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August 05, 2019

(Hydrangea in backyard)

There's no place like home.

A short get away is nice (sometimes a lot of work).

The fur kids were so happy to see us.

However, I would really like to make Petoskey, MI. home, one day.

I didn't take any pictures, but this website shows where we stayed.

Stafford's Bay View Inn

It was enjoyable.

Actually, the only pictures I took this year were mostly of sunsets.

A series of one evening are pictured below.

Sadly (in some ways), we take off for a few days next week with the same family that cared for the pets last week.

I play grandpa and make try to make memories for the kids.

This year we will visit a fort, cross the Mighty Mac (bridge), visit a couple lighthouses, The restored iron smelting ghost town of Fayette, and my favorite, the DeYoung Family Zoo.

If there is time, maybe a few other tourist attraction like Kitch-iti-kipi.

Of course the ladies will find time for tourist trap shopping.

We have really enjoyed the monarchs these past few weeks.

Clearly more visits than the past handful of years combined. 

A couple days before we took off, I watched a Monarch visit some milkweed in then yard.

Pictured is a leaf with three eggs.

there were a few other eggs scattered about as well, but these were easy to locate and keep an eye on.

I knew eggs would hatch before we returned.

Pictured is  single, tiny caterpillar, striped and all.

I have no clue what happened to the others.

Sadly, the following morning this tiny thing had disappeared too.

No signs any where.

Possibly a predatory insect, who knows.

This is the first year I have ever had Monarch eggs, (that I know of).

"Would it be wrong of me to harvest the eggs and hatch them in a protected environment"?

Really appreciating the Monarch Butterflies.



(Monarch Baby Caterpillar.)

A few getaway days, gave me some time relax and reflect.

To refresh, or relearn to really enjoy life.

I love to get away and watch the world around me.

I enjoy spotting wildlife and even land formations.

Though it may be a big blow to you and me, we need nature

"Nature doesn't need us".

If humans were to disappear tomorrow, the natural world would do just fine (actually better).

Whole ecosystems would be reborn.

Healthy prairies, wetlands, savannas and more would come back to life.

Nature's balance would eventually return, if we haven't messed it up to much with non natives, and invasive species.

You know, Kudzu, Zebra mussels, Emerald ash borer.

Rats, Chinese carp, House sparrows, European starlings, python snakes, and more.

If the natural world as we know it disappeared, how would humans do?

We have the power to rationalize, which includes the ability to fool ourselves, (think on that one for a spell).

That is what we do when we think we can do better than our Creator, when we mess with his creations.

Plant, animals, wetlands, forests, etc. disappear.

We attempt to tame nature and our surroundings to make ourselves feel better and more powerful (the fear of the unknown).

Not to mention greed.

In doing so, we destroy and distance ourselves even further from the natural world.

We have access to the world around us, we don't need to destroy it.

Indigenous peoples live in jungles, deserts, forests, secluded islands, and mountains.

They've been doing it for thousands of years and surviving without destroying.

These societies continue to pass down knowledge and to show appreciation for nature, not destroy it.

Our North American Indians (Native Americans), lived in harmony with nature.

Indeed, the earth was a living being to care for and honor, not to destroy or take advantage of.

Villages would move purposely, so not to destroy the land and earth.

Living in their own societies as people and in comfort with animals and their surroundings.

Taking only what they needed and giving back.

Making sure there was something still living.

Making sure their was something for the next guy that may come along.

Fully in tune with life in all ways.

Native Americans knew that humans were the weak link in the circle of life.

So called civilization proved them to be correct.

Here in the "civilized world", we have separated ourselves from the natural world.

We call ourselves superior.

A species that can create, develop and destroy.

We continue to kill off the better and more natural world and the natural self within.

No other species destroys God's planet the way we do.

No matter how much we are afraid of different civilizations and nature's unknowns, no matter how much we ravage, pollute, and destroy our earth.

Our nature, our roots yearn for more.

To be fulfilled.

After stripping the land of its natural beauty, we turn around and plant a few trees along the streets and in our yards and call it nature.

We fill in wetlands and alter streams, then we build water gardens and even put water features in the lobbies of large buildings.

We decorate our homes with paintings or flowers or landscapes.

Even the smallest apartment may have room for a window box or planter.


Nature is in us.

We plan and save all year to take a week or two of vacation, and where do we spend vacation time?

You got it.

By the lake, in the mountains or the woods.

Yes, we figure a week or two of hiking, fishing, camping or relaxing near the water is a cure all.

Why do we do it?

Without some connection with Mother Nature, we feel isolated.

Our world feels cold.

We are a mess.

Part of us dies within.

We need nature.

Now I like a nice vacation as much as the next person and truth be told, it takes me the first couple of days just to learn how to unwind and relax.

I can be a tense person, always on the move, wanting to see more around me etc.

It shouldn't be that way, however.

We should already be relaxed enough to appreciate our world and nature.

Many of us take a simple walk in our own yards and gardens and haven't a clue.

Do you know the life and death struggles that take place everyday in your yard?

You may stomp every insect you see, mostly because of ignorance or the fear of the unknown.

93% of all species are beneficial insects, yet you may want to kill them off.

Are you planning some time away in the woods, a park or camp ground, even some time near the water?

Take some time to learn from the best teacher.

Mother Nature.

Learn how she provides for every living thing.

Stop and watch a frog or a dragonfly.

Take time to observe toadstools or the venation of a tree leaf.

Smell the air, listen to the sounds of God's world we are stewards over.

Take several deep breaths.

You will enjoy your vacation and life at home more if you spend more time training and learning about the life around you.

Understand the sun and clouds, the time of day, shade and shadows.

Changing of the seasons.

Even the wind blowing.

When and where are your best chances to spot wildlife.

You will enjoy your natural experiences that much more if you have a feeling or some understandings.

Know when to hunt for food or with a camera.

I grew up a country boy and many of those keen senses are still with me. I can't count the times I will spot something in our gardens or elsewhere, and Karen will ask me how I spotted that or something along that line.

Suburban life and all the fancy gizmos dull the senses.

(I do attempt to keep mine with a sharp edge.)

Suburban life also dulls our appreciation and needs for the natural world, yet we still yearn to be near it at times.

You get the idea.

We need the natural world.

We need to spend time planning to enjoy life around us every day, not just vacations or on holiday.

I have read before, that most people spend more time saving and planning for trips than they do mapping out the rest of the year.

Life is short, there is no second chance.

Live it to its fullest.

Enjoy the living world around you, the way our Creator intended for us.

Being a good steward, you not only serve and protect today, but you pass your skills and understanding to future generations.

Yes, we also have a gift of learning and I love to learn.

Well, it's time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your 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

From the word of God.

"Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity".

1 Timothy 4:12

"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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