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July 11, 2016


We finally had a bit of rain Friday afternoon.

A healthy inch in about a 30 minute period.

A good soaker would've been better, but we will take anything as it is getting mighty dry around here.

Weather can be quite cyclical as many of you know, and cycles can be years apart.

I took, or went with my girls to get their pacemakers checked this past Friday.

All is well with both of them.

That makes me happy and thanking God.

Here are a couple pictures of Papa oriole feeding a fledged one some grape jelly.

Gardens continue to grow, as long as the crucial elements, of light, food and water are provided.

In the heat of summer, you can almost see your plants grow.

I don't have the patience to sit and watch, however.

Once again, I forgot to mention that the first of the month is a good time to deep clean your feeders.

If you are on a schedule, no worries.

For me and many of you, the first of the month works as a reminder to clean, sanitize and rinse our feeders.

Again, a reminder to offer fresh water for your wildlife, farm animals and your pets.

Especially during these hot days, you want to limit outdoor time for your fur babies.

At the bottom is Snicker Doodles beating up a toy.

(Silver Spotted Skipper)

Mosquitoes are everyone's nemesis.

They carry a number of diseases, like West Nile Virus, Malaria, and now Zika.

They can be carriers of heart worm, if left untreated are fatal to your fur kids.

Be sure to treat your pets with Revolution or another heart worm prevention medication.

For now they have been minor around my neck of the woods due to the dry conditions.

However, biting flies seem to be circling every time I step out the door.

Deer flies, horse flies, black flies, etc.

They bite and it hurts.

Not all sprays keep flies away.

Not everyone wants to smell like a can of mosquito repellent.

While Avon's skin so soft seems to work on mosquitoes, it does nothing to keep flies away.

(Calla Blooms)

Plant geraniums, Lemon grass, and other scented plants to deter mosquitoes.

Pots of geraniums, Lemon grass, Mosquito plant on your deck or porch will help keep the biting pests at bay.

Look to your herb garden too.

Sage, Basil, and mints are fantastic for keeping biting insects from landing.

Rub some on, and insects seem to stay away.

Mint works very well for me on keeping the flies from landing.

Nothing like smelling minty fresh while working in the yard or going for a walk.

Rub on the basil or sage.

Crush it at keep it on the table while your sitting there.

These are some friendly and organic insect repellents.

Not as effective, but one of Nature's own is the Dragonfly.


'Devil's darning needle', 'Mosquito hawk', 'Snake doctor', are some of the more colorful local names that refer to these spectacular insects.

As a child, I would hear how dragonflies would sew your mouth shut and sting you good.

They were an insect to leave alone.

Despite a widespread belief that dragonflies sting, they do not.

They have no means of stinging and are completely harmless to man.

In fact, studies indicate they are one of our most beneficial insects.


Dragonflies and Damselflies, a closely related group.

Belonging to the order Odonata.

They have large compound eyes, short, bristle-like antennae, and four elongate membranous wings.

Some species have transparent, colorless or somber-hued wings; others have brilliantly colored ones blue, green, purple, white, or bronze.

Still others may have conspicuous mottling or spotting on the wings.

Not only the dragonflies wings, but their bodies may be brightly colored as well.

Damselflies are easily distinguished in the field by their more delicate features and the vertical position of the wings over the abdomen when at rest.

Dragonflies are more robust in structure, strong fliers, and hold their wings in a horizontal position when resting.

They are master aerialists, capable of swift flight, of a backward as well as a forward darting movement, and of hovering

Of the approximately 5,000 species of Odonata in the world, over 360 species of dragonflies occur in the United States and Canada.

Predator and Prey:

Dragonflies have excellent eyesight.

The large, hemispherical compound eyes are used in searching for small air-borne insects.

Each eye is composed of nearly 30,000 distinct sight elements called ommatidia.

Each of which is a separate light-sensing
organ , arranged to give nearly a 360° field of vision.

The dragonfly positions its six legs in a basket-like manner literally to scoop its prey out of the air.

The two front legs hold the prey in position so that it may be eaten while in flight.

Dragonflies, in turn, may be food for swifts, swallows, purple martins, kingbirds, frogs and other dragonflies.

It is usually attacked when it is basically immobile, during and shortly after transformation from the nymphal stage to the adult.

Although dragonflies tend to feed indiscriminately, as a group they serve an important ecological function in aquatic and aerial habitats.

The nymphs are an important part of the food chain from many species of fish and, eventually, for other top predators, including man.

Nymphs also feed on insect larvae like mosquitoes.

Most important for you and me is the role of the adult dragonfly in helping to check population levels of those insects such as mosquitoes, horse flies and deer flies.

Dragonflies also help to control other biting flies such as black flies, sand flies, punkies (.no-see-ums.), midges, eye gnats, and stable flies.

So rub the mint, or sage all over, and enjoy your walk while cheering on the Dragonflies.

Dragonflies are not the complete answer to controlling certain kinds of insect pests, they are one of God's many sources to help reduce the population levels and to become food for other living creatures.

A small part of nature's life cycle.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought of the day.

God bless.

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word:

Freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.”

Sir Winston Churchill

Great words to live by

Now here is God's one word to live by.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;

love does not brag and is not arrogant,

does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own,

is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails;"

"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, 13

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued,

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you –
and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute
and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

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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