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Welcome to Summer
June 20, 2016

Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime.

Officially starts today (June 20), this year.

Did you start to sing or hum along?

It hardly seems possible.

Here in the north country there is this anticipation for the arrival of summer.

Long sun filled days.

Water recreation.

Summer vacations.

As I grow older, there are the sounds of summer too.

Backyard birds, kids at play, and air conditioners running full blast.

Our little trip was cut short a day, as Yolanda came down with flu like symptoms.

That didn't surprise us at all, as the grand kids have the same symptoms.

Yolanda's immune system and brain not at full speed, things happen.

Still, we are thankful we could get way for a bit.

There is always the excitement crossing the 'Mighty Mackinaw Bridge'.

The Mac. was the longest bridge until 1998 (I think), spanning the five miles that separate Michigan's lower and upper peninsula.

For Yolanda it is always like the first time, and that makes me happy for her.

Karen and Yolanda hit many tourist stores and did some shopping.

I also was blessed to see a 1,000 foot ship traverse the Soo Locks.

The ship's name is 'American Integrity' if you care to Google it.

There are currently 13 of these 1,000 foot ships that service the Great Lakes only.

(Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me.... this is an old picture.)

The ships carry the nickname 'Lakers' for this very reason.

Across the street from the Locks is a strip of tourist trap stores.

Guys get to watch the 'Big Boy Toys', as the gals shop.

Okay, enough of that jazz.

Onto summer.


In the heat of summer, water sources turn nasty in no time.

This goes for your birdbaths, as well as your water dishes for pets and farm animals.

Show some diligence and keep fresh water for all the critters, if possible.

Stagnant water is also a prime egg laying ground for mosquitoes.

Keep water fresh.

If algae is a problem, toss in a section of copper pipe, or a handful of copper pennies dated 1982 and before.

Persanaly I prefer the pipe, it is quick and easy.

Scrubbing down and sanitizing a bath or water dish, and rinsing also slows down growth.

I so enjoy birds and some of the smaller critters that visit.

I know chipmunks can be a scourge for some, but so far they haven't been a big issue for me.

Check out the pictures of the chippy and male cardinal as they feed.

There is another picture that shows them in unison as they stop feeding and start to check out a noise or something they may have seen.

Summertime also means Woodchuck wars for me.

Woodchucks/groundhogs are the scourge for me.

Give me a den of skunks living under my shed before one woodchuck.

Not too many things growing are safe when the over sized rodents are around.

Not to mention the damage they can do by digging holes.

Trap and release and this year year, I am going to try a hot pepper spray I am making up as I go.

, if you have any suggestions, or remedies, I am listening.

They don'y usually burrow in my yard, but take up residence under a neighbors shed or deck.

They come from the nearby woods and fields.

Then they graze in my yard, as I have all the green stuff.

Face it, not all people grow flowers or veggies.

(Woodchuck in hole)

This time of year also brings on a night show of sorts.

For some of you, you too get have the pleasures of watching and yes, even catching fireflies, or you may call them lightening bugs.

Gardeners are busy watching their plants and flowers grow.

How quickly things change in the long days and heat of summer.

New flowers.

Butterflies arrive.

You notice more hummer activity.

Another batch or two of fledged birds are hopping around and crying for a meal.

You get a glimpse of a cowbird fledgling being fed by a song sparrow.

A fledged bird twice the size, yet the parents do, what parent do.

Anyone for a water fight?

Those days of skinny dipping with some friends in a neighbors pond.

A pond that I wouldn't stick my toes in these days,

Boys were boys back then.

Why does sun tea always taste better?

On days like these, I make it in a half gallon jar.

Not a whole lot of information today, just sharing a bit of summer with you

Well, it is time to fly for now.

I wish a blessed and wonderful summer for each and everyone of you.

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

God Bless.

“Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.”

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American Presbyterian Minister

Crying is often seen as a sign of weakness, or as something to be ashamed of.

Or is the act of shedding tears actually healthy?

Research shows that Shedding tears can be good for your health (look it up).

Now how healthy is this?

I look forward to this day.

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

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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