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Your Spring Favorites and Memories
April 06, 2009
Hi,

The first full week of April.

Lawns and other plant life are slowly turning green.

American goldfinches continue to change colors.

Well, I wanted about 3 inches of snow a month and a half ago, not now.

NOT IN APRIL.

Not to worry.............

Some how, my part of Michigan missed out again, as this storm went South of here.

Well, I'm officially without a job.

The "Garden Center" I once worked at, decided to go younger, less experienced and less pay.

Four of us were told last week they were going in a different direction.

Different all right.

Down the toilet.

There is something to be said about passion and experience.

Their loss.

I'm not sure what I feel right now, but anger is one thing I feel and must work my way through.

So I am wondering where to go from here.

Thankfully, I have a loving family and a God to watch over me.

Sometimes we are tested and he wants us to lean on him.

Dark-eyed juncos are still hanging around.

Turkey Vultures are back in full force.

This past week I was blessed by a couple of visitors at the pond.

A single male Bufflehead duck, all 14" of him (picture of a male Bufflehead to your right).

And a pair of Hooded Mergansers.

A picture of a male is olso to your lower right.

The web footed visitors remained a few days and then were no where to be seen.

It just goes to show you........................

Keep your ears and eyes open, you never know who or what will drop by for a visit.

This storm and cold weather is going to reach into parts of the Deep South Protect your plants if you can.

Now, this is a bit unfair for new readers.

You expect something on "Gardening or Wildlife" and you get readers favorites.

This is something we do a few times a year.

It give readers a chance to get involved and helps with writing material once in a while (Ya gotta do, what ya gotta do).

Next week Monday I'll be back.

Until then, enjoy this special and there will also be my Easter letter later this week.

With out wasting another minute of your time, here you go.



Your Spring Favorites and Memories:

These are in your words.

You may find something you missed or forgot about, and someone else's memory will bring it to life again.

I'm going to start out with my friend Lou.

Lou of Lowell, Michigan.

I like it that things are starting to grow again. Fall/winter makes everything die, and look drab to me. That's why I like spring. The grass starts growing. Flowers are starting to get green, and some have flowers already. I've already got some seeds coming up, and will be Cherry Tomatoes. I've got several milk cartons with potting soil, and seeds in them, just waiting for the right time to signal them to start growing. The Birds are also coming back, and pairing up to make more birds for me to watch. Those things are why I'm glad it's spring again. It's my favorite time of year.

I'm with you Lou, Spring is the best.

The sights, sounds, smells.

I have met Lou and his wife a few times at the garden center I used to work at.

Marsha, 90 miles Southwest of St. Louis, MO.

I was having some very serious problems in my life, mostly financial, very depressed and not too hopeful at the time. My gardening friend brought my husband over a bunch of dill weed in a plastic bag for pickles. A day or so later I was by myself and feeling so down and noticed something moving in that plastic bag. I figured it was an insect or something but ended up being a beautiful butterfly that had just worked its way out of a cocoon attached to the dill weed. I took it out on the deck and laid it in a flower pot until it got strong enough to fly off. I firmly believe this is how God communicates something to us when we are at our darkest moments. It sure spoke to my heart that day to have faith and I would take flight soon out of the depression.

I also remember another bad day years later when I was outside and a huge flock of geese flew overhead honking back and forth. This sight never fails to give my heart wings. I have to think it didn't just happen as I was outside so briefly in those days and the timing was just what I needed.

Marsha, as I said before, God is good.

Karen in Cincinnati, OH.

I think the best thing about spring is the smell of my sweet woodruff as it starts to bloom. My garden is at the back of our lot but as I pull into the driveway. I can smell the sweet woodruff. I also like the smell of the honeysuckle and magnolia tree that we have behind the garage. When the humidity starts to climb and the air is dense, there is nothing better than the smells of spring.

The sense of smell never fails us Karen and many memories derive from the nose.

Marti of Lake Milton, OH.

Here are a few things I look forward to spring~~

Bedsheets, as well as other items blowing on the clothesline on a breezy day.

Pretty spring blossoms on various trees.

The spring flowers poking their head out of the ground.

Birds building their nests and hearing them chirp.

Walking around with the neighbor and going through her plants-wondering if it's a weed or a plant.

Enjoying a beverage with the neighbors and whining about the winter-being glad it's over.

Blowing bubbles for my little 15 month old granddaughter, she giggles and loves them-love watching her reactions.

Knowing real soon I will be out there digging, cleaning leaves and loving it all.

Here are a few things I look forward to spring~~

Bedsheets, as well as other items blowing on the clothesline on a breezy day.

Pretty spring blossoms on various trees.

The spring flowers poking their head out of the ground.

Birds building their nests and hearing them chirp.

Walking around with the neighbor and going through her plants-wondering if it's a weed or a plant.

Enjoying a beverage with the neighbors and whining about the winter-being glad it's over.

Blowing bubbles for my little 15 month old granddaughter, she giggles and loves them-love watching her reactions.

Knowing real soon I will be out there digging, cleaning leaves and loving it all.

*Here's a little humorous side of spring things-not all favorites at times.

Changing clothes 3 times a day-long sleeves, slacks, socks to shorts, t-shirt, flippies.

Hoping the indent from the elastic of the socks disappear.

Changing back into the long sleeve shirt, and socks for the cooler nights.

Toes get grubby from yard work in the flippies.

The constant muddy paws the pets bring in on the rainy days.

Knowing getting down this year to do yard work may be a bit tougher than last year.

Chasing that darling granddaughter around the yard after we get a bit tired of the bubbles.

Buying plants and having to put them in the garage for fear of frost at night.

I've done all the above, and really, good and bad, the fact that you can get out of the house and being out until late fall the best of all.

Nice list Marti and a sense of humor is a must have.

Thanks.

Michele of Edmonton, Alberta.

My favourite things about Spring are -

Sitting on my back deck in the sunshine without a coat or sweater on.

Watching the two ducks, a male and a female, waddle by my house on the sidewalk. They return every Spring, and are a joy to watch. I feed them dried corn.

Having fresh asparagus on the BBQ.

Watching my two apricot trees burst into bloom.

Michele, like you I feed some ducks and now you have my mouth watering and wanting asparagus.

After a long Canadian winter, you deserve some good things.

Thanks for representing Canada.



Even my friends in the south look forward to spring.

Lynne of Homosassa, Florida.

The things I like best about spring is watching all the seeds I plant germinate and seeing all the new leaves emerging on the trees and shrubs. Everything looks so fresh in the spring.

Lynne, Spring does give us new hope doesn't it.

Barbara, North of Houston, Texas.

My favorite thing about spring is the reawakening of everything, the flowers, and the birds busy with their nests. Even though living in the Houston area we don't have very cold winters, spring still gives promise of good things to come.

Barbara, once again Spring brings new hope and promise.

Thank you.

Brenda from Kosciusko, MS says:

Spring is a rebirth of nature from pastures full of dancing calves and foals to greening up of the gray/brown earth to the smell of damp overturned earth yawning for seeds of life. From the first emergence of the daffodils in February to the appearance of the hummingbirds a week or two before legal spring the whole area here celebrates the 'coming' of the new. The new leaves, the new smells, the babies of every type of flora and fauna begin to emerge with energy unsurpassed by any other time of the year.

Polka dots of bright yellow dandelions cover the ground and those tiny lavender flowers that herald spring poke up first a few then many hundreds. Freshly turned dirt emits a sweet smell of growth as the sun coaxes all to rise and stretch. Rains feed all and sweep away the trash of winter to allow the greeting of the world. New seeds are carefully tucked into the beds and dreams of bushels of tasty morsels (I said 'dreams' mind you) fill the head. This is spring in the south.

The years I lived in Maine legal spring meant every flat place in the house was filled with flats of struggling baby plants of all kinds longing for the introduction to true sun and real dirt. Crocus would be among the first to peer out atop the snow so that only the little blooms would be seen. Old friend birds would arrive, happy to be 'home' from their winter travels and singing songs of cheer and "feed me now" while flittering among the still leafless branches. Squirrels would reappear hoping for bounties left out for them.

Yes, Ron, whether north or south spring is a season of hope, birth, rebirth, reunion and praise for God's glory topped off with the celebration of Easter and the rising of Glory. Every year comes the rising of the earth to greet the Rising bringing with it the wonderful smell of growth and promise.

That's what I love about spring.

Lisa in Tennessee has this to say:

My favorite thing about spring is the arrival of new residents in my bird houses. Here in Tennessee the Eastern Bluebirds start building their nest during the last week of February. I always know Spring is around the corner when I start seeing activity at my bird houses and the bluebirds start finishing off their dried meal worms earlier in the day. I guess all that nest building works up an appetite.

This is my cue to bundle up and put out dried eggshells, nesting material and switch to live meal worms when the temps began to stay above freezing. About a week later the Tree Swallows arrive and take over all the remaining houses. I enjoy tossing feathers in the air for the swallows and watching them dive and turn this way and that to catch them. The swallows help watch over the bluebirds nests but I've not seen a bluebird repay the favor yet.

Whoops got to go, a hummingbird just buzzed by the window and I need to put a feeder out. Oh the wonderful busy days of Spring!

Yes Lisa, bird activity is a good sign. Say, are you trying to rub it in......... us northern folk wont see hummers for another month or so.

And yes, Tree swallows prize feathers and help deter House Sparrows.

AMEN Brenda, You took the words right out of my mouth.



Joanne, near Fulton, New York.

I guess my favorite would be the forsythia bushes that border my yard when they are at their peak, right next to the crabapple that blooms at the same time! The best part is when a pair of cardinals take cover in the forsythias.

Thank you Joanne.

For a some what shy bird, cardinals don't hesitate to nest in our shrubs, do they?

Jan in North Idaho.

When I was about ten years old, living in southern California, I was playing in our lower (terraced) yard, when I kept hearing this bubbling melody, loud and vibrant, from out TV antenna on the roof of our house. I looked up, and there was this bird perched on one of the antenna wires, singing his little heart out to the entire world! I got my binoculars and went back down there. He was still there singing. Peering through the lenses, I saw a Western Meadowlark -- the telltale black "V" on his chest -- singing like there was no tomorrow!

Unfortunately, there wouldn't be a tomorrow for the meadowlarks in that area. Housing developments were fast encroaching on their open-field habitats, and soon they disappeared.

But being able to get a close look at him singing that bubbling melody, was truly a gift! I have always remembered that as one of my most rewarding birding experiences. To a kid like me, that was special!

A wonderful memory Jan. I think many of us have similar ones of bids we rarely see now days that were once common growing up.

Wilda from Sandpoint, Idaho.

My favorite things about spring is the smell in the air and the smell of sheets hung outside. Also all the activity at my bird feeder. My husband and I love to watch for the new ones everyday. This has always been my favorite time of year. Good to know winter is finally gone! Wilda, again, the nose knows. To bad so many communities have banned hanging out laundry. You would think it would be a popular energy saving thing to do.

Winter over? Well, It is mighty white outside right now :-(


For some reason, a few readers from the Mid-west look forward to Spring as well.

Evelyn in Burlington, Iowa.

I am so ready for Spring!

One of my favorite things to watch for in Spring is the return of the wrens and hummers...then I know Spring is really here.

We are still having a lot of birds at the feeders...cardinals, jays, nuthatch, woodpeckers, finches. I see a robin just found a worm in the grass and is tugging on it.

Evelyn, where would we be without our birds.

Bev from west of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

I'll happily reply to your question because I LOVE spring! And here are a few of my reasons--

I like the warm days but with a cool breeze & cool nights.

The birds returning & the ones that have been here all winter are busy making nests.

Seeing more eagles & hawks.

Enjoying my drive to & from work because the roads are clear & it is light out both ways.

Enjoying playing outside with the grand kids & watching them explore nature.

The bright green things popping up through the ground.

Seeing huge flocks of geese, ducks, swans & other birds flying over or stopping off to eat or rest in the fields or marsh.

Baby animals---calves, sheep, etc. in the pastures.

Green hills.

Iowa sunsets.

Rainbows.

Farmers itching to get into the fields to produce the world's food & the hopes that the year will be good to them.

I hope winter is gone & spring is here to stay!

Bev, you covered it all, sights, sounds, smells, new life. Nothing beats Spring.

Sharon of Menasha , Wisconsin.

Spring...it brings a smile to my face....

I love to watch the trees and shrubs bud...

I love to see the perennial plants poking up through the earth...

I love knowing that planting time is coming and I can get my

hands in the dirt...I don't mind getting dirty at all...

I love swinging on the swing in the yard...

I love planting annuals for the beautiful color in the yard when the ground warms...

I don't mind the tiredness that comes from all the projects we have..or the sore muscles.... I love hearing the neighborhood children playing outside....

I love the mating season of the birds..., chasing one another and the building of nests...

I love hearing the young birds chirping for their parents ...

I love hear the birds singing...especially as I bring out the fresh seed in the morning...

Mother Nature, I am ready for you...bring on Spring....

This is my favorite time of year.....

Sharon, I can't imagine why you want spring, isn't the frozen Tundra enough excitement in your life?

Is spring really coming?



We'll finish up with a few more from My home state of Michigan.

Cheryl of Fremont, Michigan.

My Spring Favorites are: Peeps or peepers (frogs) and hearing the birds singing.

I can't wait to hear them myself, Cheryl. Maybe after this batch of nasty weather.

For those that may not know, Freemont is the home of Gerber baby foods.

Susan from Shelby Township, MI.

I usually like everything about Spring! What I don't like is the mud that goes along with the thaw and rain on top of that. My favorites are watching the birds in their mating ritual, as we watched 2 cardinals yesterday, the male was giving the female a piece of birdseed, I presume he was showing her how good a provider HE would be.

Even tho small it is big in my heart. I'm also a gardener and can't wait to get my hands in the dirt and watch the garden and my flowers grow. I love taking pictures of my flowers and just about anything else that captures my eye.

Susan, we must take the bad with the good, one thing with the melt and spring rain, is it washes away the winter filth.

Sue of Hillsdale County, MI.

One of the things I like about spring is the variation in the weather. It can be winter one day and spring the next and visa versa. Anything from sweat shirt weather to winter coats and snow boots. I love checking the gardens for the crocus and daffodils. I love the skunky/onion smell of the crown imperials planted in front of my house.

I love the ice breaking up and the goldfish in the pond sailing to the surface like yellow submarines. But most of all I love the spring bird check off list, We know it's truly spring when the swallows and hummingbirds show up. I put out the first hummingbird feeder the first day of May every year, and I usually have a hummer by the 3rd or 4th. I love taking a hot cup of coffee out and sitting on the deck in the cool morning sunshine and watching the steam rise from the cup and listen to all the bird songs. My favorite song is the robin's. To me the robin's song is the beginning of spring.

Sue, I love the robin's song too. The feel of a warm sun on a cool day is nice.

Let me know when you see your first hummer, so I can be on the look out.

By the way, my dad was from Hillsdale county.

Harv from southeast, MI.

The fresh, clean, "woodsy" smells of Spring, and the returning sounds of the song birds, are so welcome and refreshing after a long, long, long winter. With every rainy day, the buds on the lilacs, "roadies", and all the trees swell more and more and soon will open to the GREEN that we have missed for so long. I remember, when I was very little "helping" my folks clean (Windex) the windows inside the house.

My Dad had the first Spring season Tiger baseball game in Lakeland Florida on the radio while we cleaned. The sun was shinning and it was beautiful outside. But, the sound of that first game of the year on the radio, made it really feel like Spring to me.. I'll never experience Spring without recalling that day cleaning windows with my folks, and the Tigers.

The voice of Ernie Harwell, there was no one better for radio.

George Kell.................. will be missed by all (former TV voice of Tigers).

Yes Harv, how can we forget baseball? Getting the guys together and playing a game where ever with as few or many guys as you can find.

We'll wind things up with,

Judy of Clio, MI.

I recall wishing away winter and spring so it would be summertime and there would be no school. How selfish of me! Now I wish I could go back to my childhood and savor the signs of Spring as I know them now.

The first robin, the first crocus, the first daffodil and tulip, the first tree bud..etc..

The anticipation of the arrival of the first hummingbird, the first Baltimore Oriole, the first Rose-breasted Grosbeak, as well as the safe weekend to plant here in Michigan.... Memorial Day weekend... I will be so thrilled when I finally get to turn that first scoop of dirt! :-)

I mourn the loss of our dark-eyed juncos as they head north again.

Yes, they'll be back after my Spring arrivals provide us with excitement as we watch their arrivals, watch them court and prepare the nests for their coming arrivals. Then we are Blessed with watching their families fledge. What joy they will bring my husband and me before they all head south for the winter.

The thrill of the goldies changing color, much like the changing of the seasonal guards. Our dear friends have been with us throughout the dark Michigan day and it is almost as if they've dressed for a huge celebration.

The much anticipated and tenderly cared for flower gardens will go from beautiful to barren as winter arrives. But, they leave us with thrilling images to store on our computers and in our minds. What a wonderful source of inner heat to keep us warm throughout the long, freezing days of Michigan winters!

Another year come and gone, bringing me closer to meeting my Maker. I shall treasure each season HE gives me as I await the new seasons and the nearing end of mine.

As I awoke this morning, I could hear the tinkling talk of the goldies come through the slightly cracked bedroom window. Ah yes! This is what it's all about... the beginning.

Judy, you and others have mentioned, Spring is much more than the end of winter.

Spring is a time of new life

New promise

Remembering familiar smells and sounds.

Fresh sights.

Birds that come and go.

Warmer days and so much more.

That's it for now, if you would like to add a favorite, I can fit a few in next week.

As you notice, so many favorites become memories as well

Thank you everyone that participated in this newsletter.

Thank you even more for all of your kind words and support.



Easter is this coming Sunday,

The Greatest day of the year.

As you prepare for Easter, remember the reason for this Holy Day.

Every year, I allow myself or give myself the right to publish an Easter letter.

Every year I lose readers because of it, but I must do what I must do.

This letter will have some of my spring favorites sprinkled in and some whys, but it is also a confession of my faith in God and what Jesus did for us.

My beliefs on Creation and more.

If the thought of God or Jesus offends you, please feel free to delete the letter when it comes later this week.

Be sure to catch "Gardening For Wildlife" next week Monday as always.

Well, <> it's time to fly for now.

Before I leave, here is your positive quote or thought for the week.



Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".

-- Anonymous

I've had the courage that roars.

More times then not, it is a quiet voice that says to try again.

I'm sure you have been there too.

We've all had the courage of a lion.

Now, it is learning and understanding the quiet voice that tells you "You will try again."

Maybe we see this quiet voice as a sign of weakness or cowardice.

A quiet voice isn't a bragging, chest thumping voice.

A quiet voice may be a calm assurance.

A quiet voice may be a sign of being tired physically.

But the quiet voice tells you, "You will try again."

Your courage wont let you quit and my God given courage and strength wont let me quit.

When you get ready to settle down for the night and your quiet voice tells you......

"I will try again tomorrow."

Be sure to wear that confident smile that you and I have and we share.

Make sure to share that smile with others and feel your strength grow.

It is one of the many universal laws.

That's it my friend.

Until next time..................




"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 recieve their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.
























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