Back to Back Issues Page
September is Busy Time
September 04, 2012

(Blue Moon Rising on a hazy August dusk.)

Our prayers continue for those affected by Isaac and the tornadoes and storms (aftermath) over the weekend.

Nature's Power, only the Creator is more powerful.

I hope you had an enjoyable Labor day weekend.

We stayed at home and kept very busy.

As with much of the country, Michigan was declared an 'Agricultural Disaster' this past week.

Summer is back in full swing here in Southwest Michigan.

That means back to watering on a full time basis and the AC getting a good workout once again.

Hey, it is still summer after all.

In Michigan, public schools start up today (Tuesday).

A couple of years ago, our then Governor Granholm signed into law, that public schools were not to open until after Labor Day.

The powers that be, realized that tourism is so important to Michigan's economy, they were going to squeeze the very last day out of the summer season.

Thus, no public school before Labor Day.

Private schools started two weeks ago.

Most parents are happy, most kids are not.

Pictured, Native Blue Grama Grass 'Blonde Ambition' (Bouteleua gracilis)

A nice grass for your collection.

Zone Hardy 4-9.

Grow 2.5 to 3 feet tall.

Mine is a two year old clump that I am very happy with.

Okay, back to business.

The start of a new month.

That means it is time to give your
feeders a good cleaning and sanitizing.

Don't forget your water sources too.

While you're at it, why not clean out the nest boxes.

Give your bird houses a good cleaning.

If you can't take them down, or lack time for a good cleaning. spray them down with rubbing alcohol.

Alcohol works well on killing off cooties, parasites, and insects, and dries fast as to not harm birds.

Mint oil from a health food store or pharmacy, mixed with about 50% to 75% rubbing alcohol makes a great natural wasp killer and bee deterant at your hummer feeders.

Mint is a neurotoxin to bees and kills if it gets on them.

Any bee will attempt to avoid a strong minty smell.

This time of year, I begin to look toward next year's gardens.

But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the rest of this season.

Like many of you, I know the warm weather and growing season will come to an end all to abruptly.

I think, I actually embrace each day a little bit more.

The length of day is are shrinking rapidly, so I must grab more gusto while I can.

No more moping or mailing the season in like I would do in years past.

I choose to enjoy as much as possible, every day the good Lord has given me.

You Too?

Wise choice.

September can be a busy month for you and me,

Harvest times, Clean up beds, and maybe a few chores that you held off on because of the heat.

Well, it is a busy time for nature as well.

Enjoy September.

Many of you may consider summer over after Labor Day.

Not me, I still have almost three weeks of official summer left to enjoy.

I wont give up a day without a fight.

Yes, it is still summer in Southwest Michigan.

Every season has it sown sights, sounds and even smells and that includes late summer.

Actually, I think this holds true for just about every month of the year.

September is no different.

You may get the whiff of Garden phlox or Moonflower as you walk by.

Brush up against Monarda or Agastche and the aroma fills the air.

See, smell and taste a vine ripened tomato or cantelope.

The sights and smells of Farmers Markets.

Indeed, late summer can fill our senses.

It is an exciting time of the year.

It is also a busy time of the year in Nature.

Especially with insects and birds.

Some species are busy migrating or getting ready for the journey.

Many insects are at their peak.

Especially Beneficia and Predatoryl Insects.

Take your watchful eyes into your gardens and discover a whole different world of insects.

(Assassin Bug Nymph.)

Besides Ladybugs (few this year for me),
maybe you can spot a Preying mantis, Assasin bug, Soldier bug, Pirate bug, or one of the many beneficial insects 'Nature' provides.

There are many species of beneficial insects out there doing the work for you.

Butterflies are busy nectaring, as are many species of bees.

In northern regions, Canada Geese are busy with flying exercises.

The parent geese have been busy for the past couple of weeks taking their offspring out on flights (mostly in the evening it seems).

Small groups or flocks are beginning to form as they practice flying as one.

Not only are this year's babies learning to fly, they must learn certain techniques to flight.

Adults know the importance of drafting and flying in certain formations.

Juveniles must learn the same, vital lessons.

Mallard Ducks.

Where have all the Drakes (males) gone?

They are still around.

Ducks molt in the summer and every duck looks like a female.

Upon closer inspection, you may notice the Drakes are slowly molting again into adult and indeed, male plumage.

In a few weeks, the males will look as nice and pretty in their new and shinny feathers.

For the past two to three weeks, The sight and sounds of juvenile goldfinches have filled the air.

Now I understand that I bring up this topic just about every year, but it is worth repeating.

Pictured are some Thistle plants with plant down (pictures were taken this past Friday).

So why do the so called experts continue to tell us that American goldfinches nest so late because they need the done for nesting materials.

This year alone shows a good four week discrepancy from nesting to down material.

The real reason why goldfinches nest so late is this.

American Goldfinches are 99% seed eating birds.

A vast majority of plant and flower seeds come into fruition from mid summer to late autumn.

It only makes sense to raise a family when food supplies are at its peak.

I also mention, that Most thistle plants are introduced species and weren't in the Americas 150/200 years ago.

There, that is my Orange crate moment.

Migration South Begins, now is the time to increase the sugar water content in your feeders if you haven't done so.

Days are growing shorter and the internal time clocks are telling the hummers it is time to fatten up for the long and strenuous Migration South.

Hummers need to pack on some serious weight and fast.

Can you imagine doubling your weight and functioning at peak performance.

That is exactly what these diminutive birds must do.

Pumping up your feeders can help, especially in drought stricken areas where flower gardens and natural sources have taken a beating this year.

Hummers aren't the fragile creature we imagine them to be.

God has prepared them quite well for many tasks and the daily grind.

One of these tasks is knowing when to migrate.

Like Canada geese and so many other species of birds, Hummers don't fly in flocks.

No leader, no formations, simply go when it is time.

Now, this may be a simple task for the migrating veterans, but what about the juveniles?

This years reproductive successes.

Once again, our Creator has provided a GPS and time table for the rookies to follow.

Not every bird gets it right and ends up where they are supposed to, but most of the successful migrators make it.

Successful is the key or working word, many never make it there or back.

I suppose it is time for me to end this lengthy letter.

Yes, September can be a busy, exciting, and some what sad time.

It is what you choose to make it to be.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

Happiness is often the result of being too busy to be miserable.


Being busy doesn't mean working all of the time.

Being rich isn't simply having money.

You can be busy doing countless good deeds or loving life.

You can be rich beyond imagination, simply by loving others.

Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches.

Proverbs 10:4

"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.

Back to Back Issues Page