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Whispers Of Winter
February 02, 2015

Good news, Yolanda can get the Peg (feeding) tube removed.

We can have it done February 13th, at Doctors office and not at the hospital.

We can wait another 11 days.

A new month already.

February starts off with colder than normal temperatures.

Remember to clean your feeders and water sources.

I find the first of a month is a good reminder for me to clean feeders and water sources.

Again, if you can't remove a feeder for a deep cleaning, a good spray of rubbing alcohol will sanitize and not harm your feathered friends.

February is also 'National Bird Feeding Month'.

Established by Congress in 1994.

It went something like this.......

On February 23, 1994, John Porter (R-IL) proclaimed February as National Bird-Feeding Month when he read a resolution into the Congressional Record.

Below is shortened version of the formal resolution that he read.

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month. During this month, individuals are encouraged to provide food, water, and shelter to help wild birds survive. This assistance benefits the environment by supplementing wild bird's natural diet of weed seeds and insects. Currently, one third of the U.S. adult population feeds wild birds in their backyards.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, backyard bird feeding is an entertaining, educational, and inexpensive pastime enjoyed by children and adults. Bird feeding provides a needed break from today's frantic lifestyles. Adults enjoy the relaxation and peacefulness afforded by watching birds -- nature serves to relieve the stress and can get one's day going on a tranquil note.

Don't forget to register, and participate in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count.

Held from February 13-16, 2015.

This week's letter is a bit different.

Titled the 'Whispers of Winter'.

I realize many of you haven't a clue, and some of you have relocated, but here is to wishing.


Whispers Of Winter:

Many of you live in warmer climates.

Indeed, a few of you live in the tropics, or subtropics.

Sometimes the rest of us may wish for warmer weather in the winter months.

But do we really want it?

Do you really want winter to go away?

Yes there are times I wish I was out in the gardens, wearing nothing but shorts and a light shirt.

Listening to the busyness of the neighborhood and of nature.


Then I pause.

I look and listen.

To the Whispers of Winter.

How blessed I really am.

No doubt that winter is a challenge for all wildlife.

Survival is a daily thing.

Winter also removes the weak, so the strong can survive and reproduce strong offspring.

I digress.

The Whispers of Winter aren't just the gentle sounds you may hear.

Visual also can whisper ever so gently.

You only need to chose.

Do you chose to stay inside and grumble?

Or do you chose (like me), to get outside and enjoys more of God's many gifts?

It's not difficult for most of you.

Simply dress appropriately, and step outside for a few minutes.

No real activity is required, unless you chose to.

Now, feel the Whispers of a cold, crisp air on your face.

Breathe it in.

You get more oxygen with every winter breath, than you do any other time of the year.

Is it snowing?

Feel the Whispers of a gentle snow as it lands on you.


Listen carefully.

Can you hear the flakes as they land?

Warm climate people don't know what they are missing :-)

I look at winter as a time for earth to sleep.

Rest, regenerate for another growing season.

Without winter, would you and I appreciate the coming of spring?

Earth whispers in her slumber.

I'm still blessed with the ability to get out and go for long walks.

I must..... if I am to watch and listen for the Whispers of Winter.

Winter whispers with every beat of a bird's wing.

You may witness an imprint in the fresh snow.

Follow the tracks of deer, or a bunny.

Discover a matted down, kidney shape in the snow and find where a deer was sleeping.

You can't do that in summer.

Whispers of Winter.

Can you walk near a winter stream, or creek?

Watch and listen to the babbling of the water as it crosses over a rock or fallen log.

Snow cover absorbs sound and softens the whole visual and musical effect of the stream.

Listen as ice groans and cracks with every expansion of the water molecules.

Great horned owls are still hooting away in the dark.

Some years we have Snowy owls visit us, as there is an owl irruption from the Arctic in search of food.

They are here, I haven't seen one this year.

Woodpeckers are busy drumming up business.

Winter is the only time I hear the coyotes yelping and howling.

Music of winter.

Whispers of Winter.

Nighttime is a favorite time for me to be outside.

Bundled in layers, I enjoy long walks.

It is time for me to be alone, spend time with my God, and admire His earth and universe.

A gentle snowfall is a true thing of beauty.

Especially when we get the light and fluffy Lake Effect snow.

On real cold nights, ice crystals can fill the air and all the street lights shoot straight into the sky.

Pillars of light in different colors, this is called spiking.

This is only a whisper in winter.

Cold and sunny days can also make some pretty spectacular 'Sun Dogs'

We do get some sunshine in the winter months:-)

Mostly a cold weather phenomenon, as ice crystals again reflect light (truncated version).

Clear winter nights also allow for the best star gazing.

Because of where we are located in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see more stars and mighty constellations in the winter months.

Yes, even in Arizona.

Whispers of Winter.

On special nights, when the sky is clear, without warning, it can happen.

The northern horizon begins with an early glow.

Suddenly it explodes in undulating colors in blues, greens, and sometimes reds and yellows.

I have read that people that live near the arctic circle say they can hear it too.

The 'Northern Lights', the 'Aurora Borealis'.

The lights can turn on anytime of year, and are more frequent north of the 45th parallel.

Still, the shows seem more spectacular in winter.

Again, you will miss this Whisper every time, when you stay inside.

Credit goes to Shawn Malone and her artistic talents at Lake Superior Photo for a short video.

Here is a short time lapsed video (in summer) from Northern Michigan.

Here is a short time lapsed video (in summer) from Northern Michigan.

The leaves of a Pin Oak rustle.

A gentle breeze passes by.

A kiss from God.

Winter is full of life and activity.

One only has to step outside and listen.

Listen for the Whispers of Winter.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God bless.

Don't let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.

Robert Kiyosaki

This isn't simply about winning or losing.

Fear of trying or not,

This pertains to all parts of life.

Fear can cripple you, if you allow it.

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

2 timothy 1:7

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

1 John 4:18

"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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