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Gardening For Wildlife, #016 Nature's music and much more
May 14, 2007

The start of another week already.

The intoxicating smell of lilac fills the air here in Southwest Michigan.

Thank you everyone for allowing me to talk so much about my beloved Pookie.

He was such a huge part of our lives and I shared about him over the past few years that I've been writing a newsletter.

I felt you knew him as well.

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that wrote to me.

As I read your notes and responded back, I would cry.

But, that is all part of healing isn't it?

A few of you sent me the rainbow bridge.

WOW, I never read that before and never knew it existed. Thank you for sending it.

The tears were running down my cheeks as I read it to Karen (as they are now).

Poor Akita.

She didn't quite know what to think at first.

However, as the evening wore on she was lonesome and sad herself.

The following day she would get all the toys out and anything else that had Pookie's scent on it.

After a couple of days, she began to pick on the cats more.

Yep, Keet misses her companion and big brother.

As noisy as he was at times, I sure do miss it.

Especially the happy barks when I would come home.

Again, thank you for allowing me to ramble.

Here is an unofficial survey.

Are any of you left handed?

You see, we are right brained and that means we think more with our emotions and feel more emotionally.

I for one am a very emotional person (I learned this young in life).

Left brained people are more analytical (statistically).

My unofficial survey of other southpaws shows that we do indeed cry easier, are much more emotional and tender hearted.

So, if you are a lefty, you now know why your emotions and feelings are the way they are.

I am curious to hear from all lefties though.

There is nothing like the symphony of "Nature."

The orchestra is complete, as Ruby-throated hummingbirds, Baltimore orioles and Catbirds have taken their positions.

Opposite colors today that do well together are yellow and purple.

They make quite a nice match on the color wheel.

For other opposite matches, look at a color wheel.

You may be surprised how well opposites attract.

There is nothing like the symphony of "Nature."

The orchestra is complete, as Ruby-throated hummingbirds, Baltimore orioles and Catbirds have taken their positions.

Right now "Nature's" symphony is at its best.

Not one sour note.

How every song, buzz, croak etc. all blend together.

Isn't it marvelous?

How blessed we are to have life all around us.

In nature, there is a reason and a place for everything.

When the delicate balance is upset, is when problems occur.

Many of us grew up when it was okay to strip the land.

That wasn't good enough though.

We watched our parents use insecticides at will and carried on without thinking.

We killed off predatory birds and animals.

Now we are complaining about to many rabbits and other animals that eat our flowers and gardens.

We wonder why there aren't as many birds in our yards.

Where did they go?

Birds are an indicator species to a healthy environment.

A lack of trees and shrubs reduce places for birds to nest and hide.

It also reduces food.

Now, think what pesticides do.

They kill off most insects that come in contact with the poisons. Those that aren't killed become immune and new chemicals are developed.

No insects, no food for our feathered friends. Or they eat the poisoned ones and you guessed it.

Insecticides can't pick out bad bugs from good.

Now, pollinators are being destroyed as well.

Caterpillars that turn into beautiful butterflies are no longer.

Not to mention lady bugs, Mantids, katydids, spiders and a host of beneficial insects.

Can you see the trickle down effect?

Kill off our foxes, wolves, birds of prey, etc. and rabbits, squirrels and other critters are every where becoming a problem.

Nature's balance is way off whack.

Each region or eco-system works within its own balance.

The introduction of the English house sparrow and European starling has reeked havoc on our native birds.

The same could happen if our native birds were introduced elsewhere.

Kudzu vine was introduced in the South and now it is wrecking natural habitats.

Careless practices with International shipping has introduced 183 alien species to the Great Lakes and now our inland lakes.

Creatures that are whipping out Native fish and plants.

Again, with little care to shipping practices, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) came in on shipping crates a few years back.

In the past few years, almost 20,000,000 ash trees have been lost in Michigan alone.

EAB is now in parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Ontario.

Will we lose our valuable ash trees to this invader?

See what happens when we mess with Mother Nature?

She messes back.

That delicate balance is off kilter

I'm sure you can come up with a few aliens in your neck of the woods as well.

Like the wretched Japanese beetle.

Like her creator, nature is also very forgiving.

Allow a wetland to do what it is supposed to do and in a few years, waterways become cleaner. Life around it becomes more abundant.

Have you ever noticed an old farm field? Within a few short years grasses and wildflowers appear.

Soon, small trees and thickets appear.

Birds and other wildlife return.

The use of herbicides and insecticides have aided greatly in the loss of our wildlife (think of what we breathe and eat as well).

Be wise in the use of chemicals.

What's the line in a certain commercial?

"Mess with the High Life and the High Life will mess back."

Wildlife gardens start with you.

Native plants and trees offer more of what wildlife needs.

It is also more tolerant to your growing conditions.

Gardening for wildlife is a choice we make because we enjoy what "Nature" offers.

I like to wake up to "Nature's" symphony.

Don't you?

I need to see birds on a cold winter's day.

What would it be like without our winged friends to welcome us everyday?

Take a few moments this week to observe your birds.

Watch them as they construct a nest.

Even if you know where the nest is, they will always take the long route.

From one tree to another.

From shrub to shrub until they are sure they aren't being followed.

The same happens when the eggs hatch.

You would think they would fly straight home with the groceries.

Not so, they will take a different route home, hoping no predators have spotted them.

Watching birds is so interesting, educational and relaxing.

A bird's life makes our own seem like we are in slow motion.


It's time to fly for now.

Have a blessed week and be sure to smile.

Who knows, you just may confuse someone :-)

As always,

"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 pass them onto friends and family.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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