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August 12, 2019

Sad for me, the sun is now setting about 10 minutes before 9:00 PM.

The days are growing shorter, yet the dog Days of Summer are in full 

I don't know if this is good timing or bad timing.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), we take off to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a whirlwind trip with out oldest daughter and grand kids.

For the past week and a half (and continuing), construction work is being done for a new ramp and small deck, French door, and all the things that make it legal and accessible.

Also, one of the bathrooms is getting a new face lift, making it more wheelchair and shower chair friendly.

I think that is all for now.

Like most projects, there are things that don't go according to plans.

So, construction will continue and hopefully finish while we are gone.

In the mean time, there is always nature to admire, even in one's own yard.

Sometimes we have to offer a helping hand, like a Mason bee box (above).

So often, a healthy environment will provide the rest.

My hope is to have a few of these Mason bee boxes full in a few years.

That would be so nice.

Otherwise, there are a few other pictures from this past week.


(Volunteer Hollyhock)

As you may know, Spring is by far the best time of year for me.

This time of year can follow second, but not to close second.

Sure bird activity changes.

No longer do we hear the songs of spring for territorial rights and mates.

The flurry of activity has changed.

Now I have more fledglings and juveniles attacking my feeders and that can mean junk birds like House sparrows and an over abundance of Red-winged-blackbirds.

Still, there are the Cardinals, Chickadees, Goldfinches, Doves, Blue-jays, Woodpeckers, Tufted-tit-mice, hummingbirds, and a host of other visitors.

Some birds are stealthy and others like young Blue-jays that are very loud this time of year.

Robins are lacking in my yard, but a walk to the field and woods yields several robins.

Robins are one of many birds that change diet habits with the season.

They readily go from worms to fruits and insects.

A simple case of follow the food and the food is more in nature now than in my yard for the robins.

The Orioles have left, leaving me with a stash of grape jelly for next spring.

Baltimore orioles ore one species that begins migration early.

Soon American Goldfinches will fill my yard when parents bring fledglings to the flowers that are going to seed and later to the feeders.

Why take them to the flowers first?

Well, it is only natural to teach youngsters how to find food in natural habitats and surroundings.

Another advantage is fresh seed
and often, seed hulls are more tender and easy to bust open for young inexperienced birds.

Many times I watch young finches being fed on sunflower heads that are still blooming, yet have a few rows of tender seeds.

Same thing on my Cup plant and Prairie doc. 

Later on, they learn about feeders as an additional, but important source of food.

Goldfinches are 99.9% seed eating birds, so they nest later when in the year when nature's bounty is in full swing.

(Giant swallowtail Butterfly.)

This time of year, we are treated with a cacophony of sounds day and night, as various insects rub legs, vibrate wings, and whatever they do to attract a mate.

August treats me to an abundance of garden blooms.

Hibiscus, Liatris, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Phlox, Lobelia, and other perennials all provide several colors.

Annuals can fill in the gaps or make wonderful gardens for cut flowers and to attract wildlife.

Cosmos, Zinnias, Salvia, Verbena, Impatiens, Sunflowers and others add instant color that lasts until killing frosts and this time of year they are approaching their best.

Continue to deadhead and feed and annuals will only get better.

Flowers offer food for hummingbirds, butterflies and all sorts off other pollinators like Bees and Hoverflies.

Perennials and annuals provide seed for many birds and small mammals.

Flowers beds in mass also are very pleasing to my eyes.

Enjoy the season my friend.

(Cherry Cheesecake Hibiscus)

Yards and gardens come to life when planted in mass with bright colors.

Bright colors can make a small yard appear larger.

If you have a smaller yard like me, consider planting bright colors next year.

Smaller yards have some huge advantages.

They are less work, and nature is that much closer to you

Veggie gardens are in full swing now.

What a way to enjoy the fruits of your labor, huh?

In August, you can also enjoy nature walks, just be sure to prepare for mosquitoes.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"The mediocre teacher tells.

The good teacher explains.

The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires".

William Arthur Ward

Are you going to be an inspiration this week?

From the word of God

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;"

2 Timothy 3:16

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him".

Psalm 34:8

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".

Jeremiah 29:11

"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.

A Blessed week to you .

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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