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It Is Time
August 31, 2015

Welcome to the last day of August.

We managed to get our first 90 degree day in almost two years this month.

This past week on Monday and Tuesday, temperatures never made it to 70.

Tuesday's high was 62 degrees (I don't know what that is in Celsius).

There are hints of 90 for the first week of September.

I refused to wear Jeans or long pants, it's August.

I still feel as if I'm missing a month out of this year.

That probably won't change until the holiday season.

(I'm not at all ready for that.)

With the calendar turning to September, it is also a great time to Ta Da......

Give your feeders a real good cleaning.

I mean deep cleaning while the weather is still good and fall chores haven't crept up on you.

A good scrubbing and sanitizing.

Rinse well and air dry before you refill and hang.

While your at it, why not your water sources and nest boxes too?

Cleaning the boxes for storage or keep them out as roosting boxes.

If you don't feed birds in the summer, but you do in fall and winter....

It is a good time to get your feeders out.

Local and migrating birds will soon start searching for, and establishing fall and winter feeding grounds.

That is correct.

Birds take note to where the feeders are, and who has what.

If you are late to get feeders out, you will miss out on many opportunities for bird watching.

Don't you know where all the good eateries are in your area?

It is time.

Have you noticed how busy the hummingbirds are right now.

Check out the size of those bellies.

At least one male still remains, and few of the girls and juveniles are very busy in the flowers and at the feeders.

The first of September is when I pump up my hummingbird nectar water.

Yes, I go from 1 part sugar and 4 parts water.......

Pumped up to 1 part sugar to 3 parts water.

There is no hard and fast rule that states the 4 to 1 mixture is best.

It is simply a good and basic measuring stick for you.

In all reality, the 3 to 1 mixture is closer to the sugar content of most flowers.

The added juice helps to fatten the diminutive birds up.

Yes, they must double their weight before they start the long migration trail.

From .10 of an oz. to .20 oz.

Pause for a moment and let that sink in.

It has been a very good year for hummers around here (good numbers).

It helps make up me with the lack of butterflies.

A side note:

With a higher concentration of sugar, your feeders will need to be cleaned more often, especially when the mercury rises.

You may want to put less in as well, unless you have so many they clean you out for you.

(Female Goldfinch on Cup plant.)

Notice another benefit of the Cup Plant, Goldfinches enjoy the seedheads.

They can bathe, drink and feed all on one plant.

It Is Goldfinch Season.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

I thought about titling this letter the above sentence.

However, there was more to write about than the American Goldfinch or goldies.

American goldfinches are pretty much ubiquitous throughout America and the southern one third of Canada.

A very popular songbird that pretty much hangs around all year (including winter).

Right now and through the next few weeks, the sight and sounds of Goldies fill the air.

Babies are fledging.

Sunflowers and other plants are going to seed right now.

Parents bring in the fledged birds and the fun begins.

This is one thing I truly enjoy about September, all of the Goldfinches.

If you follow me, you know that American goldfinches are one of the latest birds to nest.

You also know they are late nesters because they are 99.9 percent seed eating birds.

And when are most things going to seed?

Right now and into fall.

Nesting has nothing to do with plant down from non native thistle like so many so called experts want you to believe.

Right now, I ask you to open the windows, or get outside and soak it all in while you can.

Watch it.........................

You just might find a smile on your face or a bounce in your step as you watch and listen to all of the commotion.

Even as things are dieing back, I can't help but put on a happy face when Goldfinch Season gets here.

If you feed Goldies, or want to.......

Black oil sunflower seed and Nyjer thistle are tops on their list.

Right now Nyjer is rather pricy, I am told from a supply shortage.

No worries, Nyjer isn't native, while sunflowers are.

If you don't deadhead all of your flowering plants, you may spot a Goldfinch on a coneflower head, or Liatris stalk.

Right now, Goldfinches are enjoying the young seedheads on my Cup Plant.

Yes, the plant pulls down triple duty for me.

During the winter months, you may want to plan ahead, just for the Goldfinches.

It is a win, win for you and the birds.

Next week Monday is Labor Day, your newsletter will be in your mailbox on Tuesday.

Enjoy your long weekend.

Remember those that continue to work, so your life is more safe and secure.

Well, it is time for me to fly.

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

God Bless.

"Promise me you'll always remember---- you're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear.

Strength and courage.

Fear Cripples.

I've read about that somewhere else before.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:9

"Be on your guard; stand in faith; be courageous; be strong."

1 Corinthians 16:13

"Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

John 14:27

"Do not give way to fear."

1 Peter 3:6

"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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