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July 31, 2017

Sometimes, a few short 'Get Away Days', is not enough time to recharge.

Still, we are thankful to have a home to come back to, and of course Yolanda and the four legged kids cause even more worries.

No matter, back into the real world.

(The Historical Marker is a challenge to read, yet it gives you an idea of some history, and Europeans settling the area more than 300 years ago.)

Time in Northern Michigan does something for my soul.

This time however, things are different.

I think it is because we had to stay in a hotel.

For the past 25 years or so, we have stayed at the same B&B, and made friends with the owner/proprietor.

This past winter she let us and all patrons know she was sick and could no longer manage the home.

Thank God, she survived the cancer and surgery.

Karen and I visited with her for a couple of hours and that nice.

At 88 years old (or young), she is doing quite well.

Still, things were different.

(Sorry, no Snickers today.)

August starts this week, can you hardly stand it.

When I was a child, I used to think my elders were on something, when they would say how time flies by.

Now, I understand what they were talking about.

We are now peppered with back to school ads, and fall clothing lines.

"I want my summer back".

Do you notice fewer bird songs?

Another round of fledglings fill the neighborhood, we do hear them.

Listen for the sounds of mid to late summer insects.

Be careful with the pesticides, most of the bugs are good ones.

I am sharing with you a few pictures of the Little Traverse Bay, and area.

(Harbor Springs across the Bay from Petoskey.)


If you find the time, remember the first of the month is a reminder to deep clean feeders and water sources.

Be sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Cut a fresh bouquet and bring it inside where you can enjoy it.

Fresh fruits and veggies for our consumption.

Too many zucchini squash or cucumbers?

Share with friends and neighbors.

Drop some off at a food pantry or homeless shelter.

In the dark of night, leave a few on an unsuspecting porch.

After a few getaway days, I had some time to relax and reflect.

To really enjoy life.

I love to get away and watch the world around me.

I enjoy spotting wildlife and even land formations.

Though it may be a big blow to you and me.

'We Need Nature, Nature Doesn't Need Us'.

If humans were to disappear tomorrow, the natural world, would do just fine (actually better).

Whole ecosystems would be reborn.

Healthy prairies, wetlands, savannas and more would come back to life.

Nature's balance would eventually return, if we haven't messed it up to much with non natives and invasive species.

You know, Kudzu, Zebra mussels, Emerald ash borer.

Rats, Chinese carp, House sparrows, European starlings and more.

If the natural world as we know it disappeared, how would humans do?

We have the power to rationalize, which includes the ability to fool ourselves.

That is what we do when we think we can do better than God, when we mess with his creations.

We attempt to tame nature and our surroundings to make ourselves feel better and more powerful (the fear of the unknown).

In doing so, we destroy and distance ourselves even further from the natural world.

We have access to the world around us, we don't need to destroy it.

Indigenous peoples live in jungles, deserts, forests, secluded islands, and mountains.

They lived throughout North America for centuries (quite well), until our ancestors came along.

They've been doing it for thousands of years and surviving without destroying the land.

These societies continue to pass down knowledge and to show appreciation for nature, not destroy it.

(A Golden Lake Michigan.)

North American Indians lived in harmony with nature.

Indeed, the earth was a living being to care for and honor, not to destroy or take advantage of.

Living in their own societies as people and in comfort with animals and their surroundings.

Taking only what they needed and giving back.

Making sure there was something for the next generation.

(This is why I always have the wise quote at the bottom of this letter.)

Fully in tune with life in all ways.

Native Americans knew that humans were the weak link in the circle of life.

So called civilization proved them to be correct.

Here in the "civilized world", we have separated ourselves from the natural world.

We call ourselves superior.

A species that can create, develop and destroy.

We continue to kill off the better, more natural world and the natural self within.

(A curious bunny checking me out.)

No other species destroys God's planet the way we do.

No matter how much we are afraid of different civilizations and nature's unknowns, no matter how much we ravage, pollute, and destroy our earth.

Our nature, our roots yearn for more.

To be fulfilled.

After stripping the land of its natural beauty, we turn around and plant a few trees along the streets and in our yards and call it nature.

We fill in wetlands and alter streams, then we build water gardens and even put water features in the lobbies of large buildings.

We decorate our homes with paintings or flowers or landscapes.

Even the smallest apartment may have room for a window box or planter.

So often we vacation, or holiday in natural settings, or visit nature's wonders.


Nature is in us.

Without some connection with Mother Nature, we feel isolated.

Our world feels cold.

We are a mess.

Part of us dies within.

We need nature.

Now I like a nice vacation as much as the next person and truth be told, it takes me the first couple of days just to learn how to unwind and relax.

I can be a tense person, always on the move, wanting to see more around me etc.

Just ask Karen.

If you are planning some time away in the woods, a park or camp ground, even some time near the water.

Take some time to learn from the best teacher.

Mother Nature.

Learn how she provides for every living thing.

Stop and watch a frog or a dragonfly.

Take time to observe toadstools or the venation of a tree leaf.

Smell the air, listen to the sounds of God's world we are stewards over.

You will enjoy your vacation and life at home more if you spend more time training and learning about the life around you.

Understand the sun and clouds, the time of day, shade and shadows.

Even the wind blowing.

When and where are your best chances to spot wildlife.

You will enjoy your natural experiences that much more if you have a feeling or some understandings.

Know when to hunt for food, or with a camera.

(I still get a glimpse or two of the parents hanging around the den site, rarely a youngster. This is dad, below is mom sleeping.)

I grew up a country boy, and many of those keen senses are still with me.

This is how I am able to spot a family of foxes, when others walk by totally oblivious to their presence.

I can't count the times I will spot something in our gardens or
elsewhere, and Karen will ask me how I spotted that or something along that line.

Suburban life and all the fancy gizmos dull the senses.

It also dulls our appreciation and needs for the natural world, yet we still yearn to be near it at times.

You get the idea.

I didn't intend to preach, but you get the idea.

We need the natural world,

We need to spend time planning to enjoy life around us every day, not just vacations or holidays as some call them.

I have read before, that most people spend more time saving and planning for trips than they do mapping out the rest of the year.

That is how important nature is for us.

Life is short, there is no second chance.

Live it to its fullest.

Enjoy the living world around you, the way our Creator intended for us.

Being a good steward, you not only serve and protect today, but you pass your skills and understanding to future generations.

Yes, we also have a gift of learning, and I love to learn.

Well, it's time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"Come forth into the light of things,

let nature be your teacher".

William Wordsworth

Indeed, allow nature to teach you.

Several verses in the bible tell us to be good stewards and to learn from the land.

Here is a bit of wisdom.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;

the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;

or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;

and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind".

Job 12: 7-12

"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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