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Spring Celebration Continues
May 02, 2011

Good-by April............

Hello May................

True, April gave us Resurrection Sunday.

I came into this world on April 18, 57 years ago.

Yes, there were reasons to celebrate.


April was not the friendliest of months, weather wise for many of us.

Once again our prayers go out to so many, that lost so much this past week and indeed, the whole month of April with record setting weather related events for the month of April.

I pray for all of you as well.

I can't begin to imagine the loss and the personal struggles.

My personal issues pale in comparison.

We need to focus more on our Creator.

Once again, I want to thank so many for the spring favorites and your Easter blessings.

When I write Easter letters, I expect to lose some readers (and I did), but the Lord always blesses me with more than I lose.

Thank you for putting up with my brief speech just now.

May Day..................

Does anyone still celebrate May Day?

This year I'm sure it would be May 2ND, but typically it is the first day of May.

As kids, we would always pick flowers and put them in any basket or container we could find and give the flowers to mom, neighbors or anyone that we thought, we could put a smile on their face.

April was so cool and wet, that I haven't spotted a single wild violet in bloom yet.

One bonus to all the rain.

At last report, for the month of April, Lakes Michigan and Heron have risen 6 inches.

Think about it folks.

That is a massive amount of water, spread over some very large bodies.

Some of the goldfinches around here are still changing colors, while others are as bright a yellow as can be.

The pictures to your right were both taken this past Saturday a mere 10 seconds apart.

With a new month at hand, it means it's time to give your feeders a good cleaning.

Whether you plan to continue feeding as I do, or clean them to store for the season, a good cleaning
and sanitizing is in order.

While winter seems to be the main season for passing germs, birds still pass deadly germs throughout the year.

Clean feeders can help deter this.

Hopefully the temperatures will climb enough to remove birdbath heaters or to get your baths tipped right side up and filled with water.

Now, this is for first time users of a heater.

For those use a birdbath heater and wish to clean it, a good soaking in white vinegar will remove the calcium built up that forms over winter.

This will take a good 30 to 60 minutes to do, but is required for maximum efficiency next winter.

Offering a source of water always attracts more birds to your yard, even if it is a bird that is simply passing through.

Remember to maintain a 'fresh' source of water.

Under the circumstances, I'm doing a quick change on what I originally was going to write.

Despite the lousy weather and the fact my seedlings are in big trouble,

There is reason to celebrate.

For the past month I've been writing about spring.

How it is a promise of rebirth and new life.

Well, spring still brings promises and spring is my favorite time of the year.

May, is my all time favorite month.

And this year more so than ever I believe.

April for many of us in the northern parts was much cooler than normal, and that means many flowers and plants are behind schedule.

With warmer weather (hopefully), gardens will now explode with color and activity.

I finally mowed my lawn for the first time and on the last day of April.

I can't ever recall such a late, first mow.

I know my southern friends have been gardening for a while now and many blooms have come and gone.

This time last year, Karen's tulips were in full bloom and some of the Columbine were in bloom to welcome the hummers to Michigan.

This year, tulips are still tight buds and some of the Columbines are just now starting to grow bud stalks.

Lupines and other bloomers.......................

It will be a while longer.

Still, other plants of mine didn't survive the quirky winter.

(I always look for an excuse to buy or grow something new, but not at the expense of what I already had.)

With this in mind, I hopefully can expect some good things.

Yes, Spring celebration continues.

Promises of Birth and rebirth.

New life and renewed life.

Hopefully I can cheer a few of you up, or simply put a smile on your face for a few moments.

Spring migration continues and will for several more weeks.

Like you, I look forward to spotting birds that I haven't seen for the past 6 to 8 months.

With more birds around, the air is filled with a symphony that sooths the soul.

I'm still waiting for the orioles and of course the Ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Rumors have it that they have reached Michigan, but I have yet to see or hear a thing.

In the mean time, a couple of more species have made the way north.

White-throated sparrows that are simply passing through (most of the time) are visiting right now and for the past few days.

They are busy scratching the ground for food and definitely liven up any yard with sight and sound.

A species of bird that has that tropical or exotic look is the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

The male of the species is very pleasing to the eyes, while the song is one melodic tune that I could listen to all day.

Like most birds, the female arrives a bit later and looks totally different.

Right now, I am blessed with several of them.

While most of these birds will move further north, at least one pair of the Rosie's will
remain throughout the season and bring fledglings to my feeders.

Spring celebration.

New life.

Warmer weather and flowers also bring butterflies and other insects.

Insects in the yard is like ringing the dinner bell for most species of birds.

By offering what the birds want, you can attract even more birds and activity to your yard and gardens.

A Celebration ..............

Rebirth and New Promises.

Though the wild flowers are slow to bloom, there is still life all around.

Simply life forms or blooms like toad stools and mushrooms are spotted on spring walks.

Even the textures and formations of fungus can be very attractive.

Learning to enjoy the simple things in life.

Spring Celebration.

Often, I can lose track of time when I venture out for a spring stroll.

This past week, I had one of those moments as I walked around the flood plain.

On a rare day of no rain, I was in the woods, strolling near the flooded creek.

On many walks, I am followed be several Black-capped chickadees and I try to get a picture or two, but they never stay still long enough for me to catch a good image.


Something caught my eyes.

A pair of Chickadees hard at work

Several times, I have watched chickadees build nests in one of my nest boxes, but never have I witnessed the excavation of a nesting cavity in a snag.

Nature at work.

The rotting remains of this dead tree sit near the banks of Plaster Creek that runs through the wooded area.

While they were hard at work, the snag was surrounded by flood water.

If you look carefully, you can spot a 'bird butt' in the tree and another bird to the right waiting its turn.

This pair worked in tandem like a smooth running machine.

When one left with a mouth full of wood shavings, the other quickly flew in to do the same.

If you check the second picture, you will notice a tiny bird bill full of wood particles.

They would fly about 20 feet away, drop the shavings and fly back to wait their turn.

Most cavity nesting birds, know enough to not leave a mess on the ground, that would attract predators to the cavity.

This pair had the advantage of dropping wood particles in the flood water that drifted down stream.

I might add, the waters will recede so fledglings wont risk drowning, unless we have the heavy rains again in another month or so.

I did leave them hard at work, but managed to go back the following day to see what was going on.

I arrived only to see the finished product.

Is that one good looking hole or what?

I did leave them hard at work, but managed to go back the following day to see what was going on.

I arrived only to see the finished product.

Is that one good looking hole or what?

A promise of new life.

Isn't "Nature" awesome?

With chickadees, cardinals, robins and other birds busy nesting, we have one more nest around here.

Karen's Love birds have a nest going too (pictured below).

This also presents a learning experience, as I am (was) clueless on Love birds and their habits.

I think a good 10 to 12 days passed before she completed her clutch of four, laying an egg every second or third day.

Because she doesn't sit as often as our wild birds do, I now understand why it can take a good three weeks for the eggs to hatch.

Peaches does all the sitting, while Creamy (yellow bird) takes care of her, often nudging right up to her while she incubates.

Only time will tell on this story.

Enjoy the celebration.

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

If you don't hear from me, A blessed Mothers Day to all (you too guys).

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

God Bless.

Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.

Albert Schweitzer

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

"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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