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May 01, 2017

(Dove nest and eggs from the dove pictured last week.)

April can be an interesting month, weather-wise.

Sunshine and warmth, cold and cloudy, an abundance of rain and severe storms, even snow.

All in the same week.

Sometimes within a 24 hour period.

The first part of last week was warm and sunny.

The weekend brought rain, and more rain.

The warm and sunny days the first part of last week allowed me to pressure wash the deck and get the floor stained (toner).

Now my lower back is giving me what for.

Now I am waiting for things to dry out so I can do the deck railings and the 219 spindles.

I live to do spindles.

Before I forget ......

The first of a month is always a good time to give your feeders a deep cleaning.

Especially for us northern folk that maybe couldn't get the job done in freezing temperatures.

Don't stop at just feeders, birdbaths and water sources get dirty and green very quick this time of year.

No snow fell here this past week, but several regions did have a few inches of the white stuff.

Stay on top of this, providing fresh water.

Scrub the bath or dish out too, as fecal contaminants can remain. Maybe you need to move the water source closer to your house and hose.

Place in a safe location for the birds, yet where you can enjoy and maintain.

As many of you know I go for evening walks on most days.

Often various wildlife is present, even if it is a cotton tail rabbit, or a Great-horned owl perched atop a tree, or stealth-fully flying over.

This year I have been very blessed by a family of Red Fox.

(I hadn't seen any for a couple of years and figured they had moved or were killed.)

For the past several days (after sunset), I have watched a pair of fox and two kits (possibly Three), move around, go into the den, pop a head out, and stop to stare back at me.

Some evenings I don't see a thing, sometimes just an adult of maybe a pup.

Spring is so full of life, I never know what to expect.

A couple of years ago it was a coyote family in the same field.

(I haven't seen or even heard coyotes for a couple of years now.)

Sadly, the time of day and distance of the critters doesn't allow for a good photo opp.

April and May.

For me there is no other time of year like it.

Surrounded by such beauty.

Visual and audible.

While the magnolias are fading, Dogwoods, Redbud, and Lilacs are coming into bloom.

Trillium and other wildflowers grace the forest floors.

Birds songs are at a fevered pitch, now

Toads looking to mate have made their way to the pond and are joining the symphony.

Ah yes, the Pulchritude (physical beauty) we see.

The crescendo of song, and sound only spring can give us.

Warmer weather and flowers bring out butterflies and bees.

The air becomes filled with smells that awaken the senses.

Birds come and go as migration is still in full swing.

Pictured is a White-throated sparrow.

These birds stop by for a few days before heading to Northern Canada and their breeding grounds.

Remaining Juncos departed last week as well.

A Rufous sided towhee stops by to grace us with his beauty as well.

Other birds still must visit, whether passing though or just for a short visit.

Rose-breasted grosbeaks, White-crowned sparrows, Indigo buntings and others.

Orioles, hummingbirds are also on the list.

Hummingbirds are coveted by most (if not all), gardeners.

For our readers outside of North America, Hummingbirds are exclusive to the Western Hemisphere.

East of the Mississippi, the Ruby-throated hummingbird (pictured) is the only breeding species.

These diminutive jewels get to Michigan in the first two weeks of May.

Most years my first sighting is between the 10th and 14th of May.

Last year it was May 1st.

This is why I put my feeders out early and I believe in juicing them up for the first couple of weeks.

I know, the standard formula is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.

While hungry hummers are arriving and natural flowers are few, I increase this formula to 1 part sugar to 3 parts water.

You may not realize this, but this formula is closer to most flowers nectar level.

Birds that flap wings 80 and more times a second, and can lick nectar 15 times a second require high energy.

The heart rate can exceed 1,200 beats a minute.

(Male Rufous Hummingbird.)

High energy.

Hummers also feed on small insects for protein.

Where better to find insects then in a flower garden.

One designed to help attract hummers.

If you are new to this,

Create A Hummingbird Garden.

Once you attract hummingbirds, you will get them every year, as hummers return, often to the very same yard the next year.

Enjoy your spring and the beauty God has surrounded you with.

(Below is Snickers with a new toy stuffed rat.)

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results".

Willie Nelson

What a true statement.

We are, or become what we think about, most of the time.

Who wants to hang out with a gloomy and negative person.

Positive attracts positive.

Do It.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it".

Proverbs 4:23

"It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth".

Matthew 15:11

"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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