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Your Fall Favorites
September 30, 2013

'ArtPrize 2013' is in full swing.

The world's largest art competition is right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Art comes in many shapes and mediums.

A few even manage to push a political agenda in the name of art.

The Creativity never ceases to amaze.

What always catches the eye of this 'Naturalist', is how often 'Art imitates Nature'.

Creation in all its beauty is, 'Perfect Art'.

As in years past, I will share a few pictures of 'ArtPrize'.

Some aren't so good, as it is difficult to get a picture while so many others are doing the same thing.

Pictured first, in honor of a friend of a friend is a snap shot of a polar bear painting.

There are three paintings in this display, but again.................... people are everywhere.

The Artist's name is Anni Crouter and her paintings are titled Polar Expressed".

I really enjoyed these paintings, they look so real.

Sculptures, paintings, I enjoy most art.

I appreciate the skills and time that go into a project.

The world needs the culture.

We need to express and share and these gifts.

("Michigan Forest: The Future of Genetic Manipulation on an Eco System" By Rob Vander Zee. A rather large mural that can't be captured in a single picture.)

The weather this past week was almost perfect, especially for this time of year.

Temps in the 60's, 70's and touching 80 degrees on Saturday.

Nature saw fit to give us some rain Saturday Night and Sunday morning.

A little rain didn't dampen the mood to go to church.

I saw three more monarchs drifting south this past week.

I think we saw our last hummingbird on Thursday.

Still, the hummer feeders will remain up, clean, and filled for the next couple of weeks.

Just in case a wayward hummer needs a meal.

It is wise for you to do the same thing too>.

A good rule of thumb is two weeks after you spotted last visitor.

("The Lost Art of Stone Sculpture: Mohican Warrior" by Roger Wermers. This is a Fantastic Piece.)

The first week of a new month is knocking at the door.

Maybe crashing it in as we speak.

That always means it is time to give your feeders and water sources a good, deep, sanitizing, cleaning.

Do it while the weather still lets you.

It you have a large, old container (Rubbermaid Trash Can) you can fill with warm water, cleaning solutions, and allow your stuff to soak.

Scrub deep and thorough.

Rinse well to remove soaps and bleaches.

Allow feeder to air dry before filling.

Bird bath and other sources can be used right away.


I like to do deep cleaning with Oxygen Bleach.

Products like Oxi-Clean, Oxy-Boost, etc., are wonderful for many projects.

What oxygen bleach is, is a concentrated form of Hydrogen Peroxide.

Organic, all natural, no toxins (anything is harmful if misused).

Oxygen bleach wont ruin your clothes, kill plants, harm wildlife, and so on.

If not rinsed off, it will leave a white, residue film.

I really like this stuff on wooded feeders and bird houses, as it cleans deep and the foaming action eats out crud that a brush can't reach.

Give it a try sometime.

If you are in a hurry, spray thing down with 'Rubbing Alcohol' and allow it to air dry.

Again, this is quick and safe, but you need to give things a deep clean once in a while.

So much other stuff to share, but i think it is wise to get to your Fall favorites.


("Uplifting", by Andy Sackstder. This is an Indian Warrior lifting his woman high. Water trickles from her tummy and down to the ground. I would love this in my yard.)

I am proud, and in awe, that a member of out military take time to read my letters.

In honor of our armed forces and heroes, She is in front of the line.

Wanda, outside Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Hi--This is Wanda, recently redeployed from Afghanistan back to Kentucky. I garden in a small KY town just outside Fort Knox, KY. Fall is the time I seriously consider how to make changes to my garden. I transplant, hit the fall plant sales, and plant bulbs. Fall is an excellent time to plant, so I love the fall sales. I also really like the fall festivals!

First off Wanda, Thank you so much for your service to our country, words cannot express it enough.

Fall festivals, there are many to choose from, and what a time to rejoice.

Gardening is a great stress reliever, even for our heroes :-)

MaryKay Rodarte, in the high desert near Victorville, California.

I am to the south of Victorville by about 15 miles at about 3800 feet. I moved here a year ago last January and then was thrown from one of my horses and broke my hip. This summer is the first I have been able to dig, amend and plant. I love the change of seasons up here. I have kept water out all summer for birds and the two roosters I have been given and built a run for have many visitors when I put about 6 times the amount of cracked corn they need so that they can share. I am getting Quail, Dove, Scrub Jays, sparrows, an occasional Road Runner, and some other birds I have yet to identify. They all can eat near the horses, they pick through the hay on the ground, the horse droppings. They have to share with the rabbits, the squirrels, mice and rats too. All the critters make my place, a prime Hunting spot for a pair of owls that live somewhere in the area. I love the fall, the cooler weather, the acorns on the scrub oak, the harvest moons rising in the evening, the half moon still left in the crisp sky at 6:00 when I go out to feed the roosters, watching the moon set and the sun rise at the same time near the full moon cycle, the sun in the east the moon in the west is truly inspiring.

The Good Lord really knew what he was doing didn't he. Amen MaryKay, He is Mighty.

Sometimes we don't know what we have until it is taken away from us. Thankfully you have healed and can garden once more.

Nice collection of wildlife too.

Linda in New Jersey.

Fall is here, I baked my first apple pie of the season!!! To my husband that means fall!!!

For me, it is the cool days, when "playing" in my garden seems so much easier. I enjoy the new patterning of shadows in the late afternoon, now that the sun is setting a bit earlier....and of course the changing of the leaves. I admire my Beauty Berry Bush quite often, it is my favorite at this time of year, but the anemones run a close second.

Finally, and my all time favorite, is visiting my grandchildren at the end of October and going pumpkin picking! That especially brings a smile to my face.

Okay Linda, where is my pie? Apple pie is my favorite.

Fall does have much to offer, even for a guy like me.

Thank you for sharing.

(I didn't catch the title of this one, and the reflection from the window hinders it. It is really a nice piece, it shows a young boy engrossed in a book. Behind him also reading the book are characters he is reading about or from other books that are captured up in the moment. A child's mind, to wonderful to waste.)

Karen w. from NW. Ohio.

My autumn favorites are cooler temperatures and warmer clothes, decorating for fall, and cool weather meals that can be fixed like chili and soups. I also enjoy being able to get out and save seeds from my favorite flowers and veggies.

Thank you Karen.

Cool weather meals, comfort food is a always a good thing.

Jan from New Hampshire.

This time of year is almost as great as springtime. Just opposite. Love the fall nip in the air. The beautiful colors of dying leaves. We used to have gorgeous sugar maples in the yard...oh, how I miss their colors as they covered the grass with a vibrant coat. Fresh apples in the fall are so much fun to pick, eat and bake. This time of year is great for the house to smell of warm fall comfort foods. So much to be thankful for. Your yard is still thriving. Mine is winding way down. Looking forward to fall mums in the yard and want to get some asters growing.

Thanks Jan,

There is so much to be thankful for.

It takes some planning to have a yard full of flowers well in October ....... many of them are natives too.

Cindy V. of Gloucester, Virginia

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love everything that makes up this season. The harvest, colored leaves, cool mornings and nights and so on. But my favorite part of fall is Thanksgiving. I enjoy that day tremendously. Fall is also a busy time for me since I started working at Brent and Becky's Bulbs here in Gloucester, Virginia. We ship an unbelievable amount of bulbs out all over the U.S. That is some of my favorite fall things, hope you enjoyed it. Thank You Cindy, there is a trend going on here, and we even gave your employers a plug :-)

(Dave Mackenzie's "Back To Eden". A large wall of live plants and flowers.)

Kay Y. of Winston Salem, North Carolina.

After living in Florida for 20 years and moving to NC three years ago, my husband and I have truly enjoyed the changes of each season. We're still debating which is better, Fall or Spring. I love them both! The following is just a few of the many things we enjoy about the Fall:

1. Cooler temps
2. The leaves changing colors
3. Pumpkins and mums
4. And of course, football season! :-)

Thank you Kay, I love your list, and a girl that like football, Alright.

Lou in New Jersey.

Actually Fall is my most favorite time of year, with Spring a close second. Colors, nice comfortable temps allow open windows with no a/c, pumpkins, hayrides, trips to the farms,scarecrows, smell of Fall scented candles and being able to use the fireplace again on cool evenings, very few mosquitos now allows more time outside. Cone flowers are setting seed which draws the gold finches families in for a snack. Robins are feasting on the holly berries. I also love my trips up to New England to visit family in October. Hummers are working very hard on my Torenia hanging baskets which are huge by now. Chipmunks are disappearing now down to only a couple

While I do love Fall, I do not look forward to the next season ahead as far as the weather is concerned.

Thank you Lou,

God is Good, isn't he?

Besides fall activities we can do, you also mention so many gifts of nature as well.

You are a man after my own heart.

Now, think of what follows winter.

Marsha in Missouri.

I love fall most because of the cool, crisp air and sunshine. I also love smell of burning leaves. Fall is so great when colors are pretty but it all ends too soon and goes into brown winter. lol.

Thank you Marsha.

You can still burn leaves?

While leaf burning is no longer allowed in Michigan, I can still smell them.

Dan near Ashland Ohio.

I love to walk a densely wooded place
Inhabited by maples, oaks and beech
From sapling's sharp competing for some space
To skyward giants as the eye will reach
The splendor of their leaves will reach their peak
From brilliant yellows, fiery reds and browns
And most will all be down within three weeks
To spread their colored carpet on the ground.
Autumn lends such glory to the eye
The love of Summer's final kiss goodbye.

Thank you for the poem Dan, nice creativity.

Linda in Pennsylvania.

Nothing can compare to the blue of an October sky. That's what I like best about fall!

Thank you P.A. Nana

As the atmosphere begins to cool, and pollutants can't fill the sky, the skies are indeed more blue. Not everyone sees this.

(Naked Man, I had to do a double take as this looked pretty real.)

Sue From Hillsdale, Michigan.

I love fall, but I love all the changes of the seasons. In fall I appreciate the cooler weather. And sometimes the sky is so BLUE it's breath-taking. Sometimes an early frost will turn the yard into a diamond-studded garden. The warmth of the sun is gentle instead of blistering.

Getting the very last of everything from the garden and fitting it up, ready for next year is so satisfying. It seems to me that fall is the gentlest of the seasons, winters can be harsh, springs are bursting w/life and planting, summers can be hot, humid, and uncomfortable. But fall is a time of winding down, a settling in, the comfort of warm fleece, quilts, and hot cider. I love fall's bonfires, it's clear, crisp days and starred-filled nights.

I love fall.

Thank you Sue (Finally, a Michigander :-)

You gave me a reason to pause........................................

Indeed, Autumn is a gentle season for many reasons, when I mentioned this to my wife (Karen), she conquered with your assessment.

Thank you for the teaching moment.

(Bigfoot Dad, This was one good sized display of a Bigfoot family. all made of recycled materials. There was a baby bigfoot, and mom is stooped while she fishes.)

Pat from West Central, Wisconsin.

My fall favorites are: Cooler temps, low humidity, lack of mosquitoes and colors with green background yet.

Thank you Pat, a true gardener who is happy with the simple things.

Are you a country girl by chance?

Christa from Central South Dakota.

I enjoy the cooler temperatures and all the fall colors. I have a box with red salvia blooming also marigolds are at their best now. The dwarf snapdragons are blooming also, it's a lovely picture to look at. Had only 3 Monarchs this year but there are 3 small caterpillars on the parsley I left for them since the dill dried up. Not sure if there going to make it? The Echinacea are done blooming for this year. It seems like the flowers that are blooming are doing better than in the middle of summer.

Thank you Christa.

You may find the caterpillars on the parsley are those of a Black swallowtail. They will hibernate in one form or another and visit in the spring.

Annual flowers, if cared for do indeed look there best this time of year. There is enough daylight and less stressful growing conditions to thrive in.

Kitty of Jacksonville Florida.

My favorite thing about fall is the nice, beautiful, warm fall colors.

Thank you kitty.

Jacksonville is far enough North to have some change isn't it?

Isn't it interesting, as the weather cools, the colors become warm.

I never gave that a thought before.

('Tired Panda", By Nick Jakubiak. Made of recycled bicycle tires and inner tubes. A rather nice creation.)

There you have it gang.

While colors and fall activities seem to dominate, there are a few things to give us pause.

It is nice to read about others and to discover different likes we have.

If you want to share your fall favorites, I will be happy to share next week too.

Simply forward this letter to me with:

First name (last is optional)

Where you live or close to a town.

Your state or province.

It is time to fly, before i go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

("Silkwaves in the Grand" by Al and Laurie Robertson. Some thinks just look cool.)

Romance is the deepest thing in life, romance is deeper even than reality.

G.K. Chesterton

The Bible, is really one big Romance.

God chasing after his people.

Think about it.

This longing we feel is God-given and cannot be satisfied by anyone or anything but God.

“Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to Him, so He can show you His love.”

Isaiah 30:18

"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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