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Happy New Year 2010
January 04, 2010

A Belated Happy New Year to Everyone.

I appreciate you giving me the week off between Christmas and New Years Day, It was a well needed respite for me.

I enjoyed my time with friends, family and our Lord.

Hopefully, I can get back on track and have some fresh and even exciting newsletters this year.

It is easy to get lazy and difficult at times to keep things fresh and entertaining as readers come and go.

If you have made resolutions, make sure to write them down and keep them where you will see them all the time.

Taped to the fridge, car dash, bathroom mirror or what works for you.

There is something to writing things down and reading it all the time that gets the idea into your subconscious mind where it can work.

This also works for to do lists, you will be amazed how fast you whip through your to dos, when there is a list facing you.

The holiday season has come and gone for yet another year.

What a blessing 2009 was for me, and I look forward to 2010 to be even better as 'Gardening For Wildlife' continues grow and I pray I continue to grow as well.

I look forward to making many more friends through this letter and the forums.

We had some exciting topics last year and I hope that a few of them made you think.

I know some articles Like "Global Warming or Is It" and on "Carbon" didn't go with the popular thinking.

"To Feed the Birds, You must First Feed the Insects"................. that was another one that got some of you to thinking.

Some Features on bird species are always popular.

If you have a topic you would like me to write on, drop me a line and I will see what I can do for you.

Every time I write a Christmas or Easter letter, I lose readers.

In the past I would get bummed out about loosing readers and sometimes wonder why.

This time I said Amen.

I planted a seed.

Speaking of which........

The Seed and plant catalogs have been pouring in for the past month.

As things slow down for me, as for many of you, I will have more time to thumb through various catalogs and make out wish lists and practical lists.

A vast majority of North America will have some time to rest as our gardens rest and what better time to wear out the seed and garden catalogs.

Many of you swap seeds from last year's garden successes, but do you seed swap from catalogs?

WhY not?

Share a few of your extra seeds, whether it be a zinnia or tomato.

Many are hybrids and you can't share seeds from the plants this fall and expect the same flower or veggie next year.

Weather and football seem to dominate this time of year.

College Bowl games galore, not to mention the NFL.

Yes, this is my time of year to O.D. on football, much to Karen's despondence.

Freakish storms that dump unreal amounts of snow or ice storms.

Christmas day it was colder in Dallas, TX. than SW, Michigan where we were getting rain and some freezing rain.

Parts of Texas had a white Christmas for the first time in 80 years.

The same system dumps 40" of snow in parts of the Dakotas.

While tornadoes were hitting the south.

All from the same system.

Don't forget the dumping most of the East Coast experienced.

Still, there aren't many places on our planet where it can snow ans have sunshine at the same time, but living on or near one of the Great Lakes (especially west coast), we experience it every winter.

Yes, though sunshine can be a rare thing in early winter, we do have some and when the winds are just right, the snow that forms over the lakes drift into land so we have snow and sun at the same time.

Now I know some of you may be jealous over this, but please don't be, and understand this..............

We can't have everything.

Snow brings out the best in bird feeding.

Where there are birds, you often find predators.

One day during Christmas week, I was looking out a window when I spotted something yellow in a spruce tree.

My camera was close, so I turned it on and zoomed in.

Do you see what I see?

(my apologies for the poor image.)

An immature Cooper's hawk took flight when I went outside for a closer look.

Not long after, my birds returned to feed.

Like I have said in the past, keep your eyes open to your surroundings.

A couple of letters ago, I shared images of a mature Cooper's hawk with her lunch.

Feeding birds will attract hawks and other predators, but it also attracts squirrels.

'Love em' or 'hate em,' there seems to be little in between ground when it comes to squirrels.

You may respect their intelligence or even their skills, but you would just as soon see them gone for good or on the dinner table.

Squirrels, Feeder Pest or Welcome Guest

You may 'love em' enough to feed them and maybe have a pet name for your favorite squirrel.

Yes, you adore the furry rascal and possibly hand feed one or six of them.

Yet, repelling them or trying to repel them is a multi million dollar business.

We buy contraptions and repellents.

We chase.

We spray.

We shoot at them.

We buy special feeders.

You just don't want them on your feeders or even in your yard.

Now, I understand that squirrels are smart and I know they see an easy opportunity to feed.

Sometimes I think they entertain us on purpose.

After all, they have all day to figure out our schemes.

They chew apart your feeders,

They eat all the good stuff,

They keep the birds from feeding.

After all, I do this to feed birds, not the tree rats.

Depending on your feeding stations, you can virtually deter them from your feeders.

By offering some decent food at ground level, you can also keep them off your feeders.

Feeder pests and unwanted guests will give you several ideas and options to deter squirrels and other feeder pests.

Me, I can keep them off a most of my feeders all of the time, but my best efforts to deter are to allow them to eat the feed I toss on the ground.

In some of these pictures you will see ground feeding squirrels, including this one that looks like it has a hair loss problem or survived an attack at one time.

In some of these pictures you will see ground feeding squirrels, including this one that looks like it has a hair loss problem or survived an attack at one time.

Other than that, acts and appears to be a perfectly healthy squirrel.

If you look carefully at the picture of the Downy woodpecker, you will see a fuzzy brown spot in the distance.

You got it,

A squirrel in waiting.

Baffles have worked for all my feeders, except where I have a peanut feeder and suet log hanging.

These feeders allow for above and below attacks, but enough harassing and the rodents knowing they can feed uninterrupted in back, they pretty much leave these feeders alone now.

Be sure to read

Gray squirrels ( or black morphs) fox squirrels, red squirrels or whatever squirrels you have.

I hope this gives you a few ideas ans what ever you do, don't fret so much. After all, you are feeding birds to relax and enjoy, not get ulcers or high blood pressure over it all.

Feeder pests and unwanted guests, it offers a few ideas to help you.

If not win the war,

To give you some tools to win a few battles.

Remember, enjoy life.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

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

A. Neilen

Read it again

We just finished a special time of the year (Christmas) that teaches us the importance of giving.

How important it is to give of ourselves throughout the year, yet in the human world we are taught that it is all about me.

What is in it for me?

What am I gonna get?

If I do this, you gotta do that for me.

Sorry, I don't have the time.

We have a million excuses don't we?

Yet, take a moment and recall how good you feel when you help a fellow human or rescue an animal.

Think of the warm fuzzies you get hen you give?

So, why is it so difficult to continue giving?

Why are you neglecting yourself?

We are meant to help and serve.

Besides, it is a known fact that when you help others, you are helping yourself.

You can't help but feel good.

Here are some other thoughts on this topic.

Pay it up front.

The law of cause and effect.

What goes around comes around.

Neglect much and you neglect yourself.

Get the idea?

Make this a New Year Resolution.

If you really want to know what is in it for you........................

Do a kind act and discover the joys of giving and of life, my friend.

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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