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Mid March Happenings
March 11, 2013


Just in time to offer some flowers and color when it is really needed.

Actually, they are a bit late this year

Amaryllis need 3 months of dormant time to set buds.

With the warm autumn last year, I kept them in the ground till mid October.

Popped them in the pots in Late January/early February and now I will have color the rest of March.

While many will be seeing green this week (Irish Green), I will see red :-)

Spring creeps closer and closer.

'Daylight Savings Time' is now in effect and I must say, I do enjoy the extra hour of daylight in the evening time.

A reader once sent me this quote a few years back.

There is an old joke about attempting to explain Daylight Savings Time to an old Indian Chief, the old one said,

“Only the white man’s government would be so stupid as to cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it onto the bottom, and think they have a longer blanket.”

True, but I do like the longer evening side, don't you?

(I don't wake up at 6:00 AM anymore.)

Spring Fever is definitely on the rise.

Especially when the sun is shining and you can see the snow melting and you get a peak at grass and dirt.

A little tease that say "Come Hither".

Little signs of a promise to come.

Still, I know that 'Old Man Winter' may only be taking a few days off.

A late winter storm is always a possibility.

Even into April.

I've experienced April snow storms before.

It is wise to be cautious.

In the south, many things are blooming or showing color.

Days may be growing warmer and some gardeners may be doing some prep work.

Experienced gardeners know it is Only prep work.

Even as days grow longer and warmer, there is still that chance for one last killing frost.

Resist temptation on planting tenders, and be sure hardy plants (like cole crops) are hardened off before planting.

I might also add this.

If the soil is wet or too damp, you are doing more harm than good when you walk or work the soil.

Soil compaction slowly kills off plants as they can't breathe.

Not to mention the complex makeup of your dirt you are messing with when it is too moist.

If you can pick up a handful of dirt and it crumbles, it is safe to work.

If your dirt ball remains a dirt ball, it is to wet and a friendly 'Stay Off' is in order.

For me, in southwest Michigan, I typically have a good month of waiting still.

March also means seed planting is in full swing for most who plant seeds.

We all learn by experience, don't be too discouraged when seeds fail or baby plants die.

It's Sugaring Time:

I recall as a boy, when my friends and I would visit a couple of local (small) operations in nearby woods.

If were were lucky, we would get a free sample.

Maple sugaring is a magical tradition.

Only Mother Nature can predict when sap will start running, but the season typically begins between mid-February and March and lasts for four to six weeks.

Sugaring time differs from region to region (sap runs earlier in southern locations)

If you plan a day trip, be flexible when planning dates, as weather can turn ugly in a hurry this time of year.

You typical tree for sap is of course the 'Hard' or Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum).

Many people don't realize that Boxelders or Ash leaf maple ( Acer negundo) is also a pretty good sugaring tree.

Lousy for the landscape but pretty good for tapping.

Soft maples or Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) are a poor tree for sugaring.

Old timers would also tap certain nut trees like Black walnut and Hickory trees.

Love is in the Air:

More and more it feels and sounds like spring.

Don't you agree?

Love songs fill the March

Birds are coming and going.

Yes, migration is in full swing for some species and northern migrations continue into June.

Birds that pair for life are once again nurturing that special bond.

Arial dances.

Singing love songs.

Sharing a prized piece of food.

Sitting on the same branch.

Pictured are the resident Red-tailed hawks.

The picture was taken from our deck.

The Raptors are over 100 meters away so this is the best my camera will do.

The round objects hanging from the tree are seed pods from a rather large Sycamore tree.

Also pictured in this letter is a pair of Mourning doves.

Isn't romance special?

Cotton-tail rabbits are also getting in the mood.

No match making here, just a bit of rabbit romancing and
BAM. .................

It's done.

It is still too cool here, but I imagine some of you are hearing the Peepers sing.

Continue feeding your birds.

Even though the snow is melting or you have flowers blooming, there is still a lack of natural food for our feathered friends.

Natural seed supplies are running low, and in many places it is still to cool for there to be an abundance of insects and worm activity.

Shrinking habitat adds to the situation.

Besides, doesn't it make you feel all warm inside, knowing you may be lending a helping hand?

If you have bird houses or nesting boxes to put out, do it now. before they arrive.

Winter Constellations are still present in the night skies as they continue to work from East to West.

Jupiter is High in the sky, and around 11:00 PM, yellow colored Saturn is peeking above the East, Southeast horizon.

As the temperatures grow warmer and the skies are beginning to show a few less clouds, It is a good time to go outside and observe our galaxy.

Breathe some fresh air and give thanks to our 'Creator'.

As time goes by, you may hear the sounds of migrating birds overhead.

The moon is full on the 27th this month.

It is called many different names.

Lenten Moon, Sap Moon, Worm Moon, are but a few names.

This coming week, if you have a clear sky during twilight, look west.

Low in the sky and you may sneak a peak at the Comet 'Pan Starr' as it is heading toward deep space once again.

It should be visible for a few days after blessing the southern hemisphere for much of our winter (their summer).

There is still time and, I sure could use your help.

I need more of your 'Spring Favorites'.

What do you really look forward to.

What does spring mean to you.

It can be anything your heart desires.

Your participation is welcome.

I am hoping for enough participation to fill a nice letter or two later this month.

Forward this letter with your favorite spring moments along with your

First name (last is optional).

Your general location and state or province

Your letter works only when you take part.

your turn to shine.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

You have made known to me the path of life.

King David in Psalm 16:11

Now here is the path Jesus gives us to follow.

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you;seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Luke 11:9

"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

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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