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Nature Is Grand
April 11, 2016


My sinuses are pounding.

With each passing year this gets worse.

Funny, I never had issues when I was younger.

Even with this strange weather we are having, pollen still finds a way.

Snow again on Friday, waking to a good 6 inches on the deck (patio table pictured below).

Cold, snow, rain, freezing rain, and more of the same.

Not just here in Michigan, but much of the north country is experiencing this.

Yes this is April.

Thank You Jesus

Yolanda is still home and slowly growing stronger and eating just a tad bit better.

Again, thank you for all of your continued prayers.

This isn't totally unusual for this time of year, but when we we more snow in April then we had in December.

Last week i shared with you how I grow tomatoes in containers with wonderful success.

To a some degree, this will also work in your gardens if you are willing to dig holes.

Mix the earth with leaves, and garbage and let the worms go to work for you.

You also won't have to worry about watering them as much.

the important thing is this, "More Roots, More Fruits'

By fluffing up your garden soil, it allows for more root growth.

I have limited space and only a few plants, so pots work for me.

With the arrival of Spring (three weeks removed), you and I can't wait to get outside and get some stuff done.

Temper some of those thoughts.


If you are at all into nature and wildlife, you spend some of your time and effort to attract wildlife to your yard and gardens.

By wildlife, I am referring to birds, butterflies, and pollinators.

Also some of nature's other critters like toads, and beneficial insects.

Maybe you're into squirrels, chipmunks, and possibly welcome deer and rabbits into your little corner.

To do so, you have to garden to attract wildlife.

And that starts now.

(Red-Winged Blackbirds at feeder.)

I've written on this a few times, and will continue to do so.

Most of you were taught that a garden has to be weed free.

No debris and everything in its place.

Large expanses of manicured lawns.

Tidy flowerbeds.

That is the way it was.

Our parents and grandparents couldn't be wrong.

Could they?


Sprays and powder covered plants in copious amounts.

Toxins, liberally spread on lawns and the vegetables we eat.

No insect is going to chew holes in my flowers and vegetables.

My friends are going to see a weed free, pest free yard and garden.

To Garden For Wildlife, That Must Stop.

Red-Winged blackbirds feeding on the ground, same time as the ones at the feeder.)

Some things we are taught, die hard.

I too at one time liked the manicured look.

I got married, live in suburbia, and everything seemed just fine.

Still, something was missing.

I didn't realize it at first, but Nature was missing.

I grew up in rural Michigan.

Gravel roads, barefoot, fresh air, run about in woods and fields without a care.

Birds, bees, butterflies, the occasional snake.

Frogs, toads, opossum, spiders, cool insects like a walking stick.

A Red-tail fox scurrying across an open field, and more.

All this I took for granted, because it was 'There'.

I figured it was all part of life.

Until I realized something was missing in my suburban life.

It finally occurred to me.

Nature was missing.

In my youth, my dream job was to work for Michigan's 'Department of Natural Resources'.

That way I could enjoy my love affair with all of God's wildlife (good and what I thought might be bad).

State budget cuts and other circumstance never saw this dream come to fruition.

However, my love for nature never went away.

That is what was missing from my suburban life.

The sights, the sounds, the beauty, and challenges of nature and wildlife.

But how do I get nature to come to me?

I little research and some simple thinking.

You can too.

Where do you live, and what type of wildlife is around you.

What can you and do you want to attract.

And think like a bird.

Take a walk into a meadow, open fields, or wooded area.

Possibly, you might see an unkempt, wild, yet organized (somehow), ecosystem running as smooth, as smooth can be.

Native grasses waving in the breeze.

Various flowers in bloom.

You get a whiff of flowers nearby, or the pine scented woodland.

Depending on the time of year, you may smell fallen leaves.

Butterflies flitting from flower to flower.

Birds are busy anytime of year.

Mating songs, nest building, feeding babies and fledglings.

Possibly flocking for migration.

The buzz of bees as they pollinate and insure the next generation of plant life, from the first flowers of spring to the last flowers of autumn, (year round if you live in warmer climates.)

That snag (dead tree) over yonder, just might hold a beehive or a cavity dwelling bird.

As you continue your walk in nature, you hear frogs.

Ah, some water must be nearby (creek, wetland, marsh, pond, etc.)

Early spring offer the Spring Peepers.

Toads hit the waterways in May.

Possibly Leopard frogs, or giant Bullfrogs croaking.

A Garter snake is sunning itself in the pathway.

Possibly you catch a glimpse of that elusive Red-tail fox.

(Foxes also mate for life.)

You approach the pond where you heard the frogs.

You hear a sploosh, a few seconds later frog head appears amongst the reeds.

A turtle head pops up not to far from shore.

Are you getting the idea by now?

You feel so at ease.

So at home with nature.

A dragonfly glistens in the sun as it passes by.

Breathe it all in my friend.

You find a certain bounce in your step, make humming a happy tune.

This is what it's all about.

You feel so relaxed and one with nature.

'Gardening For Wildlife' offers you this too.

Your gardens, no matter where you live can attract some wildlife.

Even if it is a single butterfly or hummingbird,.

You can have wildlife.

Prayerfully, next week I will share with you a few tips and ideas on your wildlife garden,

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips."

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Irish Writer

Talk is cheap?

Actions speak louder than words?

You be the judge.

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
Make the most of every opportunity.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
So that you may know how to answer everyone,"

Colossians 4:5-6

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong,
They may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 2:12

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued,

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you –
and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute
and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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