The FarmGirls are closing out the year of 2013, and looking forward to a wonderful and blessed 2014.  

Every year we find ourselves meeting many new and adventuresome gardeners.  

Gardeners come from far and near to take gardening, cooking, canning, preservation, perennial and many other classes.  Gardeners meet gardeners, they share gardening experiences.    

Soon, friendships have sprouted, relationships have rooted.   We are unable to reflect back over 2013 without thinking about our friends.  

Last January I fell down some stairs and was not able to garden for most of this year.  

Friends swooped in to care for me and Donelle single handedly took over the gardens and the business. The recovery was slow and long but thankfully because family and the dedication and flexibility of Donelle to dig deeper and work harder the FarmGirls prevailed.   

We often refer to plants that rally, sustain and thrive in the extreme elements of Texas heat, challenging soil conditions, droughts and monsoons as The Texas Super Stars.  

Reflecting back on 2013 I am thankful for many Texas Super Star friends that shined bright and stood firm with the FarmGirls. Donelle and I have grown through the challenge of my disability and we are excited to move past this to a great and wonderful 2014.

We have quieted down, and taken well deserved winter holiday. When my life slows down, I grab the binoculars to check out my feathered friends.  

Don and I loaded up the cameras and went to White Rock Lake for a day of birding.  

We have heard rumors of a colony of green parrots around an old substation there.   

We were successful in finding the parrots, three of these beautiful green birds were eating buds off a tree near the lake.  

Winter is a great time to go birding, we went on a sunny, but cold day.  The lake was still and many varieties of ducks graced the lake. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were in the cattails, seagulls lined all the boardwalks.  Off in the distance we saw a large white bird, 15 or 20 of them swimming in the water.  

Much to our surprise it was pelicans. Upon some investigation we learned that around a hundred pelican’s winter at White Rock Lake.  

We captured some great pictures of an American Kestrel, small falcon that patiently sat on a highline wire awaiting his prey.  The birds of prey were out as we photographed two beautiful hawks perched near the lake.

Next week we will be gearing up the greenhouse. Every January the seedlings go into the greenhouse.  2014 begins, winter holiday is over but for the FarmGirls the excitement of spring begins!  Join the FarmGirls on Facebook: Garden Inspirations and tune in weekly to our radio show, on 770 AM every Friday at 1 p.m., from our garden gate to yours…

FarmGirls of Garden Inspirations, a garden education company are Marilyn Simmons and daughter, Donelle Simmons.  You can email us at farmgirls@gardeninspirations-tx.com and join our weekly email by signing up through our website: www.gardeninspirations-tx.com, like us on Facebook!  Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. to the FarmGirls Organic Radio Show on KAAM 770 AM.