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Nature's Garbage Disposals
June 15, 2020

Hurrah, the girls finally made a trip to the salon

They are human once again.

What a difference it makes in looks, and their demeanor.

This past week, the weather gave us 90 plus degree days, with tropical like humidity.

We were watered down with a couple inches of rain, and totally missed by the damaging
winds that knocked down trees and caused power outages for thousands,upon thousands, in parts of the Mid-West and Great Lakes Region.

Thursday evening we were blessed with another cloud burst, and what I think was the brightest (intense colors), and best 'Full Double Rainbow' I have ever seen.

The picture shows the full bow, but doesn't show the colors.

By week's end, Karen had to turn the furnace on to warm up the house on some chilly mornings.

As Michigan slowly opens, some things remain closed.

Yolanda remains home 24 hours a day, and we are still pretty much stuck at home.

She has very compromised health issues, and we must remain vigilant.

The next couple of weeks are filled with dental,doctor, and what ever needs to be done.

We try to get stuff out of the way before July, as we typically go on a couple of day trips and short vacations.

Not this year, however.

This is becoming a summer that wasn't.

I get angry, there are times I want to cry.

Yet we are still blessed.

I must remember to put on the full 'Armor of God' daily ( Ephesians 6:10-18), Positive thought at the bottom of this letter.

Home isn't so bad, We can still go outside and the sights and sounds of nature.

From birds and their songs.

Blue skies and different clouds.

Enjoy the humming of the windchimes (good pipes hum, not clang).

I can even pull what seems to be a never ending supply of weeds.

This coming Saturday is the first official day of Spring.

June 21st (Sunday), is Fathers Day.

What happens to all those weeds?

'Nature's Garbage Disposals'.


Have you ever thought about what the natural world would look like if all the leaves, branches, nuts, animal excrement , dead animals, and bugs just continually piled up?

We would literally be buried in “Stuff”.

It wouldn't smell too good either.

Nature has its own way of dealing with all this "stuff ”.

Everything is recycled very efficiently using two distinct methods.

By scavengers and decomposition.

Scavengers are animals that eat anything, dead (or alive).

Anything that they can find.

It is much easier to eat something dead than catch a live meal.

Opossums, raccoons, vultures, crows, and foxes are just a few of the animals that eat carrion.

Hawks, eagles, coyotes, wolves, bears and skunks, are also part of that list.

I'm sure you can think of others as well.

Also, there are many insects, such as beetles and maggots, which are happy to partake in the feast.

Maybe you haven’t actually thought about it before, but you very seldom find small dead animals and insects in the woods and fields.

How often do you see roadkill being scavenged by one of the above mentioned, often becoming roadkill itself.

Occasionally you see the remains of large animals such as deer, turkey, and larger carcasses, because they are bigger and it takes longer for their remains to be disposed of.

You may also have scavengers (garbage disposals), that raid your trash.

You know what I'm talking about.

That pile of dead branches and yard waste slowly shrinks, becoming part of earth once again.

The forest floor is covered with twigs, dead foliage, and decaying animals.

By summer the forest floor, is rich in nutrients, feeding all of the plant life and micro-organisms that thrive on it all.

The leaf litter and twigs you may leave in your wildlife gardens do much the same.

Not only does this litter provide mulch and nesting materials.

Insects and worms feed on the debris.

Birds and other insects feed, on insects and seeds.

Micro-organisms thrive, and your soil grows healthy and rich.

The process of breaking down organic material into simpler substances is called decomposition.

We humans think of decomposition as a “cleaner” process and associate it more with plant matter (as well as scat) than we do with dead animals.

Decomposing animals create a much stronger emotional reaction when encountered.

Recent research, particularly in old-growth forests, has shown that decomposing trees on the forest floor actually contain more living matter than live standing trees.

This is true because of all the different organisms busily at work turning the organic matter into fuel and energy, and eventually into soil to support new plant life.

The dead tree is full of ants, worms, beetles, mites, grubs, fungi and bacteria, all busily breaking down the wood to get the nutrients that are locked up in it.

In return, birds and other animals feed on worms, beetles, and grubs.

A hungry animal, never turns down a meal of grubs and worms.

Do you understand how intertwined all parts of the natural world are and the different steps in the food chain?

It is so much easier to appreciate the beautiful flowers and trees, the babbling brooks and singing birds, than the slow and quiet decomposers. 

However, I think we may need to revise our opinion of what is good and wonderful in nature.

Next time you see a crow pecking at a dead rabbit on the side of the road, or come across a maggot filled carcass,  you can understand a bit more about "Nature's Garbage Disposals".

Instead of piles of decaying leaves, grasses, animals, and even pooh, thank God for providing all of Nature's Cleanup Crew.

Even though it might be difficult, you have to admit we owe a debt of gratitude to opossums, raccoons, crows, skunks, yellow jackets, worms, maggots, fungi, and bacteria.

There is a whole team of "Nature's Garbage Disposals".

Their pay and reward .......

Helping to keep our planet a cleaner place to live.

Keep  working on your Hummingbird Gardens.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, ere is this week's positive thought.

God Bless.

 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.   Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.   For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.   Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,   and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.   Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people".  Ephesians 6:10-18

"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.

A Blessed week to you .

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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