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Spring Is In The Air
March 14, 2016

A new crescent moon from this past week.

It is difficult to see in this picture, but I always enjoy new moons.

Besides the bright crescent from the sun, you can catch the earth shine on the rest of the moon.

Yes, the faint light on the rest of the moon is sun reflecting off earth and casting a faint light on moon's surface.

Once again, we are overwhelmed by all of the heart felt prayers and concerns given to Yolanda, Karen and me.

You are the best.

As many of you know, Yolanda's appendix burst, and last weekend surgery removed the appendix, a section of her small intestine and a few inches of her colon.

She remains in the hospital, as a possible leak has shown blood in her stool.

Prayers for her that the wound will heal by itself and they don't have to go up and close the leaky spot.

She was given a unit of blood and under a watchful eye as I write this on Sunday evening.

Still through all of this, Yolanda remains her happy self.

Sharing smiles and cracking one liners, as only she can.

God has smiled on her and has blessed us.

“But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full". (John 10: 10)

Praise our Lord.

Spring weather was in full force this past week. Temperatures in the 50's and 60's.

We even managed to have a 70 degree (Fahrenheit), day this past Wednesday.

Weather promises to cool down
(it always does this time of year).

Still .........

Spring is in the air.


I love spring.

All four seasons offer something, however spring is by far my favorite one.

The official start of spring isn't until March 20, but the past several days have been so uplifting for me.

Yes I know, we will still have some cool and possibly cold weather, with some snow flurries.

It happens here in Michigan.

The snow has melted.

Now we need a good spring rain to was off the crud that piles up over winter.

Still, this has been so uplifting to my whole being.

Spring is a promise of new life.

Almost like a new beginning.

There is something special when the crocus are in bloom.

Spring is in the air when St. Patrick's Day arrives.

March madness is the discussion at the water cooler and sports bars.

State and national basketball championships are at stake as tournaments run at a fevered pitch.

Jupiter is high in the eastern sky right now.

On a clear night, poke your head out and take a look.

Binoculars will show two to four of the planets satellite (Galilean moons).

While your outside, The winter constellations are still in prime viewing

Simply moved a bit west in the night sky.

Orion is almost due south at night fall now and quite impressive.

Breathe in freshness while you are outside.

Spring is in the air, when birds start to sing their songs.

Cardinals, Chickadees, Mourning doves, Nuthatches, Tufted-titmouse, woodpeckers, etc.

Robins have arrived in great numbers.

Males first and females a couple weeks later.

Pictured is a partial albino robin.

The robin was photographed Saturday across the street in a neighbor's yard and tree.

Here are a few tidbits for you.

Albinism and partial albinism have been recorded in robins more than any other wild bird species.

One study found that 8.22% of all albino wild birds found in North America were robins.

(could it be because they are one of the most numerous birds?)

Still, only about one robin in 30,000 is an albino or partial albino.

Most records of robins with albinism are only partial albinos, which of course live longer than total albinos. Pigments do more for feathers than simply give them color.

They also make the feathers stronger.

Colored feathers last longer without fraying than white ones do.

Pigments in the irises and retinas of our eyes protect us from light.

Without these pigments, people with albinism often must wear sunglasses.

Birds and other (albino) wild animals don't have this protection many of them eventually go blind.

Fortunately, most albino robins are only partial albinos.

With pigments in their eyes, they have better vision and can sometimes live as long as robins with normal colors.

Spring is in the air, when melting snow drives worms to the surface.

Worms that feed the robins.

Crocus are in bloom.

If you can hang out your laundry, there is that fresh smell that hangs onto your sheets, towels, and articles of clothing.

There is the sound of kids at play.

Bunny rabbits are now seen in twos.

The ducks are pairing up.

I watched a Great-blue heron land on the pond a few days ago. On my nightly walks, I hear a Killdeer. The wind chimes are hanging and making music with every breeze that touches the paddle.

Sunshine warms the house as well as my soul.

You may take a stroll in the park, or around the block.

Maybe into a nearby woods or field.

Keep your eyes and ears open.

You may spot a deer, or a ground nesting bird.

Take a deep breath.

Yes, breathe in some spring.

Spring is in the air.

March and April bring the butterflies to Fredrick Meijer Gardens every year.

In between hospital visits, Karen and I took our little granddaughter to see the butterflies.

There is something special to see the look on a child's face and the reactions when a butterfly drifts by and sometimes will land on you.

Afterwards, we had lunch in they attached cafe.

Looking out the window we watched a pair of Mourning doves.

For the first time ever, we witnessed a courtship.

Ruffled feathers, heads bobbing up and down.

A bit of preening, more head bobs.

Then the male regurgitated, opened his mouth and the female ate the pigeon's milk.

He then mounted and a quick cloacal kiss (mating).

Courtship was a couple of minutes, the kiss maybe a second or two.

She doesn't need to mate again for this batch off eggs, but the process will continue off and on throughout the season, if for nothing else, to strengthen the bond between the pair.

(Pictured below are a pair of doves I watched out the window on Saturday.)

I didn't catch the whole courtship, but with some imagination, you might see the head bobs and ruffled feathers.

We were at the right place at the right time.

Nature is so Grand.

Not a whole lot of information this week.

Just me sharing some happy thoughts with you.

The Lord willing, I will do my Easter Letter this year as a lot goes into them and Yolanda takes a lot from us.

If not, a blessed and Christ filled Easter to you, and I will catch you later.

Well, it is time for me to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing'.

William Ralph Inge

Sounds all too familiar.

Didn't King Solomon say something vaguely similar?

"Idle hands are the devil’s workshop;
Idle lips are his mouthpiece. An evil man sows strife;
Gossip separates the best of friends.
Wickedness loves company and leads others into sin".

Proverbs 16:27-29

"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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