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February 21, 2011

Four More Weeks.

Four More Weeks.

Four More Weeks

I would like to say I can almost smell spring, but another winter storm came to visit, so it is hard to say that right now.

Now the last half of last week, I could almost smell spring.

It sure felt like early spring.

We even had a few windows cracked open to let some fresh air inside.

A couple of days in the 50's with some sunshine works for me.

All but a few small mounds of snow remained on the ground by Saturday night only to be replaced by some heavy wet snow, freezing rain and still more snow.

Oh Well, a month ago I was asking for snow and I do after all, live in snow country.

Just remember,

Four More Weeks.

Welcome new readers.

Please stick around for a spell, as we do cover different topics.

Most of the time they are garden and wildlife related, but some times I stray.

Sometimes it is a chance to show some nature pictures and talk about the natural world around us.

No matter, I hope to share with you and learn from you too.

By all means, if you have a question or a comment, get back to me right away.

Hopefully you will feel my passion for nature and gardens and the important roll we now play.

You will find I believe God and creation, not so much evolution.

Most of all, I hope you can 'feel' how I enjoy life.

Again, welcome aboard and please feel free to share this with your friends.

This week, is a bit of this and some of that.

What I often call snippets.

Now understand, I share pictures and sometimes they don't jive with current conditions.

A week or so ago, we had knee deep snow when I was thinking of this week's topics.

Some of the pictures show the snow from early last week

You get the idea.


Again, the birds were busy this past weekend with the storm approaching.

For all the new readers that may not know this.....

Birds are very sensitive to barometric pressures.

When the pressure drops, a storm is on the way and birds can feel the difference in pressure.

The lower the pressure, the more severe the storm.

This made for some easy and enjoyable counting for the "Great Backyard Bird Count" that was this past weekend.

I do hope you were able to participate in this yearly event.

Like many of you, I have planted some seeds.

Yes, even in a snow storm we think spring as we plant our seeds and a few dreams.

Growing many of your own plants from seed can save a person a good sum of money.

I mainly grow from seed as something to do.

The biggest reason for me, however.

I get a big kick or satisfaction just watching things grow from seed to fruition.

There is a bit of skill and pride involved, and to see your late winter efforts produce blooms and veggies later on gives a sense of satisfaction.

Don't you think?

Do you have a question on gardening or wildlife?

My crack crew of volunteers are waiting to assist me.

Simply return this back to me along with your question.

Please include:

Your first name (last is optional).

Your location along with state or province and

Hopefully we can have some fun and all of us can learn a thing or two.

Q&A has been rather slow so far.

Thanks in advance.

(Winter home for an Opossum.)

If you got em, plant em.

Seeds that is.

If you live in the Deep South, you should have many things growing by now.

I don't have the luxury of a Greenhouse, but I am getting started planting some seeds and will continue for next few weeks.

This way They will be ready by mid-May when we have our last average frost date.

Seed packets give you a time frame when to plant seeds so your young plants will be ready by the last frost date.

Usually the time is around 6 to 8 weeks.

For some like melons and squash, it may be around four weeks.

Still other seeds it may take a good 12 to 16 weeks you are too late now.

If you trade seeds or have some given to you, learn the requirements.

Do the need a cold period (usually 30 days)?

When to plant.

Do they need to be sown on top with no added soil like Red salvia?

There are many things to learn and this can make gardening a challenge and rewarding.

I'm not a huge fan of winter, but I have learned to accept it and the beauty and wonders a snowy day can offer.


As a child I spent countless hours on a sled and on ice skates.

Once I had to drive for mile to work, I lost my desires for snow and cold.

Indeed, I learned to loathe it.

As I have mentioned before, now that I'm not out there having to shovel and drive in the stuff, I can appreciate winter once again.

I haven't learned to embrace it as I did in my youth, or how many northern cities have with the numerous winter festivals, but I can now enjoy it some.

I'm not one for staying cooped up for any length of time.

Even in the dead of winter and knee deep snow, I have to get outside and feel the cold crisp air on my face.

When the sun is shining, it makes it that much better.

Often when I go for my snowy treks, it is the still and quiet that I enjoy.

The senses become more alive with every breath of fresh air.

With camera often looped around my neck, I am off to the field and woods.

The only sound may be the tapping of a woodpecker on a distant tree.

Then the Black-capped chickadees find me and I have company for the rest of my laborious walk.

The little black-caps follow me where ever I go, but never seem to stay still long enough to have their picture taken.

Still, the company is welcome.

(Many of the photos were taken early last week before the warm up, but hopefully you get the idea.)

I continue to learn that no matter the time of year, and no matter where you are, there are photo opportunities.

I am sharing this with you in hope, that you too can appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you.

'Nature' provides for our pleasure as well.

Sunsets, landscapes, birds and other wildlife.

You only need to really open your eyes.

I share pictures with you on a regular basis.

Take the time to really look at the details of a bird and its markings.

Rose hips (above) on a wild rose bush stand out and I thought made for an interesting photo.

The bit of snow on an evergreen branch really caught my eye and made for a wonderful picture.

Creeks and streams always offer up a great winter scene.

Now I realize that not all of you can get out and trudge through the snow, and not everyone may have a creek nearby.

Still, looking out your window or in your own yard you can find a little something that offers an opportunity to snap a few images.

It is simply a matter of taking a few minutes to allow your God given senses to to awaken.

When 'Gardening For Wildlife', you have many opportunities for photo shoots, even if it is the dead grasses or coneflowers that are waving in the wind.

Do take the time for yourself, you need it.

You deserve it.

You will be glad you did.

Check out this picture.

A picture of a well traveled path worn into the snow by some wildlife.

Often we can spot a deer path, but this image is a well traveled turkey path in the woods.

This path went on for some distance.

This goes to show that wildlife too, are creatures of habit.

Here are a couple of more pictures again taken early last week.

Here it is, the dead of winter and temperatures have been in the teens and low 20's.


Nature knows.

For some species of plant life, it is time to wake up or at least get ready too.

Check it out...................

Fuzzy kitty cat toes on this wild type of willow (nice metaphor huh?).

Other plant images show the swollen buds of a Cottonwood tree, a Red maple and notice this year's cones (developed last year) and a swollen, fuzzy wick on this Austrian pine.

Yet other photo opps.

Early February and some plants are already coming to life.

It isn't simply the warmth, but the length of day that awakens plant growth.

Yes, much like our birds and other wildlife, the length of day dictates the time.

Well <>, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

If you have not often felt the joy of doing a kind act, you have neglected much, and most of all yourself.

A. Neilen

I think by nature, all people are kind.

It is in our society, that we are now taught that it is 'all about me' and we go off in a hurry to make our mark on the world.

Often forgetting others, even those that showed kindness to us for the sake of getting ahead in life.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

Proverbs 12:25

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23

"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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