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Trash To Treasure
November 03, 2014

There is still plenty of fall color.

It is more scattered, however.

I'm sharing a few pictures of trees this past weekend.

Sweet gum trees, Some maples and the dreaded Bradford pear offer brilliant colors.

Sun Dogs are more common this time of year as well (pictured at the bottom).

October 31st brought the first snowfall of the season.

It's not uncommon to have some kind of snow fall before November.

It never stays this time of year.

Yolanda is having her Gallbladder removed today (Monday).

I understand it is rather common surgery, but Yolanda is not a common person.

Instead of outpatient, she will be in the hospital to better monitor and check for seizures (brain injured).

(Sweet Gum Tree.)

Once again, comes the adjustment to getting dark an hour earlier.

Always a challenge for me.

After Tuesday, no more political ads for another year and a half.

I am so tired of politics.

The first of the month is also a good time to give your feeders one more deep cleaning before winter sets in for us in the north country.

Not a bad habit to get into as well, for our friends in the south, southwest and Pacific coast.

This is your last reminder to clean out nest boxes.

Are your water sources good to go?

Are feeders set up for winter birds?

This week, there are more Fall Chores to work on.


As you continue your yard and fall clean up, there are a few things to consider.

Wearing gloves is a good thing (I will wear gloves when required).

At least for certain tasks that is.

Not only to keep your hands clean, but your skin absorbs plant toxins and some plants have plenty.

Every year I read cases of people becoming nauseated and ill from absorbing plant toxins. (It happens all the time to tobacco pickers.)

You may know that plants like Monkshood are deadly and Hyacinth bulbs cause itchy rashes on several people.

But, do you realize that morning glory vines are toxic too?

People complain about headaches or nausea and have no clue as to why they feel this way.

Blurred vision may also occur.

Morning glory seeds have been used for centuries by the native people of Mexico, etc. as a source of getting high for rituals and customs.

Today's young people have discovered morning glory seed as a legal way to trip out.

Research has found the chemical compounds of these seeds to be very similar to LSD and the buzz to be very similar as well.

Certain salvias and sages also have a get high chemical.

Time is running out for us Northern folk as far as getting our fall chores done.

Yes, there is some clean up involved in wildlife gardens as well.

With the mild, or wet weather, I am behind on certain tasks.

Not that I always procrastinate, (I do sometimes) some tasks were delayed because plants still in bloom and there are birds and bees to enjoy.

Here is a small list of fall chores to consider.

1. Enrich garden beds with compost or manure.

If you can work it in, all the better by next spring.

2. Collect dried seed from open pollinated flowers & veggies if you plan on planting some of them.

Remember, hybrids will not be the same as the plant you picked them from.

Often, there is a big difference.

3. Clean bird feeders to get them ready for use.

This should be done on a regular basis, not just as a fall chore.

4. Gather herbs, seed heads and flowers for drying.

5. Clean out cold frames for winter use.

6. Cover water gardens with netting to keep the falling leaves out.

Clean pumps and prepare water plants for winter.

7. Keep trees and shrubs well watered until the ground freezes.

Even if the leaves have fallen, the roots continue to grow until the ground freezes.

This is especially important for new plantings.

A new planting is anything less than a year.

Two years for trees.

Evergreens really need water, as moisture continues to evaporate from the foliage.

You may need to wrap them with burlap or spray a product called "Wilt Proof" on your broad leafed evergreens to aid in moisture retention.

8. Cut back diseased perennials and remove all foliage.

Do not compost this material.

Diseases and fungus winter over and when you use your compost material, you are spreading the diseases.

Sometimes I hear about letting old stalks winter over or I'm letting the birds have the seed. Sick foliage and canes need to be removed and trashed.

Diseases and fungus survive, they have for thousands of years.

You can minimize the damage and spread by removing the sick materials.

That means your tall phlox with powdery mildew or your maple leaves that have tar spot.


Healthy leaf litter remains.

9. Clean, sand and oil garden tools before storing them for the winter.

A healthy tool now will be ready when you are next spring.

10.Take cuttings of your favorites.

Some for the blooms to enjoy a few days more and some to root for a new planting next spring.

I've mentioned this the past couple of weeks.

This is also a good time to think about relocating your feeders and birdbaths if you live in the snow belt.

If you can place some feeders closer to your home, it will be less work for you to go out on a cold or snowy day to feed the birds.

Keeping a water source from freezing requires electricity.

See if you can hook up a bath near your home.

This is a convenience for you and for your birds.

Are you knew to feeding birds?

Maybe you've been feeding for years.

Here is a page on feeder location that should give you some general ideas.

Thank you once again, for your thoughts and prayers.

They have really helped in the past few weeks.

God is good all the time.

Well,, it is time to fly for now. Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week. God Bless.

"Your talent is God's gift to you.
What you do with it is your gift back to God."

Leo Buscaglia

Well said.

Each of us have unique talents and skills.

No one has your special gifts.

Use them.

How can we forget God's gift to us.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16

"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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