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Life On The Edge
June 03, 2013
Hi,

It has been more than 15 years since having to deal with a thief.

The low down, clean out the feeders, furry crook.

If it isn't bad enough to be robbed under the cloak of darkness, this masked marauder is so bold as to appear in the evening hours when the sun is still shining.

Currently I remove all non baffled feeders (and grape jelly) before dark.

My next step is to try to live trap the beast.

From there, only time will tell.

I know, it goes with the territory.

Please continue to lift up in prayer, those in need.

Especially those effected by the weather (again) this past week.

Cool and rainy to warm and very muggy, back to cool.

Just like that, overnight.

Jeans, jackets and the fireplace burning,

To the air filled with the humming and buzzing of air conditioners.

Back to jeans on Sunday.

Come on, this is June after all.

Now we deal with an over abundance of plant down (and seeds) over the next couple of weeks from the Cottonwood trees.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how trees and shrubs may bare a large crop of seed, fruit, and nuts this year if you live in a drought stricken area from last year.

Currently in my corner of the world, Black Locust trees are no exception.

The sweet aroma fills the air.

I can't recall the trees being so full of blooms as they are now.

So prolific are the flowering bunches, the branches are bending from the added weight.

The picture of the Locust tree across the pond does it no justice.

Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Once native to the southern Appalachian region of the Eastern United States, it has now spread throughout the world (introduced).

It is valuable as an aggressive, rapidly growing invader species that controls erosion in road cuts, abandoned fields, strip-mined areas, logged forests, fire-swept areas and other duties.

Initially colonizing by seeds, it also suckers from the roots, forming pure stands and snuffing out competitive weeds and woody plants.

Trees of sufficient size are valued for their logs, which make fine fence posts, poles, or railroad ties due to the anti-rotting properties of the olive-green wood.

Black Locust can quickly grow to 50 feet tall.

Not bad considering it is from the bean family or legume family.

(The pea looking flowers give way to seed pods.)

As mentioned, this tree sends out new grow from the roots, and doesn't make a good landscape tree.

The branches also bare a thorny armor.

In many regions, this tree is considered a noxious weed.

(Blue Jay babies.)

Did you turn the page on the calendar?

I know, I'm a couple days late on that reminder.

No matter, it is the first of the month and it is that time again.

Time to give your bird feeders and birdbaths a good cleaning.

Spritzing a feeder with rubbing alcohol works if you're in a hurry.

Keeping a cap of chlorine bleach or peroxide in your birdbath will help keep the water clean.

But I'm suggesting a good deep scrubbing and cleaning.

Get into the cracks and crevices with some Oxygen bleach or peroxide.

Let things soak and then scrub and rinse.

Remove all the bird poo and other stuff that carries the cooties.

One thing nice about Oxygen bleach (Oxy products), and peroxide, is they are all natural and leave no harmful residue like harsh bleach or other chemicals.

Allow feeders to air dry before filling.

Life On The Edge.

Enjoy.

Water.

We drink it, water our gardens with it.

We relax to the sights and sounds of water.

We play and recreate with the wet stuff.

The masses converge to waters edge, whenever possible.

If possible, many of us would choose to live by the water (ocean, lake, pond, stream, etc.).

Is it no wonder why the price of water front property continues to rise?

Water, we covet it.

Indeed, all life requires water.

(Local Pond)

Living On The Edge.

(Fledged Robin in willows along the pond.)

It is at waters edge, that you will find life at its most abundant, and most diverse.

Life on the edge.

It isn't just the first few feet (meter+) of water.

It isn't simply a couple of feet (meter) of shoreline.

It is a vast ecosystem that can go for long distances.

More species of wildlife can be found near waters edge than anywhere else.

Think of it.

Where there is water you find life.

Plants, mammals, and birds.

Amphibians, fish, insects, spiders, snails and other shelled creatures.

Worms and a microbe rich underground.

In this case, Life on The Edge has a duel meaning.

Waters edge isn't just ankle deep water where minnows and tadpoles grow.

Waters edge can drift out for several yards (meters).

Shallows where water plants and cattails grow.

Where there are plants, you find even more life.

Food, water, and shelter.

For some, a place to raise a family.

I live near several ponds, a creek, and several acres of cattail marsh.

The pond closest to where I live is probably 2 or so acres in size.

Most of it is surrounded by reeds, cattails, willows and other plants that enjoy wet feet.

Joe-pye weed and Swamp milkweeds are plentiful as well.

It is this pond and surrounding area, where many of my water, and wildlife pictures come from.

It is also the reason I can attract so many ducks and other birds to my yard.

We are blessed (or cursed) with more Red-winged blackbirds than I ever want.

Because of the pond, two years ago we were blessed to have Green Herons nest in the spruce trees, and fledge these three youngsters.

Great blue herons fly the skies and hunt the ponds and waterways around here on a daily basis.

The skies are often filled with different swallows as they forage for insects and drink on the wing.

Insects are plentiful and this attracts a plethora of bird species.

Eastern kingbirds are spotted flying out to snag a meal and going back to their perch, until the next morsel flies near.

Later this summer, there will be at least one family of Belted Kingfishers whose vocalizations will fill the air and hunt the waters for fish, frogs and what is available.

Several species of waterfowl use the ponds for resting spots on migration trail to and fro.

Life On Waters edge also includes Tadpoles.

Too many to count, as they live near the edge and amongst the cattails and reeds.

These tadpoles will become little toadlets in a few more weeks.

Because of the pond, I am blessed with toads and more toads.

Dragonflies, Damselflies, Butterflies, Fireflies, bring pleasure, yet they all provide certain duties.

Butterflies are pollinators, and a source of food.

Dragonflies, and damselflies are predators and prey.

Fireflies are prey, but the larvae are predators.

Mice, moles, and shrews, favor the fertile grounds for food and shelter.

As do frogs, and of course the birds.

Red-winged blackbirds favor cattails as a place to build a nest.

Still, around the world there are many species of birds that use water as a source of protection.

Whether it is building a nest over water, on a small island or like the Red-winged blackbirds, Water gives most predators one less angle of attack.

It also is one more way to failure.

Ground nests are often flooded.

Young birds fledge or fall from a nest and drown or become a meal for a predator lurking near the water's surface.

Snakes slither or wait in ambush for a meal.

A Red-tailed hawk may feast on snake today.

Bald eagles and Osprey nest near water (fish is the favorite food).

Life On the Edge, is often Life, On the Edge.

This is where it can be a two edged sword.

Living On the Edge.

(Green Heron Fledglings in my yard.)

It is at waters edge, that you will find life at its most abundant, and most diverse.

Life on the edge.

It isn't just the first few feet (meter+) of water.

It isn't simply a couple of feet (meter) of shoreline.

It is a vast ecosystem that can go for long distances.

More species of wildlife can be found near waters edge than anywhere else.

Think of it.

Where there is water you find life.

Plants, mammals, and birds.

Amphibians, fish, insects, spiders, snails and other shelled creatures.

Worms and a microbe rich underground.

In this case, Life on The Edge has a duel meaning.

At different times of the day you may spot all sorts of wildlife as they come for a drink or even to feed.

Around the wetlands, ponds, and creek around here, I have seen Muskrat, Mink, a Pine-martin, as well as fox, raccoons, turkeys, and deer and an assortment of small critters.

Interesting is how the turkeys enjoy the swamps and marshlands.

Turtle can be found sunning themselves or laying their eggs.

Sometimes hundreds of yards (meters) from water.

Life On the Edge.

The most diverse and wildlife populated regions.

Areas teaming with life.

Often we never see, as so much happens below the surface.

In Nature, 'Life on The Edge' is just that, Living on edge.

Predator and prey.

The circle of life.

Creation and Nature at its fullest.

Sadly, our wetlands and waterways are still disappearing and still being filled with toxins and other pollutants.

A healthy waterway is exciting.

A polluted waterway......................

I have seen and smelled them, and I'm sure you have too.

You will find more life in the desert, than a polluted water system.

Human damage equals

No Life On the Edge.

Stewardship my friend.

(Pictured below is a flock of geese that came for a visit last week and a Green Heron perched for the hunt.)

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God bless.

"Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.
They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous."

Thomas Jefferson

Good thoughts from a good man.

Now here is what the Bible says.

“Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.””

Jeremiah 17:5-8

"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



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Gardening For Wildlife.


























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