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July 01, 2013
Happy Canada Day, July 1, to all of our Canadian Friends.
A Blessed and Happy Independence Day America, July 4.
Let Freedom Ring.
May God's Blessings Return to our countries. ("if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14)
The U.S. Supreme Court, continues to make a mockery of God, Our Forefathers and the Constitution.
The hot and humid weather over the past week has everything growing like a weed.
Timely rains help.
Not simply the weeds, but garden plants, like tomatoes and corn.
My Grandpa would say, " on hot days like today, you could sit in a corn field and you could hear the corn growing.'
I don't know if that is true, I never tried it.
I do know that some plants and vines grow a foot in a 24 hour period.
You really notice the changes when you are gone for a few days.
You hardly recognize parts of your yard and gardens.
The next few days are going to be a couple of degrees below the average.
Prayers go out the the many suffering from extreme heat.
The Otters are still with us.
I was concerned when the city dumped a herbicide in the pond to kill off the weeds.
Otters don't like pollutants, I'm a bit concerned.
If I don't see them again, I understand that I have been privileged to see these playful creatures, and I now know, that when I was chattered at, she was being playful.
I know I witnessed some wildlife scenes that most only see in pictures or on TV.
(More pictures Below.)
Warmer air hitting the cool water creates some impressive fog banks.
Sometimes driving across the bridge is a challenge.
Fog often creates wonderful photo opps. as well.
We had a wonderful time on our short sabbatical.
Road construction was at a minimal (there is always construction and working on the Mackinac Bridge).
Traffic on the most part was in our favor.
(Traffic and turtle drivers try my patience as much as anything. It is an area that needs work, and God is patient with me.)
Quality time with my favorite girls.
Learning to not worry about the fur kids when in the care of others.
Enjoying the scenery.
Catching a glimpse of wildlife as well as man made beauty.
Really breathing in Nature.
(At Soo Locks, Michigan side)
Short trips can be a lot of work, but not that bad when handled with love.
Yolanda enjoys herself.
She gets away from her daily routines.
She gets to experience new things all over again, and even some true first time events.
When Karen and I knew we were limited in what we could do and where we can go, we decided to get to know our state (Michigan) more.
It is truly amazing the wildlife, the history, and cultures, that make up a state, or even a small region.
It is also amazing how few people get to know their region (me included).
After all, the grass is always greener someplace else.
There is the end of the rainbow to chase.
Sometimes we need a reason to put out own lives under a micro-scope.
Maybe place a 'Under Construction' sign nearby as a reminder.
I love segues.
Today's letter is "Under Construction"
A short week doesn't give me a bunch of time to be creative, or think of a subject to write on.
Then again, maybe Nature did it for me.
I've had the privilege of watching a 'Mud Dauber' hard at work.
I thought about putting a little sign near her nest 'Under Construction' just for this letter.
Lazy me, I didn't.
This nest is right on the side of the shed door.
Smack dab in the way.
I could very easily destroy it, because I don't want to deal with wasps.
However, Mud Daubers, are beneficial wasps.
You want them in your gardens.
Not only do they pollinate, they also eat insects, and feed them to the not hatched eggs.
In each constructed cell, she with place in insect she stung into submission.
Lays a single egg and seals it up with more mud.
(Every cell, crafted with skills only 'Nature' can provide.)
Every so often I go out, take another picture and maybe watch her fly around.
Daubers and other non hive dwelling bees are non aggressive.
Yes, they can sting, but will only do so when messed with or handles.
Walk by them, work around them, they will leave you alone, as there is no queen or hive to protect.
Besides, just to watch 'The Touch of the Master's Hand' at work is in itself an AWE inspiring moment.
It is indeed, a thing of beauty.
A bit more on Mud Daubers.
Common Name: Mud daubers
Scientific Name: Chalybion, Sceliphron and other genera
Description: Adult mud daubers are 3/4 to 1 inch long wasps, varying in color by species from dull black to black with bright yellow markings to iridescent blue-black.
The best identifying feature is the longer, narrow "waist" (petiole - the section between the thorax and abdomen).
Life Cycle: These are solitary wasp species, with nests constructed and provisioned by individual mated females.
Eggs of mud daubers are laid singly on hosts in cells in mud nests provisioned with food, sealed and abandoned.
Larvae grow up to 1 inch long and are cream-colored, legless and maggot-like. They pupate in cocoons within the cells and overwinter in nests.
There can be several generations annually.
Habitat, Food Source(s), Damage: Mud daubers build small nests of mud under overhangs like eaves of buildings.
The Pipe organ mud dauber, mud nests of long parallel tubes and provision their nests with spiders.
The Black and yellow mud dauber, constructs a globular nest containing one cell to several cells, also provisioned with paralyzed spiders.
Adults are commonly seen in wet spots, balls of mud for building their nests.
The iridescent Blue mud dauber, takes over nests of the black and yellow mud dauber.
It provides its nest mostly with black widow spiders.
Often, I like to take the byways or side roads on trips.
Because it is there, and I can.
Sometimes it may seem like a total waste of time, and gas.
But there is the occasion, when you see something you never would've known about, had you stuck to the main drag.
An old cemetery, a ghost town, nature preserve, or the scenery itself can be uplifting.
You have an 'I Didn't Know That', moment.
Wow, how Cool.
Did you see that.
Pull off to the side of the road.
Then the whole time spent becomes 'worth it'.
Besides, isn't life about living and learning?
Continue to remake ourselves.
Driving different routes also puts the brain in learning mode.
There is something to be said about that.
Sure doing something different may seem a bit uncomfortable at first, but rewards can be priceless.
Stretching our mind is good.
Take a different route home from work or the grocery store.
Force your mind to work a bit.
That also goes for your gardening.
It is easy to stick with the same old planting.
You know what to expect, no thinking involved.
Doing by rote.
I like to learn, however.
It's like putting myself or my brain 'Under Construction'.
Gardens may seem a bit of a mess.
You don't know where to start.
(A plan is always wise.)
With some research and learning, the end results can be utterly amazing.
One more thing.
By putting the brain in learning mode, you are strengthening your mind.
Research shows, a stronger brain can help ward off certain brain diseases like Alzheimer's.
(I'm all for that.)
Besides, you continue to grow (under construction).
Life isn't meant to be one big comfort zone, what fun is that?
I don't want to sit around and rot as I grow older.
Not me, I want to continue to grow and learn.
If it is too late to plant something new, or plant in a different location, try something radical.
Pinch off the first several buds on a marigold or salvia.
The mother plant is forced to grow bigger and bushier to bloom (reproduce).
You'll wonder why you didn't do this before.
You may feel a bit uncomfortable by giving certain plants a good pruning or haircut.
Thinning out and tossing away a living plant.
I know, I've been there.
There must be some place I can replant it.
There must be someone who needs another plant.
Try new color or plant combinations.
Plant more to attract birds, bees and butterflies.
Now instead of feeling uneasy, your active mind tells your body to rest a bit more.
It tells you to open your eyes and see what is around you.
The wildlife you are now attracting not only pleases your senses, your brain starts to work as you look up and learn a bit on what is visiting your gardens.
Blood pressure lowers, yet exhilaration increases.
"Dang, if I only new this before".
I am blessed enough to have a desire to want to keep going.
Yes, I am limited physically, financially, and in many other ways, but I can still peruse the things God wants me to.
We aren't meant to be the same today as we were yesterday.
Watch the wildlife in your yard and gardens.
They are always on the move.
No time to worry.
If they live, they learn from their mistakes.
Nope, we keep planting the same thing and hope for different results.
Nature is very forgiving.
It is also a great teacher.
Open your eyes and your mind.
Place a 'Under Construction' sign somewhere as a reminder to yourself.
Life isn't meant to be easy.
It's not meant to watch reality TV.
I don't want to say in my last years, "I wish I mowed my yard more often, or worked more".
I don't want to say "I lived a safe life with very few mistakes".
Mistakes, hopefully meant I learned.
'Under Construction', that is what you can say about me.
I am always trying to learn and improve myself.
Wont you join me?
Well,, it is time to fly for now.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
We often spend so much time coping with problems along our path that we only have a dim or even inaccurate view of what’s really important to us.
This is a good one too.
You can’t change the whole world, and you certainly can’t change other people, but you do
have the ability to change
You can have a positive impact in your job, the people with whom you work, and the entire organization…the choice is up to you.
Cherie Carter Scott
Open your eyes and continue to construct a new you.
Don't dwell in the past, see with open eyes.
God continues to create everyday, simply look around you.
"See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
"Behold, I make all things new."
"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,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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