Sparmannia africana, African LindenWell here we are, it’s January 2017. 
I’m not much of a reveler anymore; in fact I prefer my holidays as quiet and peaceful as possible.
One thing I do like to do annually on Jan 1st is to go out in our gardens and make a list of all the plants that are flowering here (central Coast of California) on this day.
As obscure (or boring!) as this may seem, it is related to my interest in Phenology.
Phenology, in a nut shell, is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors (such as elevation).
These studies have helped to show for instance that spring has been arriving in most temperate parts of the world about two to three weeks earlier than just fifty years ago.
Given the fact that the next American administration may very well defund research into climate change and Earth sciences, it might be up to the common folk to take up this work.
For my own little study I suppose I could perhaps limit my list to just those plants that are native to this region, but I don’t, as any plant that has found a home in my garden is considered, by me, worthy of my attention and consideration.
To get on my list the plant must have more than one bloom, and there must be budded blooms coming along as well.
When I first started doing this, years ago, my list was pretty short. The last two years with the drought and warm weather my lists were quite long. 
This year’s the longest yet.
This factor is also, perhaps, admittedly due to my continuing to add winter flowering plants to the gardens as they are important habitat foraging resources for humming birds and Bees, especially those whose flowers produce nectar.
Still some items flowering on last year’s list are absent here this year. There are bound to be fluctuations.
My list for 2017 is forty five different plant species (37 Genus, 10 more in each category from last year).
It’s not to late to start your own list and annual tradition!
Too many to show photos of all so instead I’ll give you some select glimpses over the next few days! 
(Anyone really interested in my list let me know and I can post it later)
Today; Sparmannia africana, African Linden