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October 16, 2017

Rain, we have had more lovely rain.

Over the past week, we have had several inches of rain.

Too late for farmers and the growing season, yet it still gives a parched land a good drink.

Also adding water to the lake levels before winter.

We pray for rain to drop on California.

Prayers for the many people affected by the wildfires.

Sophie is becoming a real handful at times, she finds the bird cage a fun place to be.

We've never had a kitty before her that harassed the birds like that.

We are still waiting for fall colors to arrive.

Not so much around here, as trees have been dropping and what color there is, is quite muted, due to the dry summer and early fall.

I'm hoping to travel north a bit for a good color display.

The warm/hot second half of September, and the hot first half of October has slowed trees changing by a good couple of weeks.

Yolanda always enjoys the little getaways, if w can sneak one in.

Time will tell.

Fall clean up has started around here.

I know things need to be done, and taken care of.

I also know these are my favorite tasks or time of year.

There is a finality to cutting down, pulling up, and packing away.

The temperatures remain mild on the most part, still no killing frost or freezes around here.

With annuals and late blooming perennials, there is still some color and pollen for the bees.

When you start cutting back and pulling out, there are a couple of things to remember.

Any and all foliage and plants that have Any Kind of fungus or viral infections, need to be disposed of in the trash.

Compost piles wont don't get hot enough to kill off the fungus, and leaving them to decay in gardens simply promotes a banner fungal year next year.

Healthy litter, and all those fallen tree leaves can go into the gardens and beds.

Not only do they offer a bit of mulched protection, Leaves offer many beneficial things throughout the rest of winter, and into spring.

Several species of birds enjoy gleaning seeds from spent flower heads.

Fall migration continues.

Dark-eyed juncos are arriving in my yard.

Length of day is the major factor for migration, but weather will play a minor roll on when to stay, or when to go.

It seems strange to see these birds when the temperatures hover in the upper 70's (25 c.).

White crowned sparrows, breed and summer over in Canada.

They migrated into much of the southern United States and Mexico.

There are also populations that reside year round in the mountainous regions and higher elevations of America.

I look forward to their passing through in the fall and again in spring when they visit for a couple of weeks each way.

American Robins, once again are visiting after their summer vacations.

Sometimes in small open flocks.

I am asked this several times a year,

"Where did all my robins go?'

A good question.

It may seem like a summer vacation for the birds, after a hard spring through mid summer

of nesting (2 to 3 times) and raising families, they deserve a break. Here is what happens.

Once robins are done caring for their ever relentless babies and fledglings, and nesting is over with, a robin's diet changes.

'Nature' is so cool.

For many, robins are the harbinger of spring.

We see them in the early part of the year foraging for worms and possibly a bill full of insects.

Both are high protein sources that are required for the high stress required for establishing and keeping a territory.

Also for building a nest and feeding a fast growing baby.

By mid summer or after nesting season, the robin's diet changes.

From mostly worms and insects to fruits and insects.


Nature dictates it.

While our lawns offer up a source of worms (robins have thrived from human development), The worm typically goes deeper into the soil as things warm up, and dry up.

Two/three hundred years ago, their weren't so many lawns to attract robins, but fields and open woodlands were still short enough to forage for worms and
insects (springs growth was still short and green).

The Natural World dictates that robins go into woodlands and swampy areas to find food and protection.

Fruits and insects thrive in natural habitats and that is where you will find the now stealthy robins.

Roosting trees will contain hundreds of these birds.

Now that Autumn is here, the cooler weather slows down the insect populations.

Yet, some fruits and berries are hitting their peak.

Cooler and sometimes wet months bring the worms closer to the surface for the American robin to gorge on and gain valued fat.

This is why we once again see robins in our yards, open fields and parks, and near roadways where they are maintained.

While most robins do migrate, (anywhere from a 100 miles to 1,000 miles), more and more are staying close to home, or so it seems.

Cedar swamps are a favorite winter hangout for robins.

Cedar berries for food, a source of water and they make wonderful protection and roosting spots.

Does that make sense to you?

(Pictured below is'Pumpkin on a Stick', plants and used in fall decorations around here.)

Well, It's time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"Each of my songs are positive and affirming. They get you thinking, singing, and even humming with the joy of empowering, positive, thoughts. Sing, ask and it is given!"

Trish Hatley

How important is music and singing?

Check this out from the Creator of all.

"For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

Zephaniah 3:17

How about that, He sings over you and me.

How special is that?

"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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