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Some Personal Reflections
July 27, 2009

Turtle Cheesecake Ice Cream.

Good Stuff Maynard...................

I mean GSM.

As you know, Karen and I took a few days off and spent 3 nights at our favorite B&B the 'Gingerbread House' in Bay View (Petoskey), Michigan.

Turtle Cheesecake ice cream was the find of the trip (at 'Kilwin's' for those that have a shop nearby).

I have no idea if it is in grocery stores at all.

We enjoy the west coast of Michigan and the Northern region is magnificently beautiful.

The people are so friendly too.

Even though it was cool, the Little Traverse Bay of the Big Lake was swimmable.

We enjoyed a bit of a wildlife treat as well.

A few native mink have taken up residency along the pier and large boulders of the break wall in Bay View.

Karen and I along with several others, watched a red coated mink climb up out of the water, shake the water off and run into the boulders followed by a couple of young boys in hot pursuit.

It seems a family of mink live among the boulders and have made it their home for the past 2 years, we were told.

A nice surprise when a person least expects one.

The long week end went by much to fast.

We picked up our fur kids from our Daughter and grand kids on Sunday.

Keet and Ziggy were no worse for wear, but were a bit emotionally drained once they settled back in at home.

It's nice to get away, but always nice to get home and sleep in your own bed don't you think?

Only to do it again in a couple more week, when we take our daughter and her family to the upper peninsula for a few days (fur kids will be at pet motel).

Now, it is time to get caught up on some watering, weeding, dead heading, filling feeders and more.

Amazing how fast things can change within a few days.

It's also time to discourage the deer.

I haven't had an issue with them for the past few years, but this summer is a different story.

Some phlox, turtle head, hosta and more are on the menu this year and there is nothing like coming home after a few days away and noticing some of your pretties are pretty much chewed off.


Oh well, such is life.


After a few getaway days, I had some time to relax and reflect.

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 invasives.

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

Rats, Chinese carp, House sparrows, European starlings 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.

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

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

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

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, 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.

If we were dropped off in an isolated jungle or island, odd are you and I wouldn't make it a week without some training first.

Indigenous people know the land and understand the risks that certain animals and plants bring.

They also have learned what plants and insects they can eat and what to avoid.

They are one with nature.

Their senses are so alive, so keen, that they see most things around them.

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

Do you know the life and life 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.

If you are 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.

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.

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.

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

You get the idea.

I didn't intend on climbing up on my orange crate like this, but when I get on a roll.......................

Hopefully 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 holidays (for my Canadian friends).

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.

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Irish Writer

How true, how true.

It is so easy to tell others to do as I say, not as I do.

Truth be, you can tell me something all day long.

However, if you are doing something totally different, I'm watching and listening to your actions.

I'm watching how you live and others watch how I live.

All day, everyday.

Some people sit in waiting..................

Waiting for you to make a poor choice or mistake.

Waiting to pounce like lions and tear you to shreds.

Calling you a hypocrite and what ever seems fit at that time.

Others may pick you up, but they seem to go unnoticed.

Yes, living (showing) is by far the better sermon.

Often it is the littlest positive thing that someone else notices and will begin to ask questions.

It may be living your faith, Moral beliefs, integrity and so on.

You may get a few how comes, or why do you...........

It is difficult not to see, it is easy to turn a deaf ear (my mom was an expert at selective hearing).

It is easy to smile, but living it is another issue at times, isn't it?

When you smile, really share your happiness with others.

You can even smile and share your happiness with our Creator.

When was the last time you did that?

Don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk.

Living the sermon is much more effective than preaching it in every aspect of life (even when you think no one is watching).

By living it, you are showing me.

You become a teacher.

Until next time my friend.

"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

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Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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