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May Is My Favorite Month
May 02, 2016

The new flooring is down and looking good.

The living room has been painted.

Now, Karen wants me to paint the family room and a bedroom.

Some how I knew this would lead to extra work for me, and less time outside.

(Snickers on new floor).

It always does.

(And I'm not supposed to get ornery and restless.)

The house is still a mess, and we are whipped, yet progress must continue.

Throwing stuff away, downsizing, hopefully to make life easier.

I know Yolanda can scoot around or be pushed around on the wood much better than carpeting.

She was pretty much trapped in her bedroom most of last week.

The hounds had their spring haircut this past week.

Our five year old granddaughter spent this past weekend with us.

Yes, amongst the mess I find time to entertain and play house.

It's what grandpas do ....... isn't it?

(Shredded Leaves spread on flowerbed.... looks pretty good.)

Thank you for the encouragement on last week's letter on monarchs.

I get to thinking that a positive type letter would be nice from time to time.

Maybe even some of your suggestions.

Some examples might be the restoration of a Prairie dog habitat.

How about saving a species of Tiger, or Asian rain forest (we have Asian readers and friends).

I think you enjoy learning as much as I do.

Though not native, rescuing or saving a wild horse herd plays on many hearts.

Canada is making strong efforts to save certain tracts of habitat.

If you have a positive topic, please share it with me and I will share the word.

I almost forget, the first of a new month also means it is time to give your feeders and water sources a good, thorough cleaning and sanitizing.

Be starting a good habit of cleaning the first of every month, you are helping out all involved.

Time for you to learn a little more about me.

After all, don't friends do that?

This week is simply a May hodgepodge.


May is my favorite month of the year.

It has been since I realized that Christmas season was not a month.

Yes, spring is my favorite season and May is the month.

And here are a few reasons why.

Spring can come late in the northern regions. as is the case this year.

April is spring and planting gardens in the south.

May brings flowers and gardens to plant in Michigan (and other regions).

This means the feel and smell of dirt.

Crumbling clods of earth in my hands.

I don't know of a single gardener, that doesn't know what I mean.

Around here, planting season usually starts around May 7-14 (for frost tender plants).

Some years even later, as Memorial weekend is the biggest plant buying weekend of the year (around here).

I have grown more patient as I grow older, there was a time when September came rolling around, I was already looking towards the following spring.

To some degree I still do, however I find that fall and winter go by much better is I don't look so far ahead.

(White-crowned sparrow, White-throated sparrow is at the bottom of letter.)

Gardens and woodlands become alive.

Not just wildlife, but with flowers.

Woodlands are in bloom with wild violets, spring beauty, Trout lilies, Marsh marigolds, and blood-root.

Soon May apples, wild ginger, and wild geraniums

Trillium will blanket the some forest floors in white.

A sight to behold, all in itself.

Northern gardens will soon be in bloom with Columbines, lilacs, German iris, Snowball viburnum, and several other spring bloomers.

Flowers bring bees and butterflies.

By mid-May, yards are teaming with life.

Bees, butterflies and other insects.

Adult birds are now caring for babies and fledglings.

May also brings unusual species

Some years we are truly blessed with visitors like Green herons nesting.

River otters have been visiting the pond for the past few years now,

And here is something else......

A blast from the past.

Birds, birds, and more birds.

Oops, wrong kind of bird.

I'm thinking feathers and such, not a whirly bird.

May brings the remaining migratory birds.

Those that stay the summer, and those like White-crowned sparrows, White-throated sparrows, and several species of warblers visit and head further north to breeding grounds.

Topping the list for many is the hummingbird.

For Michigan and regions east of the Mississippi River, that is the Ruby-throated hummingbird.

Rose-breasted grosbeaks, Indigo buntings, later this month, the Barn swallows, and other species.

Birds are constructing nests and soon we hear the cry of hungry babies.

As I write, a pair of Black-capped chickadees are investigating a nest box only a foot from the living room windows.

Tree swallows are building in the white plastic, gourd houses.

Baby ducks and geese emerge from hidden nests.

Toads continue to offer up a chorus on local ponds.

By mid to late June we shall be invaded by toadlettes.

(Tree swallow)

Spring is late this year in Michigan.

Not on the calendar, but weather wise.

Or so it seems.

It was cold and rainy much of this past week.

April showers Bring May flowers.

Do you remember when?

And May 1st was always May Basket Day, or simply May Day.

Where are the innocence of those days?

This past Sunday was May Day, and every year May 1st brings me back to my childhood and May baskets for mom and possibly a neighbor or teacher.

There aren't a lot of flowers in bloom this time of year in SW. Michigan.

We out pick the flowers, or maybe dig up a wild violet.

Dandelions are ubiquitous, we always had those flowers.

A child is never short of creativity, and if real flowers weren't found, we simply colored and cut out paper flowers and placed them in a paper basket or cup.

(Trout Lily)

Sometimes we might add some penny candy.

May Day was a day we would celebrate spring.

Maybe there really was a time when America was more innocent.

Back when May Basket Day was a thing, perhaps.

Perhaps considered quaint now, in decades past May Basket Day, like the ancient act of dancing around the maypole, was a widespread rite of spring in the United States.

Just another reason to love the month of May.

Is it possible to resurrect old traditions?

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

“To preserve health is a moral and religious duty,
For health is the basis of all social virtues.
We can no longer be useful when not well.”

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

Did you know, taking care of your health is biblical

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued,

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you –
and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute
and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

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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