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November 26, 2012

(Sunset this past week.)

The Madness Begins.

Forget that slice of pie and relaxing.

Hit the stores now.

Black Friday.

Yes, it is a Black Eye for Family and Giving Thanks.

Or so it seems to me.

Shopping over family time.

Greed over Family.

Still, until We stand up and say enough is enough .........

What's next?

Okay, I'm done venting for now.

Thanks for putting up with me.

(Keet and Ziggy enjoying the warmth of a nice fire.)

I hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week end, and I thank you all for your many blessings that came my way.

Learning to slow down doesn't always happen, still I keep plugging away.

On Tuesday, the man physical was taken care of for another year.

(get blood work out of the way before the holidays.)

Doctor said things are running pretty smooth.

On Wednesday, I mowed/mulched for what should be the last time this year.

I had to take advantage of the warmer weather, by Friday, the 50's and 60's dropped into the 30's once again.

Ah yes, Fall's transition into winter can come slowly some years.

Thanksgiving was at our house, a 23.61 lb turkey made sure there were leftovers for everybody.

(I think that is the biggest bird yet.)

Of course there were bags of food for the food bank and a homeless shelter our church helps to sponsor.

We are working on Christmas decorations.

Monday I laid down the screen under the main feeder station.

The screening collects seeds and debris that I can pick up and dispose of, anytime I want to or the weather allows.

Hulls don't pile up and kill of the grass, while the grass can continue to grow.

This is my own little invention that seems to work out pretty well for me.

I buy a roll of screen, some hardware cloth, and staples used to put down landscape fabric or sod.

I place the screen first, then the hardware cloth on top and staple them down.

I need the hardware cloth to keep the turkeys from ruining the screen by scratching.

The staples are there to keep everything in place, from the critters and the wind.

No matter where you live, this system works at any scale.

A simple window screen can work as well.

This time of year, parts of my yard may look very unkempt or even dumpy.

I don't care and as long as I explain to neighbors what the bags are for, everyone is happy.

For new readers, I place stuffed bags of leaves on top of tender or not zone hardy perennials.

For example.....

In my Zone 5/6 region, I can freely grow as perennials plants that are hardy to Z 7 and some Z 8.

A nice thick layer of insulation place on top of pruned and watered tenders keeps them alive and by next spring, they are bigger and better.

Some plants don't survive, but what have I lost?

I learned that certain tenders wont survive, and have a nice bag of leaves turning to leaf mold for my efforts.

I think that is a nice trade off.

When plants live, I have leaf mold as well.

No matter, it is a win, win for me.

I'm not sure how well this will work in Z 3, but even Z 9 should be able to winter over Z 11 plants.

You really need to give this a try sometime.

I love nature and all that it has to offer.

I especially enjoy birds.

As long as I can remember, I have had a fascination for birds.

That includes ducks as well.

Every spring I start out with 8 or 10 ducks.

As the year passes, the duck population grows.

I counted 51 a few days ago.

The ducks learn that I am food and talk to me.

Yes, they get excited and get to yapping and quacking.

They follow me as if I were a pied piper or something.

If you can imagine ducks running, they do that as well.

It is funny to see and to hear all of those webbed feet on wet pavement is hilarious.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a Dr. Dolittle and have a gift, to talk to the animals.

I do talk to them (silly that I am), even though they haven't a clue.

Though they do come when they see me and hear my voice.

Yes, they feed from my hand and grab from the container.

To watch them, you would think they haven't eaten in a week.

I will eventually have Karen get a few pictures.

Are some of your spring blooming (fall) bulbs showing green?

Me too.

Daffodils and Allium are showing signs of life.

Don't worry, this is rather common to see, especially in years of funny weather.

The flower buds are snug deep within the bulb and shouldn't appear until spring.

A few robins can be seen and heard around here still.

This time of year, other birds appear in small and open flocks.

No need to fight for territory and there is safety in numbers.

For most of winter now, small flocks of chickadees and nuthatches will appear.

In early morning and toward sunset, Northern cardinals are plentiful.

I have a few cardinals during the course of the day, but early and late are cardinal times.

Pictured is one fortunate cardinal.

As you can tell, he has no tail.

Escaping the grasp of a hawk or cat, this bird live to see another day.

I've seen him flying around for a few days and then finally I was able to capture this picture early last week.

Birds can fly while missing a few feathers, it simply makes flight more challenging.

Birds were created with the ability to move each feather individually.

While wings can't totally compensate for the loss of a tail, wing feathers can help adjust flight and flight patterns.

A few days later, you can see the tail is starting to grow back.

I can't give you an update, I haven't seen the Red bird in a few days now,

It was different to see a bird with no tail.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger.

Japanese Proverb.

Now can you follow the wisdom of Jesus Christ?

Not humanly, but with His help you can.

But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Matthew 5: 39-42

"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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