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Insects Continued
July 25, 2011

Did you make it through last week's heat wave?

It is still warm here, but not at all like the oppressive heat many of us experienced last week.

It was bad enough around here that this squirrel had to find comfort on the concrete shrooms under a tree.

The mushrooms are under some spruce trees, so there is shade there.

Still, the concrete had to be as warm as the air (upper 90's), yet cooler than the heat and sun.

The birds were panting and fewer of them in during the heat heat of the day.

Ouch, ouch, ouch ...................

Karen twisted my arm ...........................

Off to the beach we went.

That was last Thursday.

Holland State Park.

The hot sand.

The crowds.

A refreshing breeze, a good 10 degrees cooler than inland and I had to suffer the 74 degree water temps.

I'm still feeling the pain from the arm twist :-)

Yeah right .....................................

Nature managed to give us a bit of relief by blessing us with some well needed rain.

Say, I saw my first monarch of the season this past Wednesday.

It was nice to see.

I think it was mid August when I saw my first monarch last year.

Fall migration is a good barometer for me, when it come to monarchs and if they are rebounding.

Coming up is the last weekend of July.

That means one thing...................

Sidewalk sale in Petoskey, MI. July 29th and 30th.

It also means a few days on Little Traverse Bay at the Gingerbread House B&B.

We have stayed here for a good 20 years now and have become good friends with the lady that owns and runs the B&B.

I can never spend enough time Up North.

Okay, with that being said ..........................

We will be gone a few days later on this week.

Next week's newsletter will probably be a bit late because of this.

I know I shouldn't broadcast things, but it only shows how great you people are.


I really enjoy my backyard birds.

If you have been with me for any length of time, than you know Black-capped chickadees are my favorite backyard bird.

Sure, I will travel great lengths to spot Eagles, loons, warblers and others,

And who doesn't stop to watch a hummingbird?

But I'm talking backyard birds.

Chickadees fit the bill.

They flit around, almost constantly on the move.

Their chickadee-dee-dee, can be heard year round.

What other species of bird is so friendly and almost seems to trust humans.

With a little patience and time, you can coax these little bundles of non stop action from eating right from your hand.

I was really blessed this time around.

I have a family of five that I hand feed.

Three juveniles and the two parents.

I'll get into this more next week, however I couldn't wait to share a few pictures with you.

It is so much fun, as there are some moments when they are coming and going so quickly.

Non stop action.

A few times there are sibling squabbles and other times, I will have two at a time on a hand.

Sometimes, I am a two handed feeder.

I Love It.

By the way, I am feeding peanut chips I chop myself.

Also, below are a few bloomers in my yard from different vantage points.

Today, we continue the short series on insects and why we need them.


Even though I am feeding the Black-capped chickadees raw peanut pieces, these adorable little birds wouldn't be here for me to enjoy if they weren't fed a protein rich diet of insects by their parents.

Indeed, they will feed on insects and bug eggs the remainder of their lives.

As mentioned last week, a full 96% of our native birds rely on insects as a vital food source.

I will be redundant on a few points, but only because it is that important.

There are 9 million species of insects in our world and to most people, they make your skin crawl.

What is it about insects that gives you the creeps?

They bite or sting?

The fact that they suck your blood?

Is it that they crawl?

Who knows where they have been.

Who really knows why insects give us the heebeegeebees assault us so extremely?

All most people know is that they just do.

One reason may be, is because they come into our homes.

They buzz in our ears and bite us when we are gardening or even asleep.

They build webs,and even get into our homes.

Who could love something like that?

Even though you may have a real distaste for the insect kingdom and do everything in your power to kill them, they love our world.

Only a very small fraction of the insects on the planet have the ability to harm you and me - physically.

Some may aggravate but only few can do damage.

Is it these few that cause us to hate all the rest, or are our fears taught at a young age or real to you?

There are those who don't mind insects, even like bugs.

If you knew the facts about bugs, you may not learn to like them but you might learn to tolerate them just a little easier.

Insects are here to help us in a variety of ways.

They pollinate flowers, which give us beauty in our world.

They pollinate crops so that we may eat, (a full 30% of our food is due to pollinators).

They even pollinate the forests which are responsible for a large part of our air supply.

Beneficial Insects Kill other Insects which try to Destroy our Crops.

Here is a sobering thought:

In the great outdoors it's possible for millions of insects to live in a single acre.

Yes, millions......

And that is a healthy ecosystem.

When things are out of whack, it could be more or far less.


Without insects the forests and fields would be doomed.

Insects help to decompose dead animals as well as waste from plants and animals alike.

As animals travel throughout they lose tons of fur and hair, which insects help to decompose.

Not to mention, the piles of excrement that many insects feast on.

Insects also provide endless meals for birds, frogs, fish and mammals.

Insects give us silk, honey, and beeswax and for some people, a source of protein rich food.

We also use them or their bi-products for shellacs, dyes and medicines.

Insects also do their part for medical research (real troopers they are).

It is believed, that if all insects would disappear from the planet so would all people
and most of our wild birds and animals.

Plants and crops would die out, causing the deaths of millions of people and animals.

Dung would accumulate causing disease and plagues (not to mention the smell).

They are a necessary part of the ecosystem and without them fish, birds and other mammals would have no food.

Although most people think they could live without insects it's a fact that our world needs them to survive.

As unpleasant as that is, it's better to live with them than die without them.

The next time you think of stomping an insect try to view him as an important part of our lives and the whole ecosystem, rather than a nuisance.

You might decide to let the little guy live..

Yes, we've all had those annoying moments when insects find a way into our personal space.

Whether it be termites eating your house, mosquitoes biting, a
bee sting, or fleas feeding on your dog.

Bugs can be a nuisance.

However, do you stop to think about the good that insects bring into our lives?

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Remember, I may be late next week.

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

God Bless.

"Confidence on the outside begins by living with integrity on the inside".

Brian Tracy

Why is integrity so important?

Read on.

"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity".

Proverbs 11:3 (EIV)

"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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