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June 25, 2018

We could use some rain around here.

Rains and floods in parts of Michigan.

Several inches just south of me.

(Sophie with Karen's new Parakeet.)

Maybe enough to get the ground wet is all.

Stand under a tree and you would be dry.

I'm having to run sprinklers on the flowers.

I must say, the birds do enjoy the sprinklers.

I enjoys watching the cardinals, grosbeaks and other birds playing in the shrubs and trees as they allow the sprinkler to get them wet.

The frolicking in the wet foliage and other birds at ground level enjoying a refreshing drink and bath.

This is called 'leafing', when birds frolic and bathe in wet foliage.

Just like kids,

Spontaneous fun.

But oh the water bill.

There isn't anything new or exciting from this past week.

We are however, taking off for a couple of days this week.

We take Yolanda with us for this outing.

She enjoys seeing thing over again, like it is the first time for her.

Pictured is a squirrel that figured out the so called squirrel resistant feeder.

Hanging on for dear life, the critter keeps the lever from closing while feeding on sunflower seed.

If this critter can figure that out, it deserves to eat.

For newer readers, Yolanda is our daughter that is brain injured from an auto accident years ago.

Not only is she a quadriplegic, short term memory is also a major player.

Why do I write about us?

Simple, It gives you the reader an idea about me (us).

You understand that I am a real, everyday person with passions and desires, and life's struggles.

A person much like you are.

We deal with everyday life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Birds are the favorites in our wildlife gardens, but gardening for wildlife is more than birds.

(I know, I'm being redundant.)

However, you can't help to attract other creatures when you garden for birds.

Butterflies, salamanders, toads, and all sorts of insects find their way and call your yard home.

Insects are an important part of many birds diets, and pollinating.

Chipmunks, squirrels, and beneficial shrews, also find your gardens attractive.

You will learn that some birds are completely insectivores or very close to it.

Learning that American goldfinches are almost 100% seed eaters, while Waxwings are mostly berry and fruit eaters.

You will find that I write about insects, or biological gardening as well as birds, butterflies and what we plant.

Sometimes I touch on everyday gardening issues or problems.

Everything goes hand in hand.

Especially with the addition of non native (cultivated), and invasive species of plants, insects, and animals.

Sure, most bugs may not be exciting, some even go unnoticed, but they are a part of the food chain and life cycles.

Do you ever have those moments where you planned on doing one thing and ended doing another?

Well, that's what happened now.

I was going to write on something else, but the heat waves that come and go, helped to change my mind.

The hot summer days can take a toll on people, and animals.

Be sure to keep your pets comfortable and offer plenty of water for them, not to mention, your farm animals.

Keep yourself hydrated as well.

If you take your dogs for short walks, remember that black top becomes blistering hot and will burn the pads on your fur kids feet.

Walk them in the morning or late evening when roads and hot surfaces can cool down some.

How do birds manage in the heat of summer?

(Chipmunks offer moments of laughter and entertainment.)

First of all, I will point home on the importance of fresh water for hydration and a cooling off.

Offering fresh water helps all your wildlife.

Other than that, "Nature" has provided a couple of ways for birds to keep cool or at least remain comfortable.

A bird's body temperature is higher than ours, around 105 degrees F. (40 degrees C.), so they can remain more comfortable when the mercury rises than we can, (The opposite becomes an issue in the cold of winter).

However, birds do not perspire like we do.

They do however pant much like a dog will.

The rapids breaths in and out of their lungs and air sacks carry out excessive internal body heat.

Most birds do not have feathers on their legs, and all birds have bare feet.

Now, the legs and feet aren't exactly bare, they are covered with scales.

Yet, birds possess the ability to increase blood flow to these bald legs and feet.

The increased flow of blood to the outer extremities aids in cooling the bird, much like elephants increase blood flow through the big ears to help cool down.

Birds also decrease the flow of blood to the legs in the cold months to minimize the loss of precious heat.

(Trained eyes will spot insects like the green beauty in the middle of a Zinnia this past week.)

(Cardinal Leafing.)

Another simple answer to stay cool is this .......

Birds can lay low during the heat of the day.

Find a nice shade tree, prairie grass or whatever is handy.

Yet, this time of year most of our birds are busy.

Real busy raising families.

That adds up to several air miles logged every day just to keep hungry mouths fed.

Not to mention, find time for a quick bite and drink for themselves.

For many of our birds it is non stop.

As soon as one bunch has fledged, another nest is being constructed.

All this time, Adults try to keep cool, brood hatchlings (keeping them warm and dry), find food .............

You get the idea.

Wildlife gardening offers food, water, shelter, places to raise a family.

It also offers up countless hours of education, enjoyment, relaxation, and fun for you.

As you learn and educate yourself on your surroundings, you will feel more at ease as you enjoy what nature offers you and me.

You will learn to admire the gifts God gives our feathered friends.

(The Girls napping.)

Below are Sophie and Miss Penny

The gifts He has given to you and me.

Well, it's time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything".

Mark Twain"

Read that again.

From God's word.

" Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit."

Proverbs 26:24

"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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