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September 30, 2019

(I thought this made a nice picture, a gourd vine growing along the shed.)

Yolanda was home all week with a nasty cold.

She is a lot of work when she isn't feeling well, and nine days with no break seem like eternity.

Still, we love her and take on the responsibility of a special need adult child with gladness in our hearts.

This past week's weather had its ups and downs.

A couple of real nice days, 

A wet couple of days with inches of rain.

The next couple of days are forecast to be in the 80's, by week's end, highs will be in the 50's.

I'm not in a big hurry for killing frosts or freezes, but soon.

In SW. Michigan, EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis), a deadly disease spread by mosquitoes has killed several different species of animals and three human deaths so far.

Statistically, 1 in 3 people who get EEE will die, there is no human vaccine for this.   

Below are pictures of the girls with their new haircuts.

Brandy is eight months old October 2nd, and looks good in her official poodle cut.

Snickers shows no interest in having her picture taken.

We enter October this week.

Yes, transitions happen fast here in the north country.

Vegetable gardens come to a halt.

Many annual flowers are fading.

I do love my Red Salvia, it continue to perform until a killing frost knocks it down.

With the first of the month, you can make sure your feeders and water sources get a real good scrubbing and sanitizing.

Especially you in the northern regions, before the snow and cold come.

Snow and cold, it comes with the choices of living where we do.

This week, I share a few pictures from the past week and a snippet or two on the topic.


I haven't visited the local pond as often this year as I have in the past (busy summer).

This past week I did get a sneak peek and spotted this 'Great Egret' as it was looking for lunch.

Great egrets are a member of the Heron family.

Standing 39-40 inches tall (almost a foot shorter the the Great Blue Heron), it has much of the same characteristics as its cousin.

They breed throughout much of The United States and extreme southern Canada.

Nests can be solitary or in rookeries.

As with most herons they prefer to feed alone, chasing away others unless food is plentiful.

Migrate to the deep south where I have seen them in good numbers (in the past).

Blue Jays are busy flying back and for with acorns.

(This one is visiting my feeding station.)

Around here, it is fly west with a gullet and bill full of acorns.

Fly back east to where the Oak trees are and do this over and over again.

All jays not just Blue jays will make treks like this as they stash food for the coming seasons.

I am most familiar the the Blue Jay, as they are very well established around here.

If you live near oak trees in the east, and, or pine trees in the west, look for busy jays flying over with a stash to hide.

Blue jays will often bury an acorn or two in one spot, and then find another location.

Many of these acorns will sprout and become trees in a new location.

Look at this mess.

I've clean it up, and it starts all over again.

Spruce cone skeletons, and thousands of cone scales collecting in the same area.

Green, not ripened cones, harvested, husked, and the tender seeds eaten.

Cone skeletons dropped like a husked corn cob.

Finally the culprit.

I figured this to be from the abundance of Fox Squirrels we have.

Nope, one diminutive red squirrel.

I see it around from time to time, but never figured it would hang around, yet alone cause such a mess.

A lot less food for the birds and squirrels this winter.

The pressure is now on to keep my feeders full :-)

I should look at this as a bonus, fewer cones to have to pick up this fall and next spring.

With a couple of warm, sunny days this past week, we were blessed with some butterflies.

Pictured is a 'Painted Lady', also called the 'Cosmopolitan' butterfly, as it is on every continent except Australia (does Antarctica need to be mentioned too?).

I had a few of these bust butterflies enjoying the asters and zinnias for the past couple of weeks.

Painted Ladies are considered a migrating butterfly, but I think they are more of an emigrating insect, as they fly to certain areas and recolonize, but never migrate south again.

They establish and area, and die in colder regions, not moving to warmer climates.

An area can have a nice population by the end of the warmer weather.

Painted Ladies may be present year round in warmer climates.

On September 26, several Monarchs were visiting our flowers as well.

Yes, we've had a monarch or two just about every day of September, and even blessed with some late season migrators.

This past week I thought was special, as a few butterflies stopped by to fuel up as they head south.

I'm not in the middle of a migration route, so this is special.

Late migrators?

Not really, Migrating birds and butterflies like to fly migrate with the wind at their backs, not fighting it head on.

With a southerly breeze (and wind), why put forth the extra energy.

Hopefully you can spot at least two monarchs in the asters as a few were hanging around.

On average, September 24th seems to be the last date we see hummers.

This year it was September 25.

Or so we thought.

Sunday (September 29), another hummer was spotted.

A wet, cold, miserable day, and here comes a tubby little bird.

First landing on a nearby branch.

A show her to Karen (verification), as she flies off.

Then, rest of the afternoon, our visitor enjoys nectar from the flowers, leaving the feeders alone.

As the remaining hummingbirds migrate south, I only ask that you take care of them (especially mine).

Feed and send them on their way to their winter homes.

Here is to a successful migration and see you in May, my Ruby-throated little friends.

Well <>, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower(1890 - 1969)

Military Commander and 34th US President

Wise words from a man of wisdom.

Now, the Bible takes it a step further

Read on and think about it.

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:4

“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”  

Matthew 20:26

"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.

A Blessed week to you .

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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