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A New Feeder Guest
June 27, 2016

The potted tomatoes, picture taken Saturday, June 25.

They are growing, and blooming.

These days, they require a good drink everyday.

soon I will water them twice a day.

More roots mean more fruits, which means more water.

Remember, the roots are running up and down the the buried plant, not just the base.

Saturday we enjoyed a family picnic of sorts.

Not a family reunion, but more of a summer celebration.

My oldest brother and sister-in-law have live in the country and have a huge yard.

Lots of room for yard games and for kids to rip and run.

Sadly, with a big family, not everyone is on the same page.

Personal issues get in the way and some refuse to enjoy family.

Life is too short for such issues.

Oh well, we all enjoyed ourselves and that is important.

Happy Birthday 'Canada' July 1.

Happy Birthday 'America' July 4.

Next week's letter will come on Tuesday.

At the bottom of this letter are the baby chickadees in one of the nest boxes.

If all goes well, they should fledge late this week.

We also have baby Tree swallows in one of the Purple Martin gourd houses.

How exciting and new life abounds.

We are enjoying a new feeder guest the past couple of weeks.


In my four plus decades of backyard birding and feeding wild birds, I have never seen one of these guys at a feeder.

Along the sidewalks feedings and On nature walks, but never at my feeders.

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus):

A very attractive woodpecker, Northern flickers are more commonly seen licking up ants along
sidewalks and grassy areas then they are visiting a backyards feeder.

Still, this handsome male found my peanut feeder and has become a regular visitor.

What a joy and thrill for us.

I can't call them a shy bird, but I rarely can get close enough to one to take a decent picture.

Whether on a tree branch, open field, or a sidewalk, flickers are quick to take flight when I take aim with a camera.

Never before have I been able to capture the yellow tail feathers, or the yellow shafts on the under-wings.

All of these pictures are taken through the window, as I get some excellent views of up till now was an illusive photo opp for me.

Northern flickers are a rather common woodpecker found throughout most of North America.

They do however, migrate from Canada and the northern tier of states and return for breeding season.

Northern flickers in the east are known as Yellow Shafted Flickers, and even have some local common names.

For example.......

In Alabama they are also called 'Yellow Hammerheads'.

In the western region, Flickers have a reddish hue on the undersides of the tail and wings.

Giving the common name of Red Shafted Flicker.

In parts of Arizona, there is a cousin called Gilded Flicker (Colaptes chrysoides).

A large and common woodpecker of the saguaro cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert, the Gilded Flicker has the gray face and red mustache of the "red-shafted" form of the Northern Flicker, but the yellow wings of the "yellow-shafted" form.

Clearly this Flicker has found a taste for raw peanuts, and pretty much is the king when he arrives.

That is until The Red-bellied woodpecker shows up.

A few days ago, both the Flicker and Red-belly arrived almost simultaneously.

I was a bit surprised to see the smaller Red-belly as the aggressor and chase the larger Flicker.

The joys of nature (especially in your own yard), is almost endless.

Pictured below is a female Hairy woodpecker that shares the same peanut feeder.

Click here for more information on Northern Flickers.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

To my North American Friends, enjoy your country's birthday(s).

Celebrate responsibly.

Understand why we have such days.

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

God Bless.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie

Care for others, encourage, build up, love, be a true friend.

The bible says .....................

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”

Proverbs 27:17

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13

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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