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Back from a short trip & Tidbits and snippets.
August 11, 2008

Home again.

Our trip to Michigan's upper peninsula was short, fast and full of adventure.

The grandkids had an eye popping good time as they saw for the first time some man made marvels like the Mighty Mackinaw Bridge and the Soo Locks.

To a nine year old boy, crossing the big bridge was way to cool. But he really enjoyed watching 1,000 foot ships go through the locks.

God's natural wonders like waterfalls, three Great lakes and vista's only he could make topped the list for the adults.

I never tire of seeing all the wonders, "Nature's" and man made.

On top of a wooded hill near Brimley, MI. is and Indian cemetery and that was educational for all.

A short walk from the cemetery is a small inland lake and Lake Superior fill the back ground.

Over looking from the hill, I could see a family of Loons swimming and diving and to my right it was only fitting to see a Bald eagle soaring over the lake.

A local from the reservation stopped by and we talked for several minutes.

He mentioned at least five different eagle nests in the region and other wild life.

It is nice to see these majestic birds and to hear of their success, yet they have a long way to go.

The Naturalist in me tugs at my spirit as I walk the lands and spot different life forms. Even simple life like Lichen.

The fantasizer in me wants to believe, it is the Indian in me (small part) that is calling to my spirit.

We all can dream can't we?

Interesting...... along the shores of Lake Superior were some Serviceberries just beginning to ripen.

I snitched a handfull of wild blueberries from the same location, near the shores of the largest lake in the world.

Down here they have come and gone by the end of June.

300 miles North can make more than a month's difference for some plants.

Whenever we go on vacations or even day trips I am always on the lookout for natural life, plant and animal.

If you don't already, it is a good thing to practice.

You will be amazed what is around you on a daily basis.

Keet and Ziggy spent the three days in a Puppy Motel because our fur kid sitters went with us.

I felt bad and guilty, but they were no worse for wear and the welcome greetings are awesome.

Karen's sister watered thing this time around and they look much better than they did a couple weeks ago when the neighbors failed.

Back home..................

The plants are watered, feeders are filled and birdbaths are ready to go.

As soon as I took care of business, the birds came.

The Wrenletts are still in the box, however I expect them to fledge any time now.

Weather is almost fall like up North and a hint in the morning air here in SW, Michigan.

With very little time to prepare a newsletter this week, I thought about doing a repeat or a best of from last year because of so many new readers.

Maybe some other time, but for now its you and me.

Before I get going something, here is something I've learned and you may already know.

Bold lettering, Exclamation points as well as certain words raise flags for spam and other filters.

I realize that filters are needed, but they can make a newsletter very vanilla and I try to add some spice when I can.

You may want to check, "Gardening for Wildlife" may be bounced or filtered because of bold print or some other simple reason, even when I attempt to keep things down.

Okay, here we go.

As you may know, Spring is by far the best time of year for me.

This time of year can follow a close, but not to close second.

Sure bird activity changes.

No longer do we hear the songs of spring for territorial rights and mates.

The flurry of activity has changed.

Now I have more fledglings and juveniles attacking my feeders and that can mean junk birds like House sparrows and an over abundance of Red-winged-blackbirds.

Still, there are the Cardinals, Chickadees, Goldfinches, Doves, Blue-jays, Woodpeckers, Tufted tit-mice and a host of other visitors.

Some stealthy and others like young Blue-jays that are very loud this time of year.

Robins are lacking in my yard, but a walk to the field and woods yields several robins.

Robins are one of many birds that change diet habits with the season.

They readily go from worms to fruits and insects.

A simple case of follow the food and the food is more in nature now than in my yard for the robins.

Soon American goldfinches will fill my yard when parents bring fledglings to the flowers that are going to seed and later to the feeders.

Why take them to the flowers first?

Well, it is only natural to teach youngsters how to find food in natural habitats and surroundings.

Another advantage is fresh seed and often, seed hulls are more tender and easy to bust open for young inexperienced birds.

Later on, they learn about feeders as an additional, but important source of food.


August treats me to an abundance of garden blooms.

Hibiscus, Liatris, Rudbeckia, Echinachia, Phlox and other perennials all provide several colors.

Annuals can fill in the gaps or make wonderful gardens for cut flowers and to attract wildlife.

Cosmos, Zinnias, Salvias, Verbena, Impatiens, Sunflowers and others add instant color that lasts untill killing frosts and this time of year they are approaching their best.

Continue to deadhead and feed and annuals will only get better.

Flowers offer food for hummingbirds, butterflies and all sorts off other pollinators like bees and hoverflies.

Perennials and annuals provide seed for many birds and small mammals.

Flowers beds in mass also are very pleasing to my eyes.

Yards and gardens come to life when planted in mass with bright colors.

Bright colors can make a small yard appear larger.

If you have a smaller yard, consider planting bright colors next year.

Veggie gardens are in full swing now.

What a way to enjoy the fruits of your labor huh?

In August, you can also enjoy nature walks, just be sure to prepare for mosquitoes.

There you have some favorites of mine and here are a few from you guys.

Last week I asked for some of your favorites and a few of you replied with some brief favorites.

Bright colors can make a small yard appear larger.

If you have a smaller yard, consider planting bright colors next year.

Veggie gardens are in full swing now.

Things seem to taste better when you grow them.

What a way to enjoy the fruits of your labor huh?

In August, you can also enjoy nature walks, just be sure to prepare for mosquitoes.

There you have some favorites of mine and here are a few from you guys.

Last week I asked for some of your favorites and a few of you replied with some brief favorites.

Barbara from Houston, Texas

She makes it sweet and simple.

"My favorite from nature : we have a wooded back yard, and enjoy lots of birds.

I love sitting outside and watching them, and their babies."

Barbara, having nature at your back door is alaway a plus isn't it?

You have the some of the best that God has to offer.

Enjoy and thanks for your reply.

Fred and Stella from Deux-Montagnes, Quebec, Canada.

"I just wanted to add that my very favorite bird are swallows.

I know this might sound strange to someone who perhaps sees them on a daily basis.

Swallows do not come close to the house because we are about 1/2 mile from the lake. I do occasionally see them when I have to cross the bridge to get into town.

With so many birds to choose from you are probably wondering why. Well when I traveled all over Europe, swallows were everywhere.

They are so animated and fantastic acrobats.

What I most liked are the little mud huts they build near the roof of homes. I know some might call them a nuisance, but boy would I love to have those huts around my roof."

Fred and Stella, we all have favorite birds for different reasons. I too enjoy the aerial displays of swallows and think of the copious amount of insects they munch on every day.

Thank you for your contribution.

Sue from Tilton in east central Illinois, about 15 minutes from the Indiana border. "With all the rain in June my front yard is really "wild", weeds are under control but my flowers over did themselves this year! My neighbors as well as myself, probably wish I lived in the country.

You want to know what my backyard is like?

My daughter came down the other day with her puppy and said to him " this is just like going out to Forest Glen isn't it?" That's our favorite County park. A lot of my wildness is not by choice, just can't keep up with it anymore! Actually I love it, waiting for it to cool off and get back out to my weeding.

In my front yard I have tons of flowers and seven trees. Oops, just scared off a hummie by going to the window to count! Finally getting them and my goldfinches back."

Sue is a longtime reader and regular contributor. Sue tells it like it is.

Your place sounds wonderful and I wish I could visit every garden.

Gardens and wildlife are meant to be enjoyed ...........................

We learn to relax as our bloopressurere lowers.

Thanks for making it feel like I am right there.

Steve from Wilkesboro, NC

"Enjoyed your newsletter as always. I especially enjoyed the article on feeding hummingbirds. I wanted to show you one of my favorite pictures. Its a hummingbird sitting on a feeder in my hand. A friend told me to try it and the first time I tried a hummer came and landed on the feeder and ate."

Steve, the picture wondrous, however it is much to large for me to display on the newsletter.

Pictures must be smaller than 30 KB's for me to get them on.

If a person has patience, you too can get hummers to come right up to you.

I have experienced it once with a female Ruby-throat. I really need to practice my patience.

Well, that about does it for this week.

If you have someting special or a favorite you would like to add, please do so.

We all enjoy reading about others favorites.

That does it for this week <>.

Hopefully I'll be up to snuff next week and have something to write about.

Sometimes though, a tidbit and snippet page comes in handy.

You find out more about me and that I am a real person.

I throw in a tidbit here and there, so be on your toes.

Now here is your thought for this week.

The mediocre teacher tells.

The good teacher explains.

The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires.

William Arthur Ward

Okay, think a moment.

Are you going to inspire this week?

Are you going to make a difference?

You know, a simple smile is a good start and can make all the difference in the world to someone.


Until next week my friend

Have a "NATURE" filled week

"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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