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Fall Favorites
October 06, 2014

Monday last week in our yard, was this late season monarch feeding on a Zinnia.

It stayed for the afternoon.

What a beauty.

The stretch of warm late summer/early fall weather has come to a screeching halt.

Temperatures in the upper 70's and touching 80 a couple of times, has been replaced with the 50's and upper 40's for daytime highs.

60's are promised in the forecast, however.

The past week or so did provide some well needed blessings.

We opted to head to the beach a couple more times, while the weather said we could.

Sun and the Big Lake has a strong pull on me, we haven't made it to ArtPrize just yet.

While at the beach, we not only watched several (I mean Several) monarch butterflies migrating, we also had some visitors.

Sanderling juveniles, added to the life list.

Credit to the Michigan Birding Network for helping me ID the birds.

Eight inch tall shore birds, that nest in the Arctic Circle, and winter along the coastal waters of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific.

They are a hoot to watch, and a blessing we needed.

With the unwanted stress and other issues right now (later), God knows how to soften the moment with a bit of His beauty.

(Juvenile sanderlings.)

I forgot to mention this last week, however most of you should know the drill by now.

The first of the month is always a good time to give your feeders and water sources a good, and deep scrubbing and sanitizing.

Every month, at least once, you need to clean things well.

I might add this too.

If you don't feed the birds year round, but only feed in the winter months, get your feeders out and positioned as soon as possible.


Birds establish a feeding territory well before the winter weather arrives.

Yes, even in the south.

You want to be part of that territory, or feeding trail.

Offer the good stuff to keep em coming back.

Autumn brings many things.

Transition is a big in early Autumn.

Notice the fawns are losing their spots, and mom is almost in her fall and winter coat/color.

Shorter, and cooler days.

Gardens die off and cleanup is in full swing.

There is prep work for the winter and spring.

Hopefully, we all can slow down a tad, and relax some.

Some of you even make fall your favorite time of year.

Everyone knows that Spring is my favorite season, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy Autumn too.

I never look forward to Fall, but I do appreciate the certain things about it.

I am in awe of Creation's changes.

God's palette and paint brush.

Clean air on a sunny, crisp day.

By writing this letter and reading your responses, I continue to learn, and appreciate more of autumn's offerings.

No longer do I sing gloom and doom when October arrives.

Today, I share some readers responses and things you appreciate or look forward to


Melissa, from the Coast of Oregon.

I love the cooler weather. Bright fall colors. Designs of different shaped leaves. Smell of the trees as they change to their winter coats. Holly berries. Different birds that come in abundance to the feeders. I especially love the juncos and the chickadees. Love the different squash colors. Especially love the pumpkins.

Love apple cider and cinnamon. Love to bake and well try different soups. Love not sweating in the sweltering heat. Love sweatshirts and jeans. there is many more things that I love....but these are a few.

Alma Tallman from Atlantic, Iowa.

I Love the colors of the leaves most years. We have 2 trees that have half turned red and the other still green. Our colors are great - we just have to drive around town to enjoy them, not all on one hillside. Then on that same street - to the north at the top of a hill - there is a row of soft maples - they trun a great yellow and if I catch it right - the morning sunshine makes a beautiful dome of golden rays. Love it on way to worship.

The other part I watch for is the lower sun shines in my porch in a way - no other time can match. It will soon be here. My front porch is on olden home that has been enclosed - makes it almost a greenhouse and I can have plants in there all winter. 2 windows to east and west and 4 on south with a door in middle. She had an 8" sill placed 20" off the floor so It is just made for plants. This will be 21st fall and winter to enjoy.

Pam Salimbene, in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

One of the many things I love about fall is walking out the door at night and smelling the neighbors' fireplaces burning. The scent being carried on the brisk, leaf swept breeze and the call of a nearby owl in the barren trees. A cup of spiced cider and a roaring bonfire in the yard, apple pie baking in the oven on a Sunday afternoon. The Canada geese in flight above our heads look like stitching on a beautiful quilt.

The smell of Hearty stews and soups percolating on the stove on cold days while raking leaves, your cheeks all rosy and glowing with the vibrant feeling of life pulsing through your mind, body and soul. There is so many other things to love about fall, but I don't want to be a hog now. Love to all.

Michele Beckett in the Poconos, Pennsylvania.

Fall colors are the show. wildlife scurrying to get ready for winter,(pack of coyotes letting me know that I have chickens, winter is coming), smell....there is something about Fall . Fall colors so enrich our visual, we do not seem to pick up the new smell of leaves fallen, decay, branches mustiness, it has not description as it is the mingling of old gardens, leaves like reminders of summer and rapidly approaching winter. Fluctuation of temperatures cool evening till 10 am when sun remembers to warm up more, birds grateful for the air beneath their wings.

Wildlife looking for leftovers to store. Trees returning their seeds for new life in spring. Colors are always the show....from leaves to the pumpkins, gourds, that salute to the year passing. House ...fragrances of canning, baking, putting up stock. Spices intertwining with our garden for fall and winter meals. Aromas permeate every nook and corner, sleep is filled with dreams of sugar plums and gingerbread to come.

November evening, fire crackling, popcorn perhaps for football game. Relaxing, enjoying moment, savoring our just rewards of gardening. Fall flavors are ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. Like the colors outside, foods follow in visual and smell.

Bill in southwestern Illinois.

My favorite things of autumn are the nice cool weather, the colors of the leaves, the squirrels and other animals preparing for winter. There seems to be a calmness to all things, even humans this time of the year. The beautiful sunsets which seem to be more colorful in autumn. For me there seems to be a feeling of nostalgia in the fall which leads me to recall events and people of past years.

Becky Stockum, in Coshocton Ohio.

The main thing I don't like, is having to completely close the doors & windows

There are things I love about every season, starting with the changes in temperature & changing from a t-shirt to a sweatshirt (but still barefooted!!). The gorgeous colors of the leaves-watching them change from day to day, & once they fall, shuffling through them or raking/blowing them into a pile & playing with my dogs in them. A different smell in the air----taking deep breaths are wonderful. Mowing season winding down.

Cleaning up the plants & harvesting the last of the tomatoes & peppers before the frost hits them. Making certain ALL of my seed feeders are full & watching all the birds flock to them. Still seeing hummers after other people have already taken their feeders down. Squirrels chattering in the woods, more deer coming in to eat at our corn pile. Soup making weather.

I like the fresh country air & as it gets cooler, it makes it so nice to snuggle under a couple of blankets & sleep good. County fair time. Farm & Foliage tour in our county.

Life is good for this born & raised country gal.

Sandra in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

The things I love about fall up here in Northern Minnesota are the wonderful fall days when all the trees, especially sugar maples are in their glory. Reds, yellows, and oranges dot the landscape and they are beautiful against the green of tall pines and the deep blue of a clear sky. It is so beautiful that it takes your breath away.

Julie from Charlotte North Carolina.

I enjoy going to the County Fairs especially at night so I can capture video and pictures of all the sights and sounds all around especially the Ferris Wheel which is my favorite subject to Photograph. I also like the crispness of the air which makes me appreciate a nice comfy fleece blanket to curl up in with my kitties.

Jan in Brandon MS.

The thing I love most about fall is the cooler weather ( less humidity ) and raking a big leaf pile for my Grandson to jump in.

Susan Bullock in Roseburg, Oregon. My favorite thing about fall, is looking forward to spring.

Susan, now you're sounding like me.

Dan, near Ashland, Ohio.

I have many favorite things about Fall because it is a most beautiful and invigorating time of year. But one I remember is about the subject of your last letter, mushrooms. I would discourage anyone picking mushrooms unless they really know what they are doing. But in my case, I am from Polish descent, and that's what we did in the Fall.

As a kid I went with my Dad and uncles to the woods every year to pick only one variety that we knew to be eatable. We lived in the city, and just to get out in the woods early in the morning was an invigorating experience. The chilled air against my skin trying to get into my warm jacket, the smell of leaves as I brushed them about with my makeshift stick looking for the treasure on the ground, the morning sun sifting down through tall trees onto leaves of golden yellow, brown, and scarlet red.

What a life!

Mary Kay Rodarte, Phelan, CA.

Fall has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Chicken roasting in the oven, an occasional pumpkin pie, hot chocolate on a chilly evening are all better where I live now.

The excitement of planning costumes for the kids and taking them trick or treating. Halloween is one of my favorite times, and decorating the house, carving pumpkins with the kids was always a highlight for me.

Enjoy your fall I know I will surely enjoy mine.

Marti in Ohio>

I like to see the trees change color in the fall. I enjoy the sound as you walk on them--lol! Well then you have to rake them--we have so many here we live. I love the sunny days, yet the cooler weather. I love the pumpkins, mums.

It is an awesome time of year, but give me spring.

My favorite things about fall weather is starting flower seeds for spring. I also enjoy seeing the color change in the leaves.

Sandy, in Montgomery, Alabama.

My favorite things about fall weather is starting flower seeds for spring. I also enjoy seeing the color change in the leaves.

Jean in NW GA.

The nice chill in the air and the change in the angle of the Sun.

Migratory birds visiting feeders as they make their way to FL and South America are a welcome sight. The decrease in annoying bugs is always a delight...which equals to more comforting time outside. Oh...Love the Fall blooms also.

There you have it folks.

From one side of America to another, there are reasons to enjoy Autumn.

Colors, foods, decorations, and county fairs (as yes, the fairs).

So many reasons and excuses to get out and enjoy the season and the gifts.

Thank you all for participating, and thank you for allowing me to share this with all of you.

I enjoy reading what you all think and feel.

It shows are different we all are, yet shows the many things in common we may have.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"If you don't design your own life plan,
chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan.
And guess what they have planned for you?
Not much.

Jim Rohn

Plan your work and work your plan for your life, not just a job.

You still need help, however.

Here is what God says.......

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and He will establish your plans.

Proverbs 16:3

"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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