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Your Spring Favorites
March 25, 2013

Somewhere there is actually spring like weather.

It sure isn't Michigan.

The poor robins are fluffed up to keep warm and having to forage for berries (pictured at the bottom).

Small flocks of Red-winged blackbirds and Grackles feast on the seed I toss out.

Early spring walks show fields look cold and desolate.

The pond is frozen still, covered in white, like a baron waste land.

When you are out and about, look around.

You may spot a Preying Mantis egg capsule, or some other hidden treasure.

Still, this weather is much healthier than last year.

I try to remain calm.

I know it is spring.

I also know that just about anything is possible when it comes to the weather.

Say, did you happen to cat the moon and Jupiter last week (pictured)?

Side Note:

Lord willing, I will write my Easter letter and send it out on Friday.

For the new readers.

I am a Christian and not ashamed to say so.

I make an attempt to write a special letter for Easter and Christmas (Lord willing).

For all readers, feel free to delete, ignore, or better yet, please read.

All I ask is an open mind and heart for you who do take the time to read.

If one heart is reached, just one......................

I hope to see all of you the following week.

In the mean time,

My patience begin to grow thin. Just in time are this years batch of Spring favorites.

Yes, a small collection from readers.

A sample of what you look for and wait for in Spring.


Ginger Brashinger in Frankfort, Illinois--about 20 or so miles south of Chicago.

Just finished your newsletter and had to think for a minute about my favorites about spring--there are so many. I only dislike the winds that always seem to be a bit too much. But, I enjoy all the other changes in weather. I love watching birds all year and that doesn't change in spring--just love to watch for the migrating birds.

But, I would have to say my favorite part of spring is seeing the new growth popping up through the soil and the buds on the trees and bushes. Nothing compares with that--it's as wonderful as the birth of a child because it means life for everyone, to me, when growing things survive the winter (or lack of winter).

Thanks Ginger. I love the birds as well.

Even though it looks and feels like winter, the birds are singing like it is spring.

Cindy Van Atta of Gloucester,VA.

My most favorite thing about spring is seeing the leaves returning to the trees and bushes. I miss them so much in the winter! It just always brings a smile to my face to seen them popping out. Thank you for all of your good information and pictures. I always look forward to your newsletter.

Thank you Cindy.

I think change of seasons helps us to appreciate what we have and when we have it that much more.

Shelly B. from the Poconos PA.

Spring the smell of rain, mist and fog. Earth smells of wet soil, damp wood decaying. Bulbs forcing their way thru to prove their is life after winter, perhaps a reminder to us that we can make it thru so much. The Last Leaves, making their way finally to the ground for food and mulch. Promise of longer days and hopefully sun. Invigoration from everything around to help us get involved.

Songs....looking forward to each new song....those of love, watching, first flight. Frogs, Toads, insects making their way to start anew. Awakening of critters, scurrying for food from the new brunch bar emerging.

Promise of Life. Reminder to be thankful for everything we have, especially the simplest things. I see my Daffs fighting, crocus too for their glorious days to shine. But I see the colors emerging, new interest in the birds.

Thank You Shelly.

The last leaves making their way to the ground, I understand that, Pin Oaks ans what not that keep their leaves all winter and drop in spring.

At this rate, it will be awhile around here.

Wanda J. Teegarden in Radcliff, KY, just south of Louisville.

I am currently deployed to Afghanistan as a Department of the Army civilian employee.

Not much gardening going on here in the mountainous desert. Sand, dirt and rocks everywhere you look. I rely on your emails/with photos to provide the gardening visuals I need to feed my gardening soul.

My favorite part of spring are the daffodils. Just as I am so tired of winter and longing for spring, the daffodils appear to encourage me to be patient while God works his wonder.

Wanda, thank you so much for your kind words and a bigger Thank You for your service. I pray for you and our military to return safely.

Pat Clinch, Southwest Virginia.

Spring, it’s my favorite time of year, always has been. New life, new beginnings, new start. Memories are a big part of it for me. I remember the first day of spring from way back when I was 8 years old. I am an avid gardener and Master Naturalist all because of my mom. Her favorite flower was Daffodil, so when they are in bloom as they are now, I can’t help but smile and think of her.

My bees wake up now looking for plants with nectar, the red winged black birds are back with their happy song of spring, the fields are greening up, and all of nature seems to be happy. God is good and Spring is one of his gifts to us and we should enjoy every moment of it and thank God for it. Easter will be here shortly and what better time to thank God for all. He has given to us.

Thank you so very much for sharing your life with so many.

Pat, thank you so much for your kindness.

I truly believe Easter is in early spring (and not another time of year) because of the promise of New Life.

Terry in a little community just southeast of Tucson, Arizona.

There are so many wonderful things to look forward to in spring that it is nearly impossible to pick just one. I love watching all the birds in my yard and at my feeders as they prepare to nest and raise their young. My favorite is the Gambel's quail. The males mating call sounds almost like laughter at times and always makes me smile. Last spring and summer was a very good year for baby quail and my husband and I really enjoyed watching numerous families with as many as fourteen babies eat at the quail block in our yard. What adorable little babies.

Quail are the most amazing parents, so proud and protective. It is very common to have to stop our car while leaving our neighborhood so that a family of quail may cross the road, Dad leading the way, then all the little ones, with Mom in the rear making sure no one is left behind. As I write this, I am sitting on my front porch watching the birds at one of my feeders and there is a pair of quail picking up the seed on the ground. I wonder if they will nest in amid the prickly pear cactus under our Palo Verde tree as they did last year. I sure hope so!

Thank you for sharing Terry, I miss our Bobwhite quail that was once common in Michigan.

Karen in NW. Ohio.

I look forward to seeing all the migrating birds that stop by the yard. We frequently have a pair of mallards that make themselves to home in our winter pool cover. Often in the past, they have shared ducklings with us before they leave for the river around Mother's Day. The hummingbirds coming back are always a favorite happening around here. I am ready for their arrival weeks before they are actually here.

The goldfinches changing color is also really enjoyable for me. I believe that I also see them more frequently come spring (at least since we've been at this house). From time to time, I love to walk around the yard and see what new life is showing. Anything that I put in the year before that didn't bloom is a most welcome sight. Another favorite (maybe because I don't usually have to cut it) is the smell of freshly mowed grass. There is nothing like that aroma. We also eat very differently in the spring than we do in the chillier months. I start itching to make summer food the minute the weather begins to warm up.

Those are some of the things that immediately come to mind when I think SPRING.

Thank you Karen, besides some of the usual favorite we all share, I like how you mentioned a change in diet or eating habits...... how true it is.

Sue J in Tilton IL..

Spring means warm weather and longer days to me so I can get out and enjoy Mother Nature! Love walking out at my favorite county park, you can take a shady trail and forget everything else, makes me feel close to God. Since I'm up in age I never know how many more summers I'll be able to walk and I try to enjoy each summer like it's my last. We have three parks, two county and one state plus a little nature preserve with a boardwalk on the back of a lake. Guess I'm lucky,huh? Thank you Sue, Anytime a person lives close to Nature and her beauty, and takes time to enjoy it........they are indeed blessed.

Alma of Southwest, Iowa.

Spring is new beginnings! New babies on the farm - lambs and calves. They frolic in the sun. Love to go to my garden to see what is new each day. Surprise lilies and daffodils were peeking thru before the snow.

Thanks Alma, You are so right.

As a boy growing up country and surrounded by farms, new babies and farm animals are as much a part of spring as the wildflowers.

Susan Sawyer and her Sister Mary-Jean, near Manteca, CA, in the Great Central Valley.

What this time of year means to the both of us (we are biologists) is the start of a new cycle with the first blush of color and scent, to brighten the day. It is still comfortable weather before the heat starts and dries everything up. The days have a just luscious soft and vibrant feel to them and it makes you feel so alive!

Susan sent me a picture of an Almond tree orchard in full bloom taken by her sister, but i couldn't shrink it to fit.

I am once again honored to have more biologists read our newsletter.

Sue here from Central Ontario, Canada.

Yes, spring is on the way! Yahoo...

I've seen/heard some of my favorite "clues" already:

* Increased competition at the feeders

* Mr. Cardinal's call coming from the tallest tree in the neighbourhood... "pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie" although it's not quite 'complete' yet :-)

* the chipmunk that lives under my garden shed made a reconnaissance visit yesterday, raiding the seed dropped from the feeders! * saw a small flock of 4 SNOW GEESE! Flying northwards - my first time ever seeing them, nearly drove up the curb

I will know for certain that Spring has arrived, when I smell the unmistakable musty fragrance that tells me the ground is wakening; eau de rotting leaves and clippings :-)

Thank you Sue.

Yes spring touches all of our senses doesn't it?

Little furry creatures are out and about,

Some locations have flowers in full bloom.

Birds everywhere are on the move and signing away.

Maria Ledward, Spanish Fork, Utah.

Just like all gardeners, beginners like me , get all excited with the first signs of spring. I took a picture of this butterfly last year I think in the summer . I am trying real hard to keep my hands out of the soil, I am ready to plant a really good vegetable garden this year, hoping for a wonderful spring and summer. I enjoy every word in your letters every week. So much to learn! Still struggling to recognize all the little birds that come to my feeders but I am getting there.

So nice to hear from you Maria.

I will let the readers know, your butterfly was an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (you are on the western extreme of its territory).

You are wise to stay out of wet soil, and don't worry, so many things come with time and practice......

That means learning and knowing your birds and other wildlife.

Lou in NJ.

Spring is a great time of year. Longer daylight, warmer temps (hopefully soon), new life starting all over again, birds colors brightening up and singing their favorite tunes. I just enjoy nature and getting out of the cabin to see and feel the beauty of the great outdoors and working the gardens and flowers again. One thing I wish was that the groundhog would have been right this year which he wasn't, no early spring around here. Cold, dreary, snowy. rainy, not much sun at all. One true sign of Spring is I noticed a Carolina Wren taking some nesting material into a nesting pocket under my porch:-)

Thanks Lou, always good to hear from you.

Groundhog/woodchuck wasn't right around here either, but they are coming out of hibernation now and I'm looking for someone that might want a few "Chucks" of their own.

Rhonda in Southern Indiana near Louisville, KY.

Love opening the doors and windows and hearing all the birds singing and tweeting. Don’t mind the fresh spring breezes either!

Rhonda, Sights sounds and smells of spring.

Enjoy them before we have to shut up and turn the AC on.

Thank you.

Gloria Monroe in Paris, TN:

My favorite thing about spring is the trees start getting buds, my Daffodils start blooming. I see various birds stopping at my house for food as they migrate North, the air smells sweet and fresh.

Thank you Gloria.

The trees are showing buds, the Daffodils are poking through the snow, and birds are still coming in.

Every now and then, it smells like spring.

Our last favorite actually cam back to me last.

Dan Winer of Nova Ohio.

Here are some of my favorites about Spring.

A red winged blackbird tops my tree, so tall I marvel at his territorial call.

Wet grounds bring peepers, ever out of sight Their welcomed chorus long into the night.

Then winds of April suddenly begin And whisper at my window "let me in"

A walk outside surprises me, in beds Are daffodils, their many opened heads.

Seems everything in nature does its thing What better way for God to bring in Spring.

Wonderful Dan, thank you.

You know, poetry has been a way of expression for thousands of years.

A true gift from God.

There you have it folks.

A taste from readers spread across the land.

Oh yeah, here is a small bit on my favorites.

Spring is my all time favorite season.

It brings and is a promise for new life.

I look forward to seeing and hearing the birds, the buzz of bees, and butterflies.

Wildlife babies.

The smell of flowers, rain, worms, cloths hung out to dry, and the first lawn cut of the season.

Cut off shorts and bare feet.

The feel and smell of earth as I work/play.

The fresh smell of laundry that has been hung out to dry.

Breathing in a bit of God and thanking him for that breathe and everything around me.

Yes, these are but a few things I look forward to with spring.

Thank you everyone for sharing and we look forward to having other favorites throughout the year.

Well,, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

To get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.

Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910) American Author and Humorist

Joy is what it is all about.

There is Joy in sharing.

Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Nehemiah 8:10

"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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