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Your Fall Fovorites for 2009
October 12, 2009

Welcome new readers.

For those that are curious and want a face or a person to the letter, here you go.

Yes, a chilly and busy Autumn day.

This past week was a rather hectic one.

So much to do and so little time to get everything done.

Top it off with all the rainy days and I am way behind on getting fall chores done.

The rare day or two when it didn't rain was solid work from sun up to sun down.

Okay, so I stretched it a bit, but you get the idea.

I had planned on taking my grandson and foster grand kids to the Sandhill Crane Fest this past weekend, but..............

It was to chilly and damp for that.

So I wait for another year.

I've been there before (Baker Sanctuary) near Battle Creek, Michigan and it is well worth a trip.

Especially if you haven't been to one before.

Of course, there was a hard killing frost Sunday night/morning and this morning.

More work to do as the remaining annuals and veggies bite the dust.

Sometimes when you least expect it, you witness a bit of nature.

On a rare day last week, I was working at some fall clean up, when I noticed this little Crab spider and the Bumble bee on the same Cosmo flower.

It was a cool day so the bee was a bit lethargic, and the spider was looking for a meal.

Crab spiders will snag a bee for lunch, but I'm thinking this bumble was too much to handle.

This time I was able to get my camera and shoot a few images.

The spider would get in attack position and then decide not to.

This went on for a few minutes until the bumble flew off.

It was one of those moments or times you had to see to appreciate what was happening.

Nature never takes a day off.

Are you feeling brave?

It's not a matter of bravery, but you may impress a grandchild or friend.

Pet a bumble bee.

Bumble bees are one of the few bees that are out in the cool Autumn days, but they move slow.

Because they are so slow this time of year, they are easy to pet (Don't Pick Them Up), but do it slow and gentle.

A bumble bee will let you know when it is getting agitated, by lifting one or both front legs.

Still, they wont attack, they simply want to be left alone.

Grand kids are impressed by this.

Okay, before you think I'm way out in left field................

My evening walks with Keet (Akita the little fur kid) still continue, even if we must dodge a few raindrops.

Thousands of Red-winged blackbirds congregate in the local swamps and marshland as they settle in for the night.

It is a sight to watch them come in and settle down.

Loose flocks of robins are becoming regular visitors to my yard as they look for worms, berries and a good bath.

On occasion, I still see a bat flying over head.

The cooler weather has quieted many of the insects, but one or two crickets and Katydids can still be heard in the night hours.

I can't see the pond from my home, but some of the bird life wanders away from the water.

This is the first time I've seen a Double-crested cormorant any where near the pond or around here.

Sure I've seen them several times before, but not around a small suburban pond.

This goofy bird has been around for a week now and as you can see in the photograph, it s trying to chase several geese from the area.

A bit earlier it did manage to shoo a squirrel, so I imagine the cormorant feels it is its territory.

Needless to say, the geese weren't bothered one bit and continued feedig.

The goofy cormorant is still here and still trying to shoo the geese.

This same vantage point allows us to see turkeys, deer, Great blue heron, Canada geese, ducks and rodents.

Thankfully so, or I would have a difficult time with suburban living.

Continue with fall clean up, but do leave some litter in your gardens and beds.

The leaf litter and little twigs will help feed and nest the birds next spring.

Besides, it makes great organic matter and wonderful insulation.

I know..................................

It may not look pretty, but gardening for wildlife has its own rewards.

You will be amazed at the insects this provides your birds from now till spring.

You still have time to put down fall fertilizer for your lawn.

If you are using a fall/winter weed and feed, get it down soon while the weeds are still growing.

Growing weeds suck up the chemicals, go to sleep and never wake up.

If you have Morning glories to pull up, make sure to wear gloves.

Morning glories have toxins that can be absorbed through the skin and this can make a person quite sick if enough toxins are absorbed.

Over the past few years, some (teens, young adults etc.) have used the seeds of this plant to make an herbal tea.

With some research, I discovered is the tea is like a mild LSD as far as the high goes.

Watch your plants and seeds :-)

Continue feeding your birds and offer fresh water.

Water will attract more migrating birds than your feeders will.

For the past few weeks I have asked for your favorite things about Autumn.

Enough of you replied to make a decent letter.

So let's get on with Your favorite things about fall.

If you still want to respond, we can do that.

Fall offers many memories and fond moments for most of us as you will read about.


Dava in Sheridan,Michigan

Come walk with me on a late October morning! We'll go down the road to the corner about 1/4 mile away. Here smell the wonderful smell of fresh homemade bread baking in the Amish ovens,smell the cookies? Now tell me you can't taste that?

Now lets turn the corner and walk about half a mile and see some deer, foxes, yes even some Sandhill cranes are still here for a few more days. Look across the pond and see the neighbors cows drinking and enjoying the morning quite.

As we walk past the farmers home, smell the bacon and eggs cooking? Now look up and see the little ones have carved pumpkins and the candles are glowing in the early dawn!

When I think Fall I think of all the comforts of home, the love, the family, the warmth of a kitchen baking homemade foods...there is no better season than Fall for this family!

That is great Dava,

We all enjoy the sights and sounds, but often forget about the smells.

Now, can you set a place for me at the table?

Sandy from Albion, New York

What I love about autumn, the cool crisp clean air it calls to you to either rake leaves or go on a hike in the woods to see all the trees changing and wildlife.

Going to pumpkin festivals and craft shows. Time to make something yummy and warm for dinner and fresh apple pie. I just love all the seasons.

Here in upstate NY you get to see them all.

I like to decorate the yard for Halloween and carve pumpkins with the kids. It's sort of a sad time of year also. Flowers aren't blooming and neighbors aren't out as much, you put things away for the winter.

But, you know in another six months everything will be coming alive again.

Sandy,you touched on many things, the good and the sad.

Good job.

If we have the right frame of mind, we can find positives in most things.

You had to mention winter, didn't you?

Now, about that apple pie (I enjoy a good apple pie).

Barbara, the Woodlands, Texas

My favorite part of autumn has always been the changing color. However we don't see the color show since moving to Houston area from New York State 18 years ago.

There are distinct changes here though that I notice this time of year, different fall wild flowers, and the migrating birds are beautiful. And, we have a second vegetable garden season. So every area of the country has definite pluses.

Thanks for making me think about them.

Barbara, for many of us, the fall colors make it Autumn and yes, no matter where you are, there are distinct and even subtle changes of the seasons.

You are welcome, it is good to think and remember some things.

Josephine in Tilton, Illinois

I am really blessed by having two County Parks, one State park and a small nature preserve on the back of a lake. What's funny is the latter is across the highway from Walmart and maybe two miles down, it has a boardwalk and a new tower.

A couple of weeks ago there were about 15 or so Swans out there.

Thanks Josephine, I'm sure the parks and preserves offer up a plethora of wildlife and fall colors. You are indeed blessed.

Swans are always a joy to watch.

Jack in Battle Creek, Michigan

Here are things I liked about fall as a kid and it still is my favorite time of the year. I was born in the mid 1940's and raised on a farm back in the 50's early 60's.

I collected Beach nuts from my dad's woods. I used to get a small pail full every year around my birthday in October and eating them all myself. I did this for years after becoming an adult but my favorite tree is long gone. There were two Black Walnuts Trees in our front yard and it was my job to put the green nuts in the driveway to be driven over to get the outer haul off. When I was a teenager I used dad's old hand crank corn sheller to remove the outer hauls. It saves time but what a mess.

I used to gather Hickory Nuts with dad from trees down the road. They were the big nuts not the little ones. Then it was my job to crack nuts from time to time during the winter. I used to use a vice in the old garage to crack them. Those days have gone by but I have great memories of these activities.

Corn harvest time is a great time to be outdoors for the cooler days and that means hunting season. It is a bonus if you get game while hunting but the greatest enjoyment is just to be in the great outdoors.

I like watching all the leaves turn colors. I went on color tours with my parents in Northern Michigan. My wife and I still do this but I have learned you don't have to go far away from home to see the beauty all around.

Oh yes, camp fires are great but nicer in the cool fall air.

Okay Jack................................

I'm ready to be a kid again.

Though I'm 10year younger, you mentioned so many things I did as a country boy growing up here in Michigan.

Beech nets, Hickory nut and walnuts did it all too.

And the hand crank corn sheller. My neighbors had one and I used it for the same thing.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Wilda in Sagle, Idaho

My favorite things about fall are the beautiful colors, the crisp air and knowing spring is only (hopefully) 6 months away.

I love watching all the birds gather for their trip to warmer climates.

I miss them and look forward to their return.

Wilda, colors and crisp air.... The air does have a certain smell and feel to it, doesn't it?

It is a joy to watch the birds, how the gorge and the many different species we can see only during migrations.

6 months, I can live with that.

Pat, in West Central Wisconsin

My favorite thing about fall is the colors when the trees are about half way turned. We have a lot of maples and their red is so brilliant against the still green other trees.

Of course I like the cooler weather and the less amount of mosquitoes. We are still in a moderate drought so that has kept the mosquito population in check too.

Pat, across the Big Lake, we get much of your weather and went through the dry Septembers well. Early October is making up for it, however.

Fall colors are slow to come so far and we're still looking forward to a good color season.

Thelma from SE, Ohio

We are happy with all the seasonal changes that God gives us.

Makes life interesting. He knows what is best for us.

Like you, Spring is beautiful, but the other seasons have their good qualities, too.

Time to to wind down now and rest up this Winter and "dream Spring" again.

Thank you so much for all your information and guiding thoughts of inspiration.

Thank you Thelma and you are welcome.

So true, God is in control.

We need the seasons to appreciate and earth needs the seasons to rest and to be cleansed.

Harv in Sterling Heights, Michigan

October brings the baseball playoffs and the World Series. The Red Wings are literally in the wings with a lot of new talent this year.

The cider mills are humming and that fresh apple cider is outstanding. That smell of a fresh apple pie in the oven.(Smells so good you can taste it.) Fresh muscat grapes, with cheese and fresh baked bread and a glass of wine for my wife and I for lunch.

Getting together with some dear friends to do some canning : tomatoes, beets, and corn relish. And, of course, football. football, FOOTBALL !

P.S. Carving up the "spookiest" pumpkins with the grand kids.

Harv, the Tigers choked, so the rest is up to the other teams.

Love the fresh cider and apple pies as well.

Time with friends is so important and fall offers that.

Did you say you were the Picasso of pumpkins?

Stacey From Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Some of my fall favorites are all the different colors of mums.

Being able to take the A/C/ units out of the windows and having fresh air flowing thru the house.

The leaves changing colors (but not the cleaning up).

The signs that my winter birdies are starting to settle in


I'm sure there are more, just can't think of them right now.

Stacey, Nature does offer many different colors and nothing like getting some fresh air circulating through the home.

I'm sure after you read about others, you will say something like "Oh yeah, I remember that"

Sue in Montgomery, Michigan

Let's see is autumn my favorite season, or spring?

Either way, I love autumn. I know I'm crazy, but I like the raucous cry of the blue jays and they always seem to be a little more vocal in the fall. I simply LOVE the cooler weather (although this summer wasn't bad at all). The katydids and crickets, the fall color of course, the gentle feel of the fresh air all add to the luxury of fall.

The sky always seems bluer, the camp-fires brighter (and more needed), the hot dogs taste better and the gardens are refreshed after some nice fall rains.

I still have some beautiful cosmos, morning glory, sunflowers, obedient plant, autumn joy sedum and marigolds. I'm still getting tomatoes from the garden and of course squash. (yum baked squash and meat loaf, our favorite fall meal). I even still have a rose blooming here and there.

The hummer feeders are still busy and I notice they don't just flit around and sip from the feeder now, they sit and drink for long periods, "carb-loading" for the long trip ahead. Good job Sue.

Insect sounds, fresh air.

The breaths seem deeper and the air is fresher.

After a quiet breeding season, the jays are ready to let it all out.

It's been a few days since we saw our last hummer, but Karen's sister still reports at least one hanging around.

Joe, in Up State, South Carolina

IF I HAD TO CHOOSE, between the seasons, FALL it would be for me.

I love the color the trees and country side produces. The night air is cooler, days are much nicer, and the flowers hang on until that last "rose of summer" - Yep, I just had one this past week. A gorgeous Peace Rose. Real Pretty!

My Purple Lantana at the mailbox is going crazy, and really pretty, along with French Marigolds, and Zinnas. The Yellow Mums are opening.


It will be quite a site. So gorgeously pretty. We even like to sit on deck or porch and just observe the evening. We've had lots of rain recently, so the grass is really growing fast again. Can't keep up with it. AND it is soooo pretty and deep green.

I love to take pictures of the fall colors. They make nice calendars, PC backdrops, and just gorgeous pictures.

My vote is for FALL.

To some it means winter, but I just like the cooling, mellowing of Mother Natures.

Joe, are you trying to rub it in just a bit?

Yes, we some care, we can get a bit more out of our gardens.

Winter................ what winter?

You know I like to have fun with my southern friends, after all, we get to wear all that really neat winter clothing and have snow boot and shoes and other neat stuff and you guys don't.


Susan in Shelby Township, Michigan

I love fall because this is when we take our vacation to the U.P. of MI. I never get tired of seeing the beauty of fall up there. Any place you look or visit there's something to see.

The Tahquamenon Falls are especially pretty this time of year.

On the west side of the U.P. there's Lake of the Clouds and Keweenaw Peninsula - Brockway Mountain Drive!

Depending on where you are at, the colors can be spectacular to past peak, it varies. It's a fun drive up there from where I live to see where the tree's are turning color.

Susan, so right you are.

There is less tourist traffic and everything seems a bit closer and fresher.

The western U.P. is always compared to Vermont as far as the fall colors go.

Here is a picture from Brockway Mountain.

Be sure to visit some other waterfalls when traveling the U.P., there are some spectacular ones lie Bond and Agate falls and many in the Porkies.

Albert in Byron, Minnesota

Guess I like the changing seasons, not really fussy about too much winter.

I have only lived in Minnesota for 4 yrs, before that it was eastern Michigan & southern Ontario.

I like fall as that means I get more wood fires in my stove without roasting myself out like some of the winter fires. Really depends on how many sticks go in & how big they are.

Albert, there seems to be the magical day when we look forward to stoking up the wood stove or fireplace. The cool damp days of October set the mood.

If you are a Twins fan, the Twinkies deserved to beat the Tigers.

Diane in St Joseph, Missouri

Fall is definitely the most beautiful time of year...Between the "smell" in the air, yes there is one, and it's wonderful....and the colors that surround us is like a bit of heaven.The air is so crisp and clean feeling and the sky is so blue.

Reminds me of when I was a kid, we would pile the fallen leaves as high as we could and jump in them. It was wonderful. Even now as I walk my dog I love walking through the fallen leaves and feel the crunch. All this takes me back to my childhood when I was so carefree but didn't appreciate the wonder of the season.

Yesterday I was outside and the wind was blowing and it was about 70 degrees and it was so pretty outside. I wanted to capture the moment with my camera to send to my friend in Calif' because I felt so refreshed and blessed. I thought to myself that you must be in that moment to appreciate it.

I love decorating my house with autumn leaves and light apple scented candles. Reminds me that pretty soon we'll be eating turkey. Autumn is by far the prettiest time of the year.

Diane, childhood memories are special, aren't they? We may not have appreciated things back then, but we have our memories to take us back.

Raking up leaves and jumping in them and doing it all over again. If the pile was big enough, a person would get buried and crawl out the bottom of the pile.

When we were done, we would burn them.

Thankfully we can't burn any more, but I sure miss the smells of burning leaves.

Donna from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I really enjoy the beauty of Autumn. The wonderful deep, rich vivid colors that match with the deep pungent earthy smells of soil and evergreens.

The geese flying by saying their farewells.

Unfortunately, I never have yet appreciated the smell of the many Ginko trees here in Philly nor do I anticipate the cold, dreary winters which follow the beautiful fall.

Donna, as long as we live where we do, we have to accept the weather we get (even if we don't like it).

Ginkos are considered one of earth's oldest trees, often called a living fossil. Unfortunately, the seed pods of Ginkos have a very nasty oder, often they are called vomit trees and a few other select names.

Common as a street tree in many older cities, they are a beautiful tree, yet male and females were planted. Today, only male trees are planted along streets and for landscaping.

Judy in Clio, Michigan

Fall memories and thoughts.

The colors, the smells, the sharpness of the air, the clear nights, days spent capturing final, fleeting glimpses of the flower beds before the first hard freeze comes along to do them in. Remembering to capture some dried seeds for next year's plants.

The taste of the last tomato, the last melon, and the last pear as the plants slowly end their growing cycles.

The crunch of fallen leaves as I walk through them, kicking them into the air, much like I did as a child.

The late afternoon fire while toasting marshmallows as we get just a few more evenings in on the yard swing and lawn furniture.

Maybe there will be some Northern Lights as this is the time of year they are more apt to visit us.

Last but not least, cider and fresh homemade caramel apples made with new crop apples from the local orchard or fruit stand. Yum! :-)

Judy, save a tomato for me please as late blight took care of my plants.

Boy would I like to see a good Northern Lights show again.

So many things to see and do isn't there?

Yes, Fall is okay.

Marti of Lake Milton, Ohio

Fall is a pretty time in Ohio.

On a sunny day after the leaves turn color, is a beautiful sight. I love seeing the pumpkins, mums and other fall decorations.

Halloween is a great time for my grandchildren an all other little ones. The fishing boat rides are great on the lake, all the jet skis and bigger boats are gone.

I love the temps in the fall season on sunny days, once the morning chill breaks. No more mosquitoes is a plus!

Making hardier meals--the comfy food will be nice-more time indoors and not just putting food on the grill.

Fall is pretty, and very colorful, but when you live in the northern area, once you rake all those pretty leaves, it kind of all goes down hill.

Being a person who loves to be outdoors, gardening and around the lake, I personally can't wait for Spring!

Marti, I to enjoy the days when the sun is out and the air still has that cool crisp feeling. Yes, you can feel both the warmth of the sun and the cool air at the same time.

What, no more grill cooking?

Don't look at me to rake your leaves.

There you have it, a decent selection of fall memories and favorites.

You often find several common thoughts, like fires, colors, crisp air and food.

Even though we are all different, we have many things in common.

You more than likely did an "Oh Yeah" or "I now I remember."

I know I did.

Sometimes we need something or someone to jar our memories, to make us think.

Sometimes it just might be a suggestion like this newsletter.

I receive great joy by writing these letters.

Not only do I hope to teach, I learn as well.

My wishes are to teach, inspire, and get others to think.

I hope I show love and a willingness to share.

There are prayers that many will leave there little comfort zones and become a better person.

I know I couldn't do any of this without you.

A bonus for me..................................

All of the wonderful people I get know and a few I get to meet in person.

I get a kick out of doing favorite letters and by your response, many of you do as well.

Thank you for participating.

An idea of mine or what I would like to do is spread favorites out over a few weeks or include a few with each newsletter.

Or, do you prefer all in one large letter?

If you like that idea, let me know please or if you prefer a long letter let me know.

Maybe more readers from more regions will find the time to participate when they aren't under the gun of something is more in season like closer to Halloween or Thanksgiving.

Drop me a line please.

Well, it's time to fly for now.

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

The worst thing in your life may contain seeds of the best. When you can see crises as a opportunity, your life becomes not easier, but more satisfying.

Joe Kogel

Read it again.

Read it until it sinks in.

Yes, this one will make you think.

How can the worst thing in my life contain seeds of the best?

How can a crises be an opportunity?

Don't anyone know?

I'm to busy hurting.

I'm to busy feeling sorry for myself.

Who cares?

How can a great hurt or loss contain something positive?

I'm to busy dealing with a crises, how can I even take time to look for good?

Man........................ just leave me alone.

I want to wallow in hurt or self pity.

Yes, we have all been there at least once.

A broken heart, lost job, loss of a loved one, loss of our home or family.

Situations that cut deep.

I mean hurt so much you want to die.


God never puts us into situations where he doesn't give us a way out and seeds of goodness.

We only need to look and ask.

Seeds may lead to a better job, new home, new family and more.

Seeds may also lead to another person that needs you or opens a door for the both of you.

Seeds of the best.

You will find the seeds when you ask God and begin to you look.

My crises may lead to another person that can help me which in turn helps them and on it goes.

God has a whole set of really neat universal laws.

When we see crises as an opportunity..........................

There are times it does make life easier as well as more satisfying.

One reason is........................... you are a bit more in control of yourself which helps you to get a grasp od situations around you.

Both easier and satisfying.

Now here is the key.


Yes, you are the key.

You can choose to accept or reject this message

You can choose to sit in a corner or get up.

You can choose to be attacked or defend yourself.

you have the choice to accept God or reject Him.

Yes, we have been given a mind, spirit and heart,

God has given us the free will to choose which way we go.

It is up to you my friend.

Which way will you go.

Crises or seeds opportunity.

Until next time.

God Bless.

"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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