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April 01, 2019
Meet the newest member of our family.
'Brandy', the red toy poodle pup.
We picked her up on Friday
She is eight weeks old and adjusting fine.
Sophie and Miss Penny (the cat kids), are in ticked off mode.
Snickers nose is a bit out of joint, yet shows signs of warming up.
I'm sure they doggies will get along just fine.
Brandy finds comfort in my jacket, it must smell like her birth home, as she snuggles on and near it much of the time.
Karen found a breeder of 'red toy poodles' about an hour from here, and had placed an order months ago.
We knew Akita was getting old, we didn't plan on putting her to sleep as soon as we did.
To answer the question, no, she is not a replacement for Keet.
Brandy can never replace my little girl (I still weep some).
So Karen gets the new fur baby, and I get to potty train and other good things.
Guess who the little girl is going to bond with :-)
There was a time when I wondered if Spring would ever arrive.
We are still in full blown transition mode, yet slowly signs of things to come make each day more cheerful than the last.
Here in Michigan, we are finally seeing more of the sun.
Winters here can be weeks of overcast days.
Sunshine makes everyone happier.
Songbirds are in full song,
This past weekend brought out the spring peepers.
Peepers are common in the eastern part of The United States and Canada.
Click here to hear a short youtube clip, Peeper Frogs.
I did get several chores taken care of this past week as well.
This cool weather is actually healthier for our yards and gardens, as plants stay dormant a bit longer.
While length of day is the primary indicator for plants as well as animals, the warmer temperatures do break open the buds and get the juices flowing more freely.
Many plants can be frozen off and can possibly die from too many of the warm and cold cycles.
While other bloomers like fall bulbs feel little or no effects from the cold temperatures.
Look at it like this, very time a blade of grass or a young tender leaf freezes, the water and juices expand within (just like ice).
Expanding cells, literally explode and die.
Dead and browning foliage that has taken energy from the mother plant.
When this happens it weakens a plant, and a plant now has to start all over again.
Some plants and even trees may be stunted by this.
Anyone that has experienced a late frost or freeze can relate to the loss of annuals and vegetable plants.
Die back on newly planted perennials and even the complete loss of foliage from your Japanese maples.
Flower buds on fruit trees and strawberries are killed before they ever have a chance to open and get pollinated.
Oh, they will open, but the fruit bearing part is often dead.
Some years, bloom season may be thrown off or weak at best.
If this happens one too many times in one season, a given plant will no longer have the strength or energy to grow.
This is also another good reason to keep some mulch or leaf litter in place.
Though I want warmer weather as much as the next guy, I can wait.
Don't be in such a big hurry.
(Goldies molting into summer spring/summer colors.)
Migration north continues and will continue for the next couple of months as different species have different migration times.
All the way to the late May/early June migrators like Barn swallows.
Because most of our song birds migrate during the night, you may never see them come and go.
You may never see them fly through.
How many times have you had a case of here today and gone tomorrow and visa versa?
Turkey vultures are more common now, as I watch them slowly drift northward.
I expect the female robins any day now.
Fewer Cardinals and other song birds are feeding now, but I do enjoy the songs from every direction.
Right now, I have plenty of Red-winged blackbirds, Common grackles and Brown-headed cowbirds, if you are interested, I'll check into sending a few dozen your way.
The American goldfinches look like a 'Hodgepodge' of miss, matched colors as they are in full molt now.
Birds will molt a few feathers at a time here and there so it doesn't mess with their ability to fly.
I gladly welcome the vibrant yellows they will bring.
Male robins are everywhere and jockeying for territory.
They are singing from the tree tops and I also enjoy them as the hop back and forth looking for food in last year's leaf litter I spread out in the gardens and beds.
Now it is time for territorial skirmishes to take place.
Time for the guys to make fools of themselves as they try to impress the gals.
You know, the wooing and courtship with a special girl(s).
Yes guys............. don't feel so bad, it happens in the animal kingdom too.
I keep saying it's a woman's world.
Okay, back to this letter.
Leaf litter not only improves the soil and mulches the plants, it also is home to worms, insects and other goodies for your feathered friends.
Other birds like Brown Thrush, Towhees, and others will scratch around looking for a meal.
It's a win, win situation all the way around.
You may even see some birds that otherwise wouldn't stop by.
Keep the dead and decaying foliage on your beds and you will notice some birds use it for nesting materials.
Speaking of which. you may want to offer some small (about 4") pieces of yarn or string.
Get some raw cotton and use some pet hair etc for nesting materials.
Place it in a clean or new suet basket, wrap some string loosely around a twig and watch the birds work it free.
Rake a few small piles of winter's brown lawn grass.
Cheap entertainment that is good for at least one chuckle.
Please stay away from dryer lint, plastic Easter grass, and other materials that can harms adults, baby birds, and eggs
Plastic strings of Easter grass can get tangled in the feet and wrapped around the necks of birds.
Dryer lint contains fine particles of dust and even detergents that babies can inhale and die from.
Dryer lint is also finely packed and holds water, when there is a heavy rain, nests hold the water and eggs remain submerged and die.
Pieces of string too long, or short are also a health hazard.
Something to think about
Well, it is time to fly for now.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
"Hard things are put in our way, not to stop us, but to call out our courage and strength".
From God's word.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
"Treat the earth well:
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
We borrow it from our Children."
Ancient Indian Proverb.
Your friend indeed,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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