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To Lighten up Your Day
August 11, 2014

"In summer, the song sings itself."

(William Carlos williams)

Give that some thought my friend.

While some may say August 13, ..........

The "Dog Days" of summer officially comes to and end today.

Yes, there is an explanation behind the saying 'Dog Days'.

Few people know what the expression really means.

The phrase actually has a celestial origin. Some will say that summer's "dog days" signify hot sultry days "not fit for a dog."

Still, others suggest it's the weather in which dogs go mad.

But the "Dog Days" are actually defined as the period from July 3 through Aug. 11 when the Dog Star, 'Sirius', rises in conjunction (or nearly so) with the sun.

Sirius is the brightest star in the northern hemisphere skies and is called the dog star because it makes up part of 'Orion the Hunter's', dog.

Speaking of dogs,

Our Akita (Keet) loves pillows.

There isn't a pillow around that she hasn't taken a fancy to.

This is all my fault (ask Karen).

When we first brought Keet home as a little pup, I would place her on a tiny, pink, silk pillow near the fireplace.

She eventually outgrew the tiny pink pillow, yet still finds a pillow to nap on.

Any pillow.

I am sharing a couple of the pictures with you, and there are many.

Now you may ask why we would allow a dog such lavish treatment.

Are you, or have you ever been a pet owner?

Not own an animal, but have fur kids.

Fur kids become and are part of the family.

Because they are family, they get treated like family.

People with fur kids know exactly where i am coming from.

Sometimes a few days away from the ordinary does me some good (you too?).

It helps to clear the mind, and get a grip on things.

Well, the few days away a couple weeks ago, gave me time to reflect.

Time to renew my spirit and know more of my God.

It also gave me a chance to realize we are constantly pounded day in and day out by so much negative and terrible news.

To the point, we ourselves begin to have doomsday attitudes ourselves.


Today I am sharing, what I hope to be a make you smile kind of newsletter.

No Monsanto, no bombs exploding, or deadly disease.

No killings, no lame politics, no deadly storms.

Just me, a few pictures and some good words.


This past week, The wren family had a successful fledging.

The same old, beat up house, that raised a Black-capped chickadee family this spring, raised the House wrens too.

It's a good thing, the poor boy was filling up every box and crevasse with false nests in hopes to lure a lady friend.

I was concerned for him and the lack of action.

Well, somehow the chickadees were spared, and not long after I cleaned out the box, he found it too.

Old and beat up nest boxes like this one, appear more like what nature would provide.

More than a brightly painted and decorated box.

The right digs, bird love and a family.

I'm feeling like a grand parent all over again.

I've enjoyed this summer.

Cooler than normal, and we haven't had any real rain in the past month, still I've enjoyed the fresher air and for the most part, timely rain.

The flower gardens are doing quite well on the most part.

Flowers are blooming in profusion.

Little mildew and insect damage (nature takes care of herself).

The phlox are beautiful right now.

And the soft, sweet smell fills the summer air.

Dragonflies are truly amazing.

Not often do I have the chance to capture a picture so vivid of a dragonfly.

This'Common Green Darner' sat so nice for me to capture several images.

They are a beautiful insect.

So unique are dragonflies, all four wings move separately.

They can fly in any direction, even upside down.

A beneficial insect at any stage of life.

I can't say it is a new favorite plant, but it is a thing of curiosity, and in its own right, a thing of beauty.

Cup Plant ( Silphium perfoliatum).

Cup plant is a coarse, sunflower-like, that grows up to 8 feet tall.

Native plant of the eastern 2/3 of the United States and lower Canada.

Native plant which occurs in low woods and thickets, meadows, and prairie streams.

I got this last year and this year it has grown in to a large thing of beauty.

The yellow sunflower like heads are attracting several bees, the seeds are supposed to be a favorite of American goldfinches.

The real kicker is the name 'Cup Plant'

Pictured is where the leaves form along the stout, sturdy main stem.

Notice the cupping of water.

Birds enjoy a drink.

I haven't seen it yet, but birds are known to bathe in the small pools, even hummingbirds will help themselves to the water.

This plant fits so many needs in my garden, I can't believe i never heard of it before hand.

Check Native, and Prairie nursery catalogs or online for this giant.

Critter resistant as well.

I have seen a total of four Monarch Butterflies this year.

None in my yard.

Still, that is four more than I saw this time last year.

Actually, I have seen very few butterflies (other than cabbage whites) this year.

Imagine my surprise when I spotted this caterpillar on my Dill weed.

Clearly a Black-swallowtail has visited without me knowing.

Upon further inspection, I tallied 5 Cats at various stages.

Happy, happy me.

This is volunteer Dill I allowed to grow and was getting ready to harvest the heads and pull it up.

I will keep my eyes open for more caterpillars.

I've dragged things on a bit today.

I simply wanted to share a few pleasantries with you.

To give you something to think about, maybe a plant to put on your wish list.

To spend more time in your gardens and appreciate the daily happenings.

Maybe even take your mind off your worries for a few minutes.

God didn't intend for us to life in fear and worry.

We are made to live, laugh, and love.

It is true...........

'In summer, the song sings itself.'

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God bless.

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."

Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

Happiness is important in our lives

Yet, we need to understand and know when a door closes, you and I must open a new door before it too passes.

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;
Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man."

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

"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,

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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