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May 15, 2017

Happy Mothers Day a day late.

This isn't just for mom, this is for everyone that performed mom duties and responsibilities.

The people out there that cared for you, and loved you unconditionally.

This can be a big brother, or sister.

Aunt, or uncle.

Grandparents, or a special neighbor or family friend.

A small group that stepped in.

Even dad has to be mom from time to time, especially if mom is no longer around.

A late Thank You to all the moms.

(My heirloom double White French Lilac from my great aunt.)

What a blessed and wonderful past week.

Weather is finally warming enough to start planting gardens (around here).

Pictured above is a mama duck and her five ducklings that came for a visit.

Most of you know I feed some duck throughout the year.

A flock of up to 75 in the winter and sometimes only a few this time of year.

Wouldn't you know it, Mom is one of the regulars, as she sat and grazed.

Sometimes a young one would nibble at the cracked corn, Most of the time the seemed bored and would shut their eyes for a few moments.

I walked them back to the pond when they were ready.

This treat happens once every few years.

The baby robins pictured at the bottom, are now 10 days old (May 13), and growing fast.

It's hard to imagine they will leave the nest by this Wednesday.

For babies to grow this fast, can you imagine the copious amounts of worms and insects (protein), required to feed and fuel four hungry mouths.

And still have time to feed and care for themselves.

Once fledglings, both parents will care for them for a few short days then mom is off building another nest while dad feeds and trains for another week or two.

By then, it is time to start all over again.

And you think your busy....

The fox kits/pups are growing fast and wondering further from home.

(Mom and two pups.)

Quality is poor, put you do see mom and pups.

Last week I heard one of the parents call out.

Shortly after they all took off on what I assume to be a teaching/learning moment.

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed watching the fox family these past few weeks.

Hurrah, the orioles finally made it here.

Instant oriole population, with oranges and grape jelly on the menu.

Orioles were late,why not the hummingbirds.

Yes, still no hummers.

White crowned sparrows are in abundance.

It is a quiet, if not sad day when they head north into Canada to their breeding grounds.

I say this, because to me, they seem so happy (their song).

God's gifts to us, you gotta love it all.

I had a conversation this past week with a distraught gardener.

It seems a garden center sold them a product they didn't really need.

Folks, this happens way too often.

I know this for a fact, for there was a time I was one of the scoundrels that would do this to the unknowing.

Call it what you will, a new gardener, ignorant and at someone's mercy.

Uneducated, ill prepared, trusting.

Not all, but many garden centers, nurseries, and retail stores are out to get your money and will say just about anything to get it.


Here is a prime example.

Research shows, when planting a tree or shrub your current soil will do just fine, as long as the hole is dug and prepped properly.

(Soil pH can be a factor.)

The garden center I worked at (I am a state certified nurseryman and knew better), insisted we up sell by telling customers they need to amend the soil with a couple bags of dirt, another one of compost and, toss in a bag of peat for good measure.

Your new planting should get a good head start, why not get this product as a root booster, etc.

In reality, all the customer needs to do, is prepare the hole (twice as wide and deep, back fill some), if in a pot, remove from pot, score the roots, fluff and plant at the proper depth (for trees).

No special amending, no special food, just plant and keep watered.

Eventually I stopped this practice, I couldn't do it with a good conscience.

Why not amend the soil you ask.

Studies have shown that roots are reluctant to leave the luxuries of the enriched soil.

They wont reach out and grow if all they need is confined into a small space.

This leads to a weaker plant and often root girdling.

In natural soil, the roots reach far and deep to find what it needs.

Before I get too long winded here, Let me say this.

Know, I mean know who your dealing with.

Is their trust?

More important, be your own advocate.

Do some research and studying before you buy anything.

Plants, plant food, chemicals.

This also goes for bird feeders and houses.

Google is a wonderful thing, use it.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"Somewhere, someone else is happy with less than you have".


Do we have a right to grumble?

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want".

Philippians 4:11-12

"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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