was part of the Great backyard bird count. This year I did a bit more counting. I counted birds in both West Virginia and Delaware. I plan to count Moths during National Moth Week, July 23rd to the 29th

As in years past this year I will be taking part in a monarch butterfly tagging3 Monarch program. However this year I will be traveling to a number of new locations to find these fluttering wonders. Hopefully this will lead to more butterflies being monitored. If you to want to help Monarch butterflies check out the Monarch Watch website at

4 Horshoe CrabIn May I will once again travel to Delaware to flip horseshoe crabs. This year I am taking a few volunteers along. That equals more hands and a bit more help for the horseshoe crabs.

New for me this year are a few more volunteer opportunities. Citizen Scientist like me aid in projects like The Great Sunflower Project. How easy is this? You plant Sunflowers and note the insects that visit. Yes, I will be planting organic sunflower seeds. At the end of the growing season I will harvest the seeds to feed to the birds over the winter. For more information about the Great Sunflower project go to

5 Sunflower

So I am going to be planting more, counting more, tagging more, and yes, I plan take more photographs and travel more. I think everyone should plan to do more. More of what they love, more to help others, more to make a difference. What will you be doing more of this year?


6 HummingbirdI plan to be part of a team that keeps track of migrating hummingbirds this year as well. You can get more information out this project at



Anyone can be a citizen scientist and do more. There is a real need for volunteers with a variety of interests history, animals, water, weather, just about anything. Here is a link to an informative website that will help you get started

So I am going to be planting more, counting more, tagging more, and yes, I plan take more photographs and travel more. I think everyone should plan to do more. More of what they love, more to help others, more to make a difference. What will you be doing more of this year?

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17 thoughts on “Plannig More by SJ

  1. SJ, I really like this post. Not only do you share more of your beautiful photography, but you give everyone who reads your post some interesting informatio to get started doing something for others. There are such great volunteer positions available, and some people don’t even know about them. I once worked on the Turtle Project in Florida, where we had to walk up and down the beach 24 hours a day (split up by the team) to save the new tiny turtles and eggs from predators. This year my plan is to take more photographs (you have inspired me), do some sewing for Christmas for kids in need, do a few quilts for wherever they’re needed, and I may even come up with something else. Who knows? Am reblogging this on my site because I want to share it with everyone. Thanks!


    1. Thanks for sharing this. I would love to work on the turtle project, but it would be quite a commute for me. Glad I have inspired you to get out there and click, click, and click some more.


  2. As I read, I tried to keep up with all you do, but I had to go back and reread. Bird, moth counts, monarch butterfly tagging, horseshoe crab flips, observation of insects that visit sunflowers, tracking hummingbirds. Not to mention landscaping your new house. You are a citizen scientist extraordinaire.


  3. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to do what you love, share with the world and make a difference. Although I can’t get anything to grow, my mother didn’t pass on the plant growing gene to me, I still love seeing the results of those who can.

    Thank you for sharing you photographs and links to opportunities. Here’s to a year of doing more of what we love. Doris


    1. Absolutely, I think everyone should just take the time and do what they love, even if it just to boost their spirits. I just want to feel like I am doing my part to leave the world a better place than I found it. That might mean more data for scientist, more horseshoe crabs, or even more people a bit more aware of the natural world.


  4. SJ, this is a very inspiring post! I did the bird count for a few years after moving back to Casper and learning more about the community’s Audubon chapter. I also have bird feeders but I don’t take care of them as well as I used to because where we moved to in town 8 years ago doesn’t have as many birds as the place we rented (we had a creek behind us when we lived there). Still, I’m inspired by the sunflower project (I think I can grow a few of those as I’ve seen others do so in my neighborhood!) and I should get back into caring for those winged creatures that DO live in my area. Thank you for sharing and inspiring!! Enjoy your travels — can’t wait to do more of that myself!


  5. I think I got winded reading about all of your plans! Yet it was very inspirational. It reminded me of a friend who recently told me about banding the hummingbirds down in Arizona. She and her husband like to vacation there as it is in the migratory path. Good for you and may you be successful in all your plans! And thanks for being a great citizen!


    1. It sounds like a lot to do but each project takes up a small amount of time. A few years back Jay and I went out with a refuge crew and banded ducks. It was bitter cold, but so much fun to do. I image your friend had a blast working with hummingbirds. Tagging seems to be a good way to gather information. I use to wonder if any of the tagged critters are ever seen again until Jay and I started flipping horseshoe crabs and found a tagged one. Tagging is a unique hands on experience that really connects you with nature.


  6. That is a lot of ‘out in the open air’ projects that you’ve planned, S.J. Best wishes with all of those. i don’t think ‘tagging’ butterflies can be an easy job! Or some of your other very worthwhile ventures. Your photos are lovely and cheering during yourlong winter in the US. Strangely, my part of Scotland hasn’t really had anything like our usual winters at all.


    1. Tagging Monarchs is actually kind of fun. The hardest part over the last few years has been finding them.

      Glad the images have cheered you up a bit. I am pretty sure our long cold winter is over and spring is on the way.


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