Back to Back Issues Page
Fall Chitchat
October 03, 2016

Beach season is officially over.

A few quarts of late season tomatoes have been canned, and the rest are for eating and possibly a few green fried maters too.

The late season lettuce bowl appreciates the cool weather.

The lettuce will provide us with a few tossed salads and lettuce for sandwiches for the next few weeks.

This past week brought out the jeans, and for my girls, sweatshirts and jackets.

For Karen, it also meant turning on the furnace (it wasn't that cold).

Temperatures in the 60's and what seemed like never stopping rain for most of last week.

Here is my unofficial survey for you.

Most of the women I know, including my bride, claim that Autumn is their favorite season.

For the above reasons and toss in fall colors, pumpkins, apples and a few other things.

I will admit this, I like to stoke up the fireplace.

I also enjoy getting in the kitchen more and cooking up some homemade soups and stews, and baking homemade bread.

That said, No way, no how, can autumn hold a candle to spring (just my opinion).

Is fall your favorite season, and so, why?

I,m curious, and may publish the results next week.

Go ahead, let me know.

(Rudbeckia Chim Chim Cheree.)

We pick up Karen's new kitty today (Monday).

I know she is an adorable little 'Calico'.

There will be pictures next week (of course).

Here is a picture of Keet testing out the new kitty bed.

September 24th is, on average the last date we see a hummingbird here in SW. Michigan.

This year we were blessed to have this extremely tubby hummer for an additional week.

She was in a feeding frenzy all week long, only to stop a moment or two for me to get a few pictures.

There have been no signs of a hummingbird since September 30th.

That is depressing in itself, knowing I won't see another hummingbird for more than seven months (May of 2017).

If you see my hummers, take good care of them and remember to keep feeders out for a couple extra weeks.

(September Charm Anemone is in all its glory right now.)

Fall clean up starts in earnest this month.

Are you cutting back some plants?

Remember this, all diseased plant material needs to be disposed of in the trash.

Composting doesn't get things hot enough to kill of fungus and viruses,

Digging up tender bulbs like Canna and Dahlias?

It is always best to allow a hard freeze before you dig up your tender bulbs.

A killing frost or freeze will stop plant juices from flowing and make your job a bit easier.

Wash and air dry before storing in a cool and dry location.

If you still have Amaryllis bulbs in the ground (like I do), remember this.

Dig your Amaryllis up, wash them off and allow to air dry for a day or two.

Anytime in October feel free to put your winter fertilizer for your lawn.

Lower the lawn mower a not or two as well, unless you already keep a tight cut.

I dare say, if you live in a warmer climate, you can wait another month or so.

Do Not cut the tops off, but allow them to die and dry off naturally.

Anyway, Amaryllis need 12 weeks of dormancy before you replant them.

(Is she one chubby little bird?)

Another late summer/early fall bloomer is Cimicifuga (cim-eh-SIFF-you-gah, cim-eh-siff-YOU-gah)

Cimicifuga simplex var. ramosa

Common Name: Bugbane, black snakeroot

Light: - Part shade to full shade

Soil: Humus-rich, moist but well-drained

Moisture: Consistently moist in growth, slightly dry while dormant

Blooms: Late summer and fall

Zones: 4 - 8

Delicate white flowers that form a bottle brush adorn the top of the tall stalks.

I enjoy the color and texture of the foliage as well.

Plus, not many households have one of these attractive plants, and I like being a bit different.

As we enter a new month, what better time to give your feeder and water sources a good cleaning.

I preach this most months hoping you get into a good habit, this goes for new readers too.

Don't stop there, give your nest boxes (birdhouses) a good cleaning as well.

If you are too busy for a deep cleaning, a good spray with Rubbing Alcohol in houses and on feeders will sanitize and dry fast without leaving any harmful residue.

Step outside on a calm night (if you are not in the noise of a city.

Now listen.

Throughout October you may hear the peeps and chirps of migrating birds as they fly over head.

Birds make calls to keep in contact with the rest of the flock as they fly at night.

Again, novice birders may not realize that most birds migrate at night to avoid predators like hawks.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world
Cannot be seen or even touched
They must be felt with the heart."

Helen Keller

This is from a person that had to feel and touch everything.

She knew something, didn't she?

"As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart."

Proverbs 29:17

"Humble yourselves in the Lord's presence,
and he will exalt you."

James 4:10

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.

Back to Back Issues Page