Happy Birthday to Smokey the Bear!

Happy Birthday to Smokey the Bear!  A robust 78 years old today, Smokey is still dutifully at it, still spreading the word about fire prevention and safety for everyone.

Smokey the Bear was born on August 9, 1944, when the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council both agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol going forward for their efforts to promote forest fire prevention and safety. Smokey was named after a famously brave NYFD firefighter named  Joe Martin, nicknamed “Smokey”. The artist Albert Staehle, a popular cover artist for the ‘Saturday Evening Post’ magazine at the time, was commissioned to paint the very first poster of Smokey Bear.

Smokey the Bear’s image may have changed and been modernized a bit over the ensuing years, but his familiar phrase — “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!” has remained unchanged and become even more meaningful in today’s warming world. The phrase was adopted as his official message a few years after Smokey began, in 1947, the year his slogan first appeared.

 

Smokey the Bear has been spreading the word about forest fire prevention and safety ever since. More recently, and sadly due to climate change, Smokey’s message has expanded to include the Prevention of Wildfires.

Smokey the Bear became more popular when, in the spring of 1950 in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico, a young bear cub was trapped as the forest burned around him. Taking refuge in a tree, the young bear was able to survive the blaze, although badly burned. Rescued by firefighters who were so moved by the cub’s survival, he was named “Smokey”.  News about the real Smokey soon spread nationwide. Later, the real-life Smokey was moved and given a new, permanent home in the National Zoo located in Washington, D. C. During his life, this bear survivor played an important role in helping to spread Smokey the Bear’s fire prevention and conservation messages. After his death in 1976, he was returned to Capitan, New Mexico, and buried in the State Historical Park.

Smokey the Bear’s forest and wildfire prevention messages remain vitally relevant and important today. According to the Earth Eclipse site —

“90% of all wildfires are caused by humans. Human acts of carelessness such as leaving campfires unattended and negligent discarding of cigarette butts result in wildfire disasters every year. Accidents, deliberate acts of arson, burning of debris, and fireworks are as well other substantial causes of wildfires.”


To help children and families to learn more about Smokey the Bear and his fire safety and awareness messages, Little Red Bear has created a separate page of Smokey the Bear Coloring Images for everyone!  We invite you to download and print as many copies as you like for hours of family coloring fun, all Free because that’s how we roll here.


Thanks always for visiting and spending part of your day with us! We hope you visit often to check out all of the free posts, features, puzzles, games, coloring pages, and other activities for the family!

My story character friend Little Red Bear and I both encourage you to visit and enjoy the great outdoors, spending healthy quality time with Mother Nature. When visiting outdoors, as Smokey the Bear would say today — Please Remember – Only YOU Can Prevent Forest and Wildfires!

So, wishing a very Happy Birthday and many more to Little Red Bear’s cousin Smokey the Bear! — Jim  (and Red!)

P.S. – with children heading off to school soon, we invite you to visit Little Red Bear’s “Back-To-School” Coloring Pages for even more hours of family coloring fun!


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  “Judge Softly” or “Walk a Mile in His Moccasins”

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


          “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest and Wildfires!” — Smokey the Bear  

“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.” – John Muir

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

“The lack of power to take joy in outdoor nature is as real a misfortune as the lack of power to take joy in books.” – Theodore Roosevelt

This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“I don’t know how to save the world. I don’t have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive – nor will we deserve to.” – Leonard Peltier

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help greatly to expand our reach and encourage new readers and visitors!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

 

A Post-surgery Return Piece About Nothing In Particular (But I’d Appreciate If You’d Visit Anyway)

Lacking an impactful and attention-grabbing opening sentence or two today, I am admittedly in a bit of a quandary as to how to begin this particular piece.

After coming off the Writer’s LTIR (Long Term Injured Reserve) list, maybe I should have spent a bit longer stint in the Junior Writer’s Training League before rushing back to active duty following surgery.  Undecided as I am then, how about we change pace and begin with a question of sorts . . . .

Is it appropriate for me to begin this by saying “Welcome Back!” to readers, since everyone has really been here all along I would imagine, and I am in fact the one who left for a while to have yet another surgery, this time a rotator cuff repair on my right shoulder? Or, rather, should I perhaps begin by saying “I’m Baaaack!”, instead?

In the end, the more I think about it, the latter might be the more appropriate opening to employ since it was, in fact, me who went away for a spell. So let’s do that, shall we? Thank you for your patience while I cleared away the writing cobwebs and worked thru a momentary bit of senior befuddlement. Here goes then, as we truly begin . . . .

I’m Baaaack!

Returned from recent surgery no worse and measurably better for the experience, my story friend Little Red Bear and I are raring to get back to it! The feeling has largely returned to my hands following the dual carpal tunnel surgeries in June with both hands and fingers still improving each month. And despite six more weeks of therapy to rehab my right shoulder and arm that lay ahead,  I decided that they are both functioning well enough right now to be put back to work.

Little Red Bear and I simply cannot wait any longer to get back into the writing process once again, so let’s get to it then, shall we?

Thank you to everyone for your good wishes, patience, and kindness during the quiet period here over the past few months! We have actually added several new followers during that time, and that’s pretty cool.

Getting to it then, the following are some unassociated topics concerning the recent surgery, the coming Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the ongoing pandemic, and more . . . .


As tends to happen every year around this time, the Holiday Season is upon us! “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Time to grab the jingle bells and mistletoe!

Trudging thru our third COVID Winter, it looks like this will be the second year in a row where holiday plans are limited or altered due to the pandemic. As I write this, Broadway Shows are shutting down, NHL hockey games are being canceled, ICUs are overflowing, and more. Nevertheless, it is still a time when we can celebrate and find joy in the true spirit of the season despite how altered previous plans and traditions may be.

In that regard, I invite you to visit the many Christmas Holiday Features available here on my writing pages.

Please feel free to enjoy and share with family and friends, because sharing and spreading good cheer is what the Christmas spirit is all about. Here are just a few to get you started (hint — Little Red Bear’s “Happy Christmas” Left/Right Gift Exchange Game is always the most popular each year) . . . . .

And not to forget — Little Red Bear’s “Christmas & Holiday Season” Coloring Pages for all ages. Again, please feel free to download the images and share!


If you know someone or perhaps have a family member (or for yourself) on your gift list who, like me, has difficulty putting on their own socks in the morning due to stiffness or other issues, I can highly recommend the Sock Aid from my own personal experience the past several weeks.

I looked at these a couple years ago following another spinal fusion surgery but dismissed them as gimmicky. They are not, and are rather worth every penny and more. A real game-changer for someone with limited flexibility.

Tired of working to put socks on with a reacher and knowing that I would be doing everything solely with my left (non-dominant) hand for possibly several weeks after the rotator cuff surgery, I decided to finally try the Sock Aid.

Being unable to pull a sock on over the device with only one hand though, I actually ended up ordering two of these. A friend would pull the socks onto each Sock Aid the night before, and then I would slip each on the following morning, able to do the pulling with only one hand.

The Sock Aids are easy to use and work perfectly. You can possibly find the Sock Aid available at local retail outlets, or on Amazon complete with a demonstration video of how they work. I am not affiliated with this product at all, merely passing the information and personal recommendation along for anyone who may benefit from it. This simple device made a positive difference in my life.


Dealing with the supply chain shortages at present, just a friendly “nudge and wink” reminder that if the hi-tech stuff is unavailable for holiday giving this year, please remember that old-fashioned books make excellent gifts. And most are available for Kindle and other e-reader devices, too.

“The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!”, a collection of six short stories introducing Little Red Bear and many of his friends, is available in both print and for Kindle.

“Pine Holler Christmas”, a standalone Christmas-themed short story, is available for e-readers only at this time. Both books are available Free with Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.  A week ago, we received a heartwarming note from one of our followers concerning the “Pine Holler Christmas” story . . . .

“I’m re-reading ‘Pine Holler Christmas’ as I do every year, it really gets me in the festive mood.” 

Suitable for all ages, even for non-readers as “read-to-me” stories, I invite you to check the books out. You can check out Little Red Bear Book Reviews & Comments here to find out what others have had to say about the books.

When the pandemic began and we were all sheltered in place, I lowered the price of both books to Amazon’s minimum, eliminating any royalties so that folks would hopefully be able to afford and enjoy them while confined in their homes with family during the shutdown. The books still remain at ‘pandemic pricing’ until the end of the year!


Although not sharing new material live recently, my story friend Little Red Bear and I have been hard at work in the background preparing several new feature pages about Conservation, the Environment, and Our Children’s Future in a warming world.

Things today are clearly not the same as when I was growing up in the ’50s and ’60s. The seasons have changed with summer seemingly becoming longer each year, storms are more severe, and other impacts of climate change are being felt all over the world. Folks may still debate the cause (although I have no idea why) but the effects are all-too-real. and need to be addressed. The time to seriously confront the issue has already passed, and now we are forced to make hard choices and play catch up.

Mother Nature is a frequent mention and topic in the Little Red Bear stories, so we will be adding a good deal of material here on the writing pages after the first of the year which will be suitable for all age groups. I encourage everyone to share the pages, information, and activities with young people because they will be the ultimate ones to have to continue dealing with the issues of climate change in their lives. The Animal Alphabet Pages will continue to grow thru the year now that we are back and active again, as well.

So, just a heads-up to please watch for the new Environmental Feature Pages and posts coming in the new year!


At this point, it is understandable that so many people are worn out by the topic and feeling “so over with” the pandemic. They’re tired of wearing masks, travel hassles, standing in line for vaccine injections and tests, hearing about it every night on the news, dealing with bothersome restaurant and store restrictions, and on and on.

Believe me, I get it. But dismissing COVID because it is an inconvenience to the life we enjoyed before does not change the fact that we are still being affected by it and forced to deal with both it and the consequences.

Until the whole world is suitably vaccinated, I do not foresee this ending any time soon as new variants continue to emerge and spread. I hope I’m wrong, but am proceeding with caution accordingly.

This pandemic has been tragically life-altering and deadly for so many thousands so far, individuals and families, with over 804,000 deaths in the U.S. at this time, while adding over 17,000 new cases each day at the time of this writing as the new Omicron variant doubles every three days with the holiday season continuing and we near Christmas.

With two competing variants, Delta and the new Omicron, raging right now and hospitals’ staffs exhausted and progressively depleted, now is not the time to throw caution to the wind simply because we are tired of dealing with it all. Sometimes, as grownups, we have to make uncomfortable and hard choices. When confronted by any problem or crisis, it is best to view it realistically for what it is and deal with it. Wishing, hoping, and complaining about it will not make this pandemic go away. If things continue unabated as they are and with the grim possibility of reaching One Million deaths at some point in the U.S. alone, in my book that counts as a Crisis we can not turn our backs on in the hope it magically disappears.

I pray every day for the safety, health, and protection of my family, friends, and loved ones. And for everyone, everywhere. I hope that everyone who is able to benefit from the vaccines and boosters is able to do so. And quickly. I encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions and steps to stay safe and protect not only themselves but also their families and loved ones in the holiday season and coming months.

Taking advantage of the vaccines and boosters (which were not yet available at this time last year), wearing a mask, social distancing, and simply being smart about things are still the best ways to protect both yourself and others. It’s a bummer, but that’s the way it is right now. And we all need to do it. For ourselves and for each other.


The holiday season is always a bit stressful for many, and these COVID times are especially so. A simple kind word or gesture costs nothing and can go a very long way towards easing the stress and burdens for someone else. It may even change their day or entire life around!  I invite you to join our “Smile & Compliment” club and to share a ray of light in another’s life. The neat thing is, you will feel better about yourself, too.

As always, Thank You for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us. If you made it all the way to the end here, please Like and Comment and I will ask Santa to leave an extra Sugar Plum or two in your dreams on Christmas Eve! And if new to the site and visiting with us for the first time, please register to join our growing community and be notified of every new post and feature, as there is much more to come soon.

It’s good to be back with you!  Very best wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy Holiday Season! I am off now in search of a Snickerdoodle. ‘Til next time. – Jim  (and Red!)

(p.s. — Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help immensely in expanding our reach and encouraging new readers to visit! Because together we can do so much!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – Mary Ellen Chase

             “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”         – Peg Bracken


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

    “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                   “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis


Thank You for visiting with us! Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help immensely in expanding our reach and encouraging new readers to visit! Because together, we can do so much! 


 

Happy Autumn, Pumpkin Spice, and Everything Nice about Fall!

Happy Autumn, Pumpkin Spice, and Everything Nice about Fall!

Living on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, September can oftentimes feel more like Summer than Autumn, despite what any calendar says.  We do, however, usually receive a tempting tease or two of cooler Autumn temperatures during the month, and such was the case last week when daytime highs dipped into the mid-70s with nighttime lows in the mid-50s. (Temperatures given in the Fahrenheit temperature scale, of course, because living in the U.S. that is what we do it seems, the rest of the world and the scientific community with all their Celsius stuff be hanged.)

The air was cool and brisk. Morning walks were delightful. During evening walks, the faint scent of heavenly woodsmoke from a neighbor’s backyard firepit drifted thru the air. As anyone who has followed my pages here for a while is well aware, Autumn is far and away my favorite season of the year.

And now, as we are about to turn the calendar page to October, there is only one thing left to say —

Happy Fall, Y’all!!

Happy October!  Happy Autumn!  October is the perennial gateway to my very favorite time of the year — Autumn and the Holiday Season!

Here in our neck of the woods, besides getting back into Boots and Blue Jeans these are a few of our favorite things — Sweaters, Changing Fall Leaves, Crisp Mornings, Chilly Evenings with Woodsmoke in the air, Listening to the honking of Migrating Geese overhead, Raking Leaves followed by Hot Chocolate, Apple Butter, Cider, Pies, Warm Muffins with Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!

With Summer my least favorite time of the year due to various health issues it presents for me personally, I always view the advent of Autumn and its promise of the coming holiday season as my personal reward for having survived yet another summer’s onslaught of midwest heat and humidity.  Having survived once again now it’s time to run outside, do my “Falling Happy Leaves Dance” on the front lawn, and PARTY!

I don’t feel alone in this view, because I believe even the most casual observer would agree that Mother Nature must certainly agree with me as she decorates all the trees and hills in a riot of colors each fall. Mother Nature is partying right along with me!


To help little ones and others to get into the spirit of the Autumn season, we have added a new collection of coloring images to the site — Little Red Bear’s “Happy Autumn Season” Coloring Pages!  Gather the little ones around and feel free to download, color, and share as many as you like.  Free of charge, of course. Little Red Bear is adamant about that. As he has stated so many times —

“It’s just not right to charge people for having fun, learning something, and having a good time. Gettin’ it free is most of the fun, anyhow!”

We hope you enjoy this new section, along with our collection of other fun and educational features here on the site.

So, what do you look most forward to in the coming Autumn period? Please do not be shy. Little Red Bear loves to hear what folks have to say, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section.


While not having posted regularly here for a spell attending to some personal health issues (not COVID related) the past few months, my story character Little Red Bear and I have nonetheless kept very busy preparing several new blog features and items you will be seeing very soon. Some new features we have recently added for the little ones include —


Here is a sample of just a few of the things we are working on for you to enjoy here in the coming weeks ahead . . . .

  • 101 Things To Do In The Fall
  • Time To Clean Out Bird Nest Boxes In October
  • Autumn Activities & Nature Scavenger Hunt
  • Happy Halloween Spooktacularly Good Recipes Special III
  • How To Preserve Autumn Leaves and Clean Pinecones for Holiday Displays
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Bird Migrations
  • Creating An Autumn Nature Leaf and Other Family Art Projects
  • Squirrel Proofing Your Bird Feeders
  • All About “Pie Birds” and Holiday Pie Recipes
  • And  Many More!

As the topics of Global Warming and Climate Change seem to dominate the news ever more each month as one disaster follows another, watch for more Nature, Conservation, and Environmentally-themed posts coming soon, as well.  As evidenced by the wildfires ravaging not only the west but also the world, the fuse is literally burning down on these issues.


I invite you to check out my original short story “Haystack Harry” during the Autumn season. Please feel free to share it with family and friends, because that is simply how we roll here.

Also, Little Red Bear has agreed to once again make himself available to respond to readers’ questions and comments in his “Ask Little Red Bear” segment, a very popular feature in the past. If you or a youngster have a question about something dealing with Nature or the Environment, please just drop him a note here.

Little Red Bear and I aren’t so big on relationship questions, but if you find yourself up a creek with no one else to turn to with something of that sort,  please feel free to go ahead and send those tricky questions in too, and we will do our best to try and help you out.

Little Red Bear promises to provide honest and factual information in response to all questions, and lacking the same will do his very best to make up something fun and interesting for you. Bearing in mind, of course, that we are both unabashed storytellers, after all.


I invite and encourage you to also visit with some of my wonderful writer friends to check out their pages and views on the coming Autumn season!

Cat Michaels — “What’s Not to Love? – Six Things to Make You Fall for Fall”

Rebecca Lyndsey  “Fall Favorites”

Julie Schooler 3 Harmful Habits to Cast Aside in the New Season”

Julie Gorges — “A Fall Self-Care Bucket List to Make the Most Out of Autumn” 

Sandra Bennett  — “Spring Into The Season”

Rosie Russell — “Jumping Into Fall With Big News At Books By Rose”

Auden Johnson — “What’s On Your Fall Bucket List?”


Thank you always for stopping in to visit with us!  Little Red Bear and I are pleased as blackberry punch to share the upcoming Autumn and Holiday Season with you!

So until the next time, we wish you and yours a delightful fall season filled with pumpkin spice and everything nice.

Best Wishes for a Beautiful, Healthy, and Happy Autumn Season! — Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” – Edwin Way Teale 

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”  – Delia Owens, “Where the Crawdads Sing”


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

    “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde 


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                      “It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!” — Winnie the Pooh


 

What I Believe and Where I Stand


We interrupt our regularly scheduled Autumn and Family-themed programming for a special public service announcement . . . . 


This site and my writing normally focus on positive and happy things. My “Little Red Bear” books are light reading for enjoyment, with lessons for children and all ages where Little Red Bear and his friends happily live side-by-side with humans, interacting and cooperating as equals. But sometimes, circumstances demand something different. This is one of those times where I am writing for the adults.

The Presidential Election in this country is rapidly approaching. For each of us, for our families, for future generations, for the environment, and for the world at large — what is at stake and the importance of this election cannot be overstated. And the whole world is watching to see what we do, hoping the United States can regain its sanity.


“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor                               popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”                            — Martin Luther King, Jr.


I generally steer clear and do not get into politics, and will not waste my time or energy engaging anyone in a debate. But at such an extraordinary time as this to remain silent may be construed to imply consent, and that would not be accurate.  The “official” election day is approaching very soon. Many are already voting around the country in record numbers.  As is customary here, I have avoided getting into the election year melee, not to add to the noise level.

But, at a juncture so critical to the future of this country and the world, in case there is any doubt about where I stand on the issues confronting us individually and collectively at this time, for the record —

  • I believe in Science, and that Climate Change and Global Warming are real, and that our actions and decisions and lack thereof are the greatest and determining drivers in climate change. And I do not think the dedicated scientists working to save the environment and to save us from a rampaging pandemic are “idiots.”
  • I believe that the lives of future generations and the natural world depend on our actions right now because we are rapidly approaching a tipping point in the climate from which there will be no return.
  • I believe that denying climate change and indisputable science is to condemn countless species to extinction and to leave future generations to live in an unrecognizable world. I believe that what we do in the next twenty years will determine the future for all life on Earth.
  • I believe that wearing a mask to protect others and to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, in no way constitutes an infringement on my freedom or individual rights, any more so than obeying speed limits, wearing seatbelts, stopping at stoplights, not driving on sidewalks, not running around naked, or having to refrain from urinating in public. Some things are simply common sense, folks.
  • I believe that purposefully misleading the public about a deadly health crisis and world pandemic, the public that one is sworn to protect, for purposes of personal and political gain is criminally negligent. Over 222,000 deaths and charges against so far, and counting. Over 222,000 lives lost. Over 222,000 families whose lives are changed forever.  Over 222,000 whose loved ones were not allowed to be at bedside to say goodbye. Over 100,000 small businesses closed and gone forever. It was not “a Democratic hoax” and it did not “miraculously disappear.” It was a clear dereliction of duty and shameful failure to fulfill the sworn duties of the office of President.
  • I believe that leaders should lead by and set a positive example not only for children but also for everyone, as they set the course and tone of our country.
  • I believe that to encourage and empower hate groups is detestable, and to directly share in the blame and consequences of whatever actions result.
  • I believe there needs to much more kindness, compassion, and forgiveness in the world, with much less judgment, prejudice,  and exclusion.
  • I believe in inclusion and acceptance, and that diversity makes us stronger. I believe in Unity over Division.
  • I believe that “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”, and denounce those who seek to divide us for personal or political gain, for in doing so they weaken the fabric of the nation and imperil us all.
  • I believe in the importance of family, regardless of how it may be configured. Love is Love and the world needs more of it.
  • I believe that everyone, without exception, is “created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Everyone.
  • I believe in the Constitution, Three Branches of Government, and the Seperation of Powers as established by the Founding Fathers of this country. No one branch is or should be above the others.
  • I believe it is way past time to do away with the antiquated Electoral College which disenfranchises all but battleground state voters, and am tired of witnessing presidential candidates win elections for the highest office who are incapable of winning the overall popular vote.
  • I believe that respect is earned, not bestowed by title.
  • I believe that anyone in public office who puts their own interest above the general good and betrays the public trust has forfeited their right to hold office. At any level of government.
  • I believe that true leaders lead from the front, accept responsibility and not seek to blame others, carry water for their people, and eat last.
  • I believe in honoring those who have gone before, sacrificed, and continue to place themselves in harm’s way today while serving to protect and insure the safety of others and our country. They are heroes, not “suckers.”
  • I believe in civility, fundamental decency, truth, honesty, character, and integrity.
  • I believe in respecting the rights of others, including immigrants seeking a better life and opportunity. Just like it says on the Statue of Liberty.
  • I believe that separating immigrant families is unjustified, indefensible, and reprehensible. As of this date, after three years the parents of 545 migrant children still cannot be located to reunite families, with many parents having been deported without their children. To help visualize, 545 children is about eight (8!) school bus loads!  What kind of person does this, and what does this say about our country and us?  Tap here for more information.
  • I believe in the “American Spirit” and our ability to handle the hard truths, come together to make the difficult choices, to do the right thing, overcome any challenge, and to Build Back Better.
  • I believe in working together to make positive changes to make the world a better place — for Everyone and Everthing Everywhere.
  • I believe everyone and everything is connected, and that it is time for the United States of America to become United once again, to resume our role as leader and shining example of the Free World, and not turn a blind eye to oppression, injustice, or suffering, nor to abandon allies.
  • I believe the world is full of goodhearted people who all share the same basic common desires for happiness, good health, an opportunity to prosper and do well for their families, avoid suffering, and for Peace.
  • I believe that basically, from the aspect of shared human values, we are all the same the world over, regardless of boundaries, history, continents, culture, or beliefs.
  • I believe we are all one and that whatever happens to or for one of us anywhere affects us all.
  • I believe in Hope.
  • I believe in placing the needs of Country over Party.
  • I believe it is time for us all to take personal responsibility for what is going on in this country.
  • I believe it is past time to set provincialism aside and become citizens of the World.
  • I believe it is time to Live and Be the Change we wish to see in the World.

Do you notice any country and “leader” notably missing from the “Leaders’ Pledge for Nature” list in this video? How have we gone so quickly from being a world leader for positive change to being totally Missing In Action on the global scene?

 

If not obvious from the above, I believe in and have already voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the coming election. I strongly urge others to consider doing likewise for the safety and sake of us all. And for the survival of nature and the planet to which we are all so intimately connected and dependent upon. It is a question about our very survival. Nature does not need humans. Humans need Nature in order to survive.

I urge you to visit my new page “Nature Speaks About Environmental Conservation, Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Mother Earth” to learn more!


Voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is less about policy, politics, or ideology.  It is first and foremost about Leadership and my belief that they are best suitable and able to make and bring about a significant and immediate change of direction in the country for the future betterment of both our nation and the world.

 

I believe that as a nation we have suffered thru a despicable and almost inconceivable failure of leadership the past four years on both the Presidential and Congressional levels. We deserve and must demand better, and then hold those who we put in office accountable in the future.

You may disagree and that is perfectly fine as it is your right to do so. We have freedom of choice and it is a free country. For the time being.

I have never formally aligned myself directly with any political party, but tended to lean more Republican than Democrat in the past, until 2008. The Republican party of “Compassionate Conservatism” is long gone, and I no longer recognize the party I once knew, nor will I allow myself to be a part of the divisiveness, selfishness, abuse of power, and hate-mongering that is going on now. George H. W. Bush’s hopeful “Thousand Points of Light” have been replaced by this president’s thousand glittering rifle barrels of the Proud Boys, KKK, and other emboldened hate groups.

Republican “leaders” at every level who have marched in lockstep and empowered this President are as complicit and as much to blame for the current situation and lack of leadership as he is, and must be held accountable to the people they represent.


“In long intervals, I have expressed an opinion on public issues whenever they appeared to         me so bad and unfortunate that silence would have made me feel guilty of complicity.”         — Albert Einstein



I encourage everyone to exercise their right to VOTE no matter how cumbersome the process, how deceiving the disinformation, or difficult the circumstance.

Voting is not only our guaranteed constitutional right, it is also an obligation and our duty in a free society. Too many have sacrificed too much over the years to protect that right. And those who sacrificed and gave all were not” losers.”

The choice could not be more clear and I truly believe the outcome of this Presidential Election will determine the future course of our country, the environment, and the world, for better or worse, and that the results will be far-reaching and echo thru time.

We must set aside personal ideologies and political party affiliations. We must come together now to do what is necessary in order to change the world to come in a positive way, securing the environment and future for generations to follow.

This Presidential Election must be an overwhelming repudiation of what we have witnessed and lived thru the last four years. We must speak with one unified and very loud voice for everyone in the world to hear — We Are Better Than This!

Future generations will look back on the past four years and on this administration and pandemic and wonder what in the world the people back then were thinking.

We will be judged by either our courage and determination to confront the issues and make the necessary changes now, or by our unfathomable failure to do so, mindlessly following along like lemmings over the cliff.  Our generation will be held responsible for the consequences of this election, one way or the other.

We were preceeded by “The Greatest Generation.”  How will our generation choose to be remembered?



I urge everyone to “Vote As If Your Life And The Future Depended On It.” Because this time and most clearly — they do. And there are over 222,000 reasons why. Tragically, there will be even more tomorrow.

All elections are important. But some seem to be more impactful and consequential than others. I firmly believe this to be the most consequential election in my lifetime. And being seventy years old, I have seen more than a few.

Please make no mistake — this Presidential Election is about the very soul of our nation. It is about Who We Are as Americans — you, me, the guy next door, and every one of us. It is about what we believe our country should be and stand for. It is a stark choice between the darkness of bigotry, oppression, and hatred; or the light of hope, kindness, and compassion. You know where I stand now.

Writing this today — I Still Believe In A Bright Future.

But We Must Resolve To Make The Right Choices Now in order to secure that future. And then work together, hand-in-hand, to bring it about.

Let your voice be heard. Please Vote to make a difference. Please vote to reaffirm a belief in science and logic. Please vote to save the planet. Please vote to save the future. Please vote to show the world that the people of America are not what has been on display the past four years. Please Vote.

I believe that we are on the brink of a great awakening in the world. Can you feel it? The groundswell is building. It is time to close the chapter on the dark times, and step into the light of a bright and enlightened new tomorrow. Will you join us?



Together . . We . . Can . .  Do . . This!

The time to ACT — to VOTE — for the FUTURE — is NOW


“Life presents you with so many decisions. A lot of times, they’re right in front of your face and they’re really difficult, but we must make them.” – Brittany Murphy

            “Whatever you decide, don’t let it be because you don’t think you have a choice.”             –  Hannah Harrington


 

Happy October — The Gateway To Autumn & The Holiday Season!

Not being a “Summer Person” at heart and with this past summer being without a doubt the oddest in memory with the COVID-19 virus on the loose, it is finally time to utter one of my favorite phrases of all —

Happy Fall, Y’all!!

Happy October!  Happy Autumn!  October is the perennial gateway to my very favorite time of the year — Autumn and the Holiday Season!

What are your favorite things about Autumn? Do you have any special Autumn memories?

Here in our neck of the woods, besides getting back into boots and blue jeans these are a few of our favorite things — Sweaters, Changing Fall Leaves, Crisp Mornings, Chilly Evenings with Woodsmoke in the air, Listening to the honking of Migrating Geese overhead, Raking Leaves and Hot Chocolate, Apple Butter, Cider, Pies, Warm Muffins with Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!


While not having posted regularly here for a spell attending to some health issues (not COVID related) the past few months, my story character Little Red Bear and I have nonetheless kept very busy preparing several new blog features and items you will be seeing very soon. Some things we have been working on —

We are especially proud of a new page created — “Nature Speaks About Environmental Conservation, Climate Change, and Mother Earth.” A series of short “Nature Speaks” videos covering major conservation and environmental topics, it is perfectly suitable for children, as they more than we will determine the future. We invite you to visit and share the page with others!

“The Ozarks Ostrich Crisis” was a serialized story originally shared on Facebook in 2014. The story received such a positive reception that encouragement from readers actually led me to shortly thereafter create this Writing Blog, where it has been shared as a Free Read. Serving as the Resident Manager in a seniors community shut down by the COVID-19 virus, Little Red Bear and I dusted the story off and began sharing it once again with residents on a weekly basis, with the intention to provide some light reading and mental diversion to folks confined to their apartments thru the initial virus surge. As the weeks went by the story was edited and revised, with several new characters and storylines added. By the end, the Ostrich story had more than doubled in length. The weekly story ran for 17 weeks, during and after which I was encouraged by readers to publish it as a book to be available for everyone in a single volume. So Little Red Bear and I will be back to work on the editing and review process to make sure the weekly installments flow seamlessly from beginning to end, targeting the spring of next year for the “Ozarks Ostrich Crisis” book release.

With the ongoing support of Patrons to the site, Little Red Bear and I have been working over the past couple of months to develop a “Learn The Alphabet” section for young visitors. We are calling it “Little Red Bear’s Animal Alphabet Coloring Pages.” Each letter will have its own page and feature artwork showcasing the particular letter, with two additional letter coloring images available for download, one easy for the very youngest and the other a bit more detailed and challenging. With part of this site’s focus on Wildlife, Mother Nature, Conservation, and the Environment, each letter will be nature-oriented, featuring different animals, marine life, etc. as illustrated in the summary image alongside, along with information about that particular creature. The images are being secured thru a paid Shutterstock subscription to ensure that there are no licensing, copyright, or sharing issues down the road. New letter pages will be added as funds are available to acquire more images. Would you like to help support the project or perhaps sponsor a page?  The cost of the three images for each page is $10.00.  Anyone can lend a helping hand merely by joining our Patreon Community for as little as $1.00 a month,  or choose to Sponsor a Letter Page(s) directly, in which case the sponsor’s name will be included on the page unless they wish to remain anonymous. Here is a sample of what is to come — Little Red Bear’s Animal Alphabet Coloring Pages — “A” is for “Ant”. 

Little Red Bear is hard at work gathering new recipes for Halloween treats and goodies for the next “Happy Halloween Spooktacularly Good Recipes Special III”. In the meantime, you are invited to check out our previous Halloween Recipe Specials — #1 and #2. Some frightfully delicious treats in those!

The next collection of Little Red Bear adventure stories, “The Second Holler Over!” is more than halfway finished now with a release planned for the late spring of next year. The next book will feature a different and exciting new format.

At the same time, we are working to make Red’s first stories, “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” available in a large print format soon, and are working to make Red’s holiday story, “Pine Holler Christmas”, available in both regular and large print formats for the coming holiday season.


We are so excited about the remainder of the year! Here is a sample of just a few of the things and what is ahead for you here in the coming weeks . . . .

  • 101 Things To Do In The Fall
  • Time To Clean Out Bird Nest Boxes In October
  • Autumn Activities & Nature Scavenger Hunt
  • Happy Halloween Spooktacularly Good Recipes Special III
  • How To Preserve Autumn Leaves and Clean Pinecones for Holiday Displays
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Bird Migrations
  • Creating An Autumn Nature Leaf and Other Family Art Projects
  • And  Many More!

This month I am sharing my original “Haystack Harry” short story with various senior communities in the area. “Haystack Harry” is available on the blog as a Free Read.

I invite you to check it out for the Autumn Season and share it with your family and friends.

Little Red Bear has agreed to once again make himself available to respond to readers’ questions and comments in his “Ask Little Red Bear” segment, a very popular feature in the past. If you or a youngster have a question about something dealing with Nature or the Environment, please just drop him a note here. We aren’t so big on relationship questions, but if you don’t have anywhere else to turn please feel free to send them in and we will do our best to try and help you out. In any event, Red promises to provide honest and factual information in response to all questions, and lacking the same will do his very best to make up something fun and interesting for you.


In addition, something Little Red Bear and I are a little proud of, Red’s first collection of stories “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” was submitted to the Kirkwood Public Library for review — and Was Accepted!

The book passed all review steps, procedures, and readings, and is available now thru the Kirkwood Library and connected library system. While not on the level of Ernest Hemingway perhaps, the reviewers determined it wasn’t on the level of Joe Btfsplk either and approved the book for display on their shelves and in their catalogue. Request your local library to carry it, too!

I do not enter contests or competitions, not seeking that kind of recognition, but must admit passing muster with the library was kind of cool. Sort of like an official “Okey-Dokey!” from people whose opinions we respect and value. Maybe you should give “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” a look, too.

So, that is just a few of the many things we have been working on and have on the way while sequestered and quarantined by the COVID-19 virus the past several months.


In the seniors’ community where I reside, no one is allowed out of their apartment without a mask. Since the beginning. So totally understand “mask fatigue”.

Nevertheless, it is what we must continue to do to protect not only ourselves but also our families and loved ones.

Wearing a mask is simply the necessary and right thing to do at this moment in time, along with social distancing, diligent handwashing, and avoiding crowded places, especially as we all head back indoors with cold weather on the horizon.

Your encouragement and visits here mean a lot to Little Red Bear and me, so please — be vigilant and careful in the coming months. Experts across the board are predicting that the COVID-19 crisis will get a whole lot worse this fall and winter before it gets better.

We will do our very best to continue providing a positive-themed site of encouragement, education, information, and entertainment for you, and hope that you will join us as we enter our most favorite time of the year in the months ahead — Autumn and all the fun and joys of the Holiday Season!


Thank you always for stopping in to visit with us!  Little Red Bear and I are pleased as raspberry punch to share the upcoming Autumn and Holiday Season with you!

So until the next time, we wish you and yours a delightful fall season with pumpkin spice and everything nice.

Happy Autumn! — Jim   (and Red!)

If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” – Edwin Way Teale 

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”  – Delia Owens, “Where the Crawdads Sing”


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

    “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde 


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                      “It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!” — Winnie the Pooh


 

 

 

 

 

“Happy Leap Year Day! What Will You Do With Your Extra Time?”

Happy Leap Year Day!

As you undoubtedly recall from earlier school days, Leap Years happen only once every four years, pinning an extra day onto the end of the month of February, with the year’s shortest month magically becoming one day longer.

This small change works to keep the calendar year in sync with the solar year so that the calendar’s seasons and holidays do not shift thru the solar year over time. Think Christmas during the heat of July and watching Fourth of July fireworks in a snowstorm someday in the future. Like that. The added leap day every four years serves to keep it all in balance.

So, the February 29th extra day every four years is kind of special. Like on that one of four times you actually receive a hot and fresh pizza delivery order. A time to celebrate and open up the box right away and enjoy it before the specialness is gone!

How are you going to spend your extra day and twenty-four gifted hours of time this Leap Year?  Have you thought about it yet?


Just for fun, I did some random, unscientifically based sampling of friends and neighbors to see what they had in mind for their extra day and time.

Results varied from “Excited” to “Not-So-Much” . . . . .

  • “Take in a basketball game!”
  • “I am going to sleep all day!”
  • “Probably forget about it and then feel guilty later about having wasted my extra day.”
  • “Reflect on the new year so far and my plans for the next ten months.”
  • “Play Bingo all day until my money runs out.”
  • “Pray to make it to the next Leap Year Day.”
  • “I am going to go shopping, have lunch out, and treat myself to a new pair of shoes!”
  • “Play video games all day!”
  • “Will probably just do some blood sacrifices and other pagan rituals as a tradition to honor the day.”  (There’s always that ‘one guy’ in every group, isn’t there?)

The above plans notwithstanding, by far and perhaps rather sadly, the most frequent response was — “Nothing special, just another day.”


For me personally, after falling so far behind on things with recent health issues (read about it all here, if you dare — “Old Age Ain’t No Place For Sissies!” ), I plan to take advantage of my special Leap Day by spending the greatest part of the time with my story friend Little Red Bear catching up on all the writing work we are so far behind with.  There just hasn’t been enough time in the past few months.

And in saying that just now, how often do we find ourselves saying the exact same thing  — “There just hasn’t been enough time”? Or, perhaps expressing its variant — “I just don’t have the time”?


In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, Douglas Adams is famously quoted for observing that — “Time is an illusion.”  And he has noted physicists backing him up on it. According to the experts, our naive perception of time’s flow does not correspond to physical reality. Wow, heavy stuff.


But this piece today is not intended to be a dissertation on the subject or history of “Time” itself; there are many readily available sources that discuss the topics in detail if you care to learn more.

My interest rather is in how we choose to use “Time”.

 — “Nothing special, just another day.”  —

As mentioned earlier, this is a leap year with a bright and shiny, extra new day added this month on February 29th. Twenty-four golden hours of opportunity.

We all receive the same amount of “Time” each and every day. Some accomplish much with it. Many allow it to pass by relatively untouched and unused, adding to an ever-growing discard pile of “Just another days”.

Some use Time for good purposes; others not. Some enjoy its passing, aware and savoring every moment. Some seem to sleepwalk thru the day. Some are motivated by time’s passage, while others crumble under the pressure and weight of deadlines, both outwardly and self-imposed.

So maybe the question is — Do we control Time, mindfully utilizing what we are given to best suit our needs and wishes, or do we allow Time to control us?

We always seem to have, make, or create the necessary time in our schedules for what we truly want to do, while responding “I don’t have the time” for those things we would rather not do if given a choice. So, maybe it all merely boils down to a matter of priorities in the end. We do what we want to do and that which personally serves us best, and let the devil take the hindmost.  And that’s the reality, simple enough.

When we ask someone to do something or other and they respond that they would love to but do not have the time, it really just means that we or our request are simply not high enough on their priority list.  No one receives more, and certainly not less time than anyone else each day. It’s just all in how we choose to use it.

Getting back to the subject at hand, due to the idiosyncrasies and vagaries of its measurement, we each will receive an extra twenty-four hours of special Leap Year Time this month, free of charge. Gifted.

What will YOU do with it?


Some of my writer friends are sharing their thoughts about “Leap Day”, also.

I invite you to Visit and Follow their pages listed below for wonderfully varied content throughout the year!

Julie Gorges – “How Baby Boomers Can Make Leap Day Count!”

Rebecca Lyndsey – “Very Superstitious . . .”

Rosie Russell  – ” We’re Leaping and Hopping for Leap Year 2020″

Sandra Bennett – “What Will You Do With an Extra Day?”

Carmela Dutra – “How to Take a Leap on Leap Day”

Cat Michaels – “Five Easy Things You Can Do with Your Extra 24 Hours on Leap Day”

Auden Johnson – “How Will You Spend Your Extra Day This Leap Year?’

Chris Gorges – “A Rare Gift”

Julie Schooler – “3 Easy Ways to Make February 29th Your Best Leap Day Ever”


Thank you always for visiting and spending part of your day with us here!

In addition to our writing work, Little Red Bear and I will be heading outside on Leap Day next weekend, trash bags in hand (paws?) to pick up litter and trash along our nearby walkways.

It’s called “Trashercize”, a growing, environmentally conscious activity combining healthy outdoor walking and exercise with trash removal to beautify our neighborhoods, waterways, and landscapes.

Watch for more about Trashercize and Plogging in a coming post here as we all prepare to head back outdoors with the arrival of Spring soon! 

In closing, if each person in the world helped just one other person or did one simple thing to help Mother Nature and the environment, wouldn’t the world be a much better and more enjoyable place? A lot of simple little acts can add up to something really big if we all pitch in and take the Time to do our part by putting someone or something else’s needs before our own wants.

So then, what can you do with your extra Leap Year Day to reach out and help someone?  How about doing something today? And if not today — when?

Could you possibly offer a kind word or pick up and properly dispose of a piece of litter, perhaps? Little things. They add up. Please join us today in making a positive difference in the world!  — Jim (and Red!)   🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “Finding A Purpose Driven Life — What Would You Do If . . . . . . ?”  and “Opting for Millstones or Milestones — The Desiderata” 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


       Think Globally – Act Locally! Tomorrow Begins With YOU Today!    

“Lost time is never found again.”  – Benjamin Franklin


Like and Follow My Writer’s Page on Facebook For Daily Inspirations & More!


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

         “There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.”       –  Leo Christopher


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


“Time and tide wait for no man.” – Geoffrey Chaucer



 

 

 

 

 

It’s A New Year — The Guideposts Are Set — Here’s Where We’re Going!

Happy 2019! 

A brand-spanking new, shiny, and as yet unblemished and dent-free New Year. The start of a new year is like a new car, fresh off the assembly line, complete with an assumed bumper-to-bumper warranty, many expectant miles to log on the odometer, and all the hopes and dreams which only a new car smell can inspire.

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve annual hopes and goals spring anew within our hearts, as daffodils bursting thru late snow beckon the long-awaited arrival of Spring.

Maybe yet another way of looking at a new year is as a blank slate with our having no way of knowing what will be written upon it as the year unfolds. What do we each hope and plan to write on our slate for the year?  How will this new year, still full of January’s fresh hopes and promises, be scored when the coming year’s unforeseen events, decisions, and actions cast long shadows in December?

Regardless of our individual approaches to a new year, most regard it as a time of looking forward with a fresh start, of high expectations, of planning and preparing.


Taking a moment first to look back before looking forward, the year just passed was one of the busiest and perhaps more challenging of my life (having counted 69 of them now!), including two out of town cross country trip weddings for my twin sons, with a major relocation move sandwiched in between in the summer months, and extended absences while dog- and house-sitting for others sprinkled thru the year. It seemed at times as though writing distractions seemed to leap out from behind every corner.

When Thanksgiving came and went, and the last trip and activity had been marked off the calendar, the schedule wondrously opened thru the remainder of the year to finally complete the summer’s delayed moving work of unpacking, settling into my new home, and getting back to writing with Little Red Bear. But, as we should know, the Universe sometimes has other plans and things in mind for us which always seem to take precedent.

As Facebook Friends are aware (not previously shared elsewhere), the year concluded on a more challenging note when I ruptured the biceps distal tendon below the elbow in my right (primary) arm the last week of November when lifting a ridiculously (now looking back) heavy box unpacking, resulting in surgery on December 7th to repair and reattach the totally shredded and displaced tendon to the radius bone below the elbow. Two separate incisions, drilling, a washer, pins, and assorted medical magic and miracles.

A post-surgery full arm cast was replaced at Christmas by what friends refer to as my new ‘Robo Arm’ brace, which I will continue to wear for the foreseeable future, recovery presumably measured in months and not weeks. (The photo is a mirror image, really my right arm. Left hand did its best trying to get the photo.)

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”

– Dennis P. Kimbro

With my right arm and hand prohibited from any movement or use at all with the sole exception of twice-daily therapy stretches, my left arm and hand (hereinafter referred to as “Lefty”) have both had a very steep learning curve the past month. Happy to report that Lefty is doing very well, better than expected actually, and is solely doing the typing and preparation work for this post.

(Doing well, that is, with the notable exception of being able to eat soup without embarrassment and adding to the laundry pile.

And on a related note – why is that upon hearing of your surgery and suddenly limited to sole use of your off-hand, friends all rush to bring bowls of healing Soup to your aid?

Not to sound unappreciative, because I truly am grateful and love homemade soups, but a pepperoni pizza or cheeseburger didn’t occur to anyone at all? This is the first holiday season in which I actually lost weight. Soup – the under-appreciated weightloss secret.

Sorry, I digressed. Hunger tends to have that distracting effect on me, regrettably.)

Lefty will continue to fly solo until such time as Righty is cleared for return to duty.  Therapy is going very well, so “hoping” it will not be too, too long before Righty can at least get back to typing. Will see. Sharing this only so everyone understands the uncharacteristic absence of regular posts and annual new holiday features the past several weeks.


Traditional New Year’s Resolutions in and of themselves are not a thing here, most often having been an exercise in self-deluding folly and foolishness in the past. That being said, it would be no less foolhardy setting sail without noting the prevailing wind direction and at least an idea of where you hoped to eventually arrive.

Looking forward to the New Year then, while beginning the new year with my ‘good’ arm figuratively tied behind my back for an undetermined period, there are a number of things we (that would be Little Red Bear and me)  still plan to focus on and look forward to accomplishing in the coming year.

Notably —

  • A resumption of regular blog posting activities and pages focusing on the important themes of Children, Family, Kindness, Compassion, Positivity, Inclusion, Diversity, Wildlife, and Mother Nature. That is what we have been and will continue to be about here.
  • An increased focus on heightening awareness, saving, and preserving the environment and natural world around us for our children and future generations. There is no backup or “Earth 2.0” in the works.  We all share this planet as our home, and it is the only one we have.
  • Joining with the focus on Positivity, more attention on self-awareness, improvement, and our place in the Cosmos. Why do so many seem to be increasingly disconnected today?
  • Continuing to freely share more feature stories of interest (like the Haddon Sundblom ‘Coke Santa’ feature), original short stories (like the ‘Susie’s Bear’ story), and works of Poetry (like the recent ‘Tex-Mex and Rex’ poem). (Yes – there will be more poetry – consider yourself warned.)
  • Completion of the long-anticipated second collection of Little Red Bear stories book – “The Second Holler Over!” for release in the fall. More new characters – new locations – more adventures – and a somewhat novel new format. Watch for updates as we get closer to the release date!
  • Adding more games, puzzles, and other activities to Little Red Bear’s Activities Pages for children. Watch for new ‘Coloring Pages’ coming soon, featuring domestic animals, wildlife, flowers, and other items from nature to help educate and interest the little ones, including several characters from “The Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories!
  • A resumption of the popular “Ask Little Red Bear” feature, wherein Red responds to reader questions. He already has an accumulated stack to get thru, but if you have any questions regarding one of Red’s stories, nature, or life advice in general, please just send them along and Red will try his best to get to them around writing sessions (and fishing).
  • Continuation of the always popular “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” specials for holidays and seasons thru the year, with a few additional now and then concentrating on one dish and variations. Stay tuned.
  • Continue developmental work on a series of Picture Book type stories in verse for Little Red Bear, Cinnamon Charlie, and their friends, to bring Red’s messages of kindness, positivity, and nature more intimately and in a more colorfully fun way to pre-readers and little ones, and to distribute to those in hospital care.
  • Add a new feature presenting interesting historical and background information on some of the topics, locations, characters, and other items influencing but perhaps not actually making it either in whole or in part into the Little Red Bear stories. Only so much can be fit into the short story format or into a book, and so much material which must be trimmed is fascinating from a true historical or inspirational sense. Red thought you might enjoy seeing some of it.
  • Call back Rusty the Fairydiddle, our intrepid little Red Squirrel Reporter, from his extended personal appearance tour following his featured role in the “Pine Holler Christmas” story, to conduct some more character interviews for you, like the one he did with Groovy Gary that time.
  • Time permitting (and we really want to do these!) the publication of separate standalone Little Red Bear stories (like “Pine Holler Christmas”) — a conservation-themed story entitled “Walking With Trees” for which I am doing extensive reading and research at present for a targeted summer release, a ‘Not-So-Frightfully-Scary’, Spooky Halloween Story for fall, and a second Christmas-themed story for the holidays, tentatively titled “Little Red Bear and the Kris Kringle Krinkle Krunch Krewe.”
  • Because many of our readers are Seniors with Little Red Bear being enjoyed from one end of the age spectrum to the other, we will attempt to make the already published books available in Large Print editions, as many have requested. But, like the publishing of other books, this one may likely require more outside technical help beyond my abilities, so will be dependent on financial resources and ability to bring this about in addition to the publication of the new works listed above. This may be the most “iffy” with hospital surgery bills coming in the mail and extended therapy copays, but again — we really would like to do this for our senior readers.
  • Lastly, in the “thinking about” stage, perhaps doing a continuing  feature with Little Red Bear, Cinnamon Charlie, and their friends in Little Red Bear Land, freely shared on the Writing Pages here in weekly installments, either in continuing serialized story form like the weekly ‘Little Orphan Annie’, ‘The Lone Ranger’, ‘Flash Gordon’, and other radio serials years ago, or with more of a “Happening This Week in Little Red Bear Land” news story approach in a Garrison Keillor “Tales From Lake Wobegon” fashion. Either way, just considering and trying to work it out with Red as possibly something fun to do and share. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this one, which approach sounds most interesting, or other, please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear them!

Seems like an ambitious list, doesn’t it? But isn’t that the whole idea expressed by the old phrases “Shoot for the stars!”, “Reach for the sky!”, “Go for the gusto!”, “Go the limit!”, and others? The whole purpose of making the effort and stretching our abilities to improve and grow?

Little Red Bear and I may not achieve all of these goals this year, because as my ‘Robo Arm’ indicates, life can unexpectedly intervene and alter the best-made plans at times.

But the approach here has always been that small, incremental daily changes add up to big results over time, getting up each morning a little further down the road towards our goal than the previous morning and the morning before that. A decision to be healthier this time last year led to me changing my lifestyle and slowly losing just a little over a pound a week last year. No big deal.  But again, small incremental changes add up to big results over time. In my case, a 66-pound weight loss over the year, significantly reduced blood pressure, no blood sugar issues, and every pre-surgery blood test within normal ranges. Keep taking small steps, and sooner than later you will get there!

So, will we reach all of the above goals? Well, just like the weight loss, we are going to keep at it each and every day, step by step, and give it our persistent and very best effort. And whether we achieve all, some, or only a few items, we will be further down the road and in a better place with our writing work and mission than where we begin today. Little Red Bear and I feel that we are already in a better place and off to a very good start by simply having made our list and having set the guideposts for our journey this year.

In summary, Little Red Bear and I will strive to continue bringing new posts, features, and creative projects to the Writing Pages with the intention of being Entertaining, Informative, and Educational, while also helping to Encourage everyone to become their very best true self.

If we do that, we feel, that come December it will have been a very good year, and any shadows cast will all be positive.

Little Red Bear and I have set our course. The above items are intended as the Guideposts for our journey thru this new year as we continue to do our small part in trying to make the world a more kind and gentle home for every one and every thing. We hope that you will be here to join with us each step along the way!


Even if so many may not end up holding that wished-for winning lottery ticket in the coming months, there are loads of things we can engrave upon our personal slates this year before we count down the seconds with bated breath while awaiting the magical clock strike heralding the arrival of the next shiny new year.

What are your plans for the New Year? For inspiration and ideas, I invite and encourage you to visit my fellow bloggers and friends, below, as they share their thoughts about the coming year. Then, perhaps pull out a blank slate to chart your course for the year!

And if unsure or having doubts about your ability to make positive changes in your own life this year, maybe it would help you to know that both Little Red Bear and I believe in you! Just take the first small step to get started. Then the next. And the next. And the next. Then, eventually, you will look back at this time next year and see how very far you have come!

For inspiration, visit — “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and  “Finding A Purpose Driven Life – What Would You Do If .  .  . ?”   Then get going on your slate and New Year!


Here is what my friends are doing . . . . . .

Cat Michaels
Rosie Russell
Sandra Bennett
Carmela Dutra
Julie Gorges
Shana Gorian
Corrina Holyoake
Jacqui Letran
Rebecca Lyndsey

Thanks always for spending part of your day with us here, because when all is said and done, you are why we do this! Wishing you and yours the very best as you chart your own course for this shiny new year! — Jim  (and Red!)

If you enjoyed this post, check out —  “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart” 


Think Globally – Act Locally! Tomorrow Begins With YOU Today!

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” – William James


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.” – Erma Bombeck


Happy Hummer Season! Welcoming, Helping, and Attracting Hummingbirds In Your Neighborhood

Happy Hummer Season!  Soon the buzzing and whirring sounds of rapidly beating wings and flashes of color will be filling the air in our backyards once again. The hummingbirds return!

My earliest memories of hummingbirds from many years ago recall the stern admonition and warning from my Mother, taking a page from the ‘Mother’s Guide to Eyes & BB Guns’ — “Don’t go anywhere near the hummingbirds or bother them. They’ll poke your eye out with that bill of theirs!” 

This has always seemed out of character with my Mother’s deep love for all things ‘nature’, but she nevertheless firmly stood by it all thru the years. Maybe she knew someone from her past that had an unfortunate run-in with a disgruntled hummingbird. But I tend to doubt it.

Despite the “Eye Poke” warning, we planted a never-ending stream of flowers and butterfly bushes over the years to attract them, and it was always a special time celebrating new arrivals each Spring. It seemed that Summer would not really be Summer without Hummingbirds buzzing around our flower gardens!



Hummingbirds are a joy to observe in the backyard as they hover, flit and fly about, and will very soon be arriving back to summer homes in North America from winter stays in Southern Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and other regions of Central America. Hanging a nectar feeder to greet their arrival in Spring will help immensely as they arrive thirsty and in quick need of nourishment following their long migrations northward.



To find out when to expect the arrival of regional hummingbirds in your area, check out the Audubon Guide.  Residents in the South and along the Gulf shores should expect them first and have feeders out, available, and at the ready. When the tiny hummingbirds arrive after long journeys across the Gulf of Mexico from Central and South America they are famished, exhausted, and in need of quick energy resupply!

I invite you to enjoy this slow-motion “Moment of Chill — The Hum of Wings”,  sponsored by The Orvis Company —


Providing a hummingbird feeder in your yard helps to renourish the little hummers quickly and get them off to a healthier start for the coming breeding season after their arduous travels northward, and can be both a source of entertainment and a healthy learning experience for the children in your family as they learn more about nature.

If unprepared in the Spring, not to worry. It is never too late during the season to put your first feeder out for hummingbirds, and extra feeders in the fall are very important for both local birds to prepare for southern migrations and for those passing thru from up north on their way south. It’s never too late to start.

Hummingbirds need to consume several times their body weight in food intake each day and are necessarily always on the lookout for flowering plants to quench their thirst and maintain energy.  Flowering plants for the hummingbirds are much more numerous and available during the summer months, so providing an early supplementary food source with a hummingbird feeder can help them get thru leaner spells in springtime when flowers and natural food sources are not yet as numerous.

There is no need to worry about supplementing their diet with a feeder and distracting hummingbirds from natural food sources, as they will continue to seek out and consume plant nectar, small insects, and tree saps to prepare for the breeding season, and then later feeding their young in the nest. And later still, preparing for fall southern migrations back to their winter homes.


To select the best feeder, choose one that can be easily cleaned on the inside to prevent contamination and illness for the birds, and one that is brightly colored with lots of red to get their attention and attract them to your feeder.

If you have few hummingbirds in your area, completely filling the feeder is not necessary, to not waste the nectar mixture. As the season progresses, filling the feeder to the brim may be more advisable as the birds will be visiting more often to drink and the feeders will probably be even busier with greater numbers in the summer heat and growing families.

If there are a large number of hummers in your area, a larger feeder with a greater number of feeding ports can help to reduce territorial conflicts brought about by the hummingbirds’ natural territoriality and competitiveness to guard the feeding source by allowing more birds to access the feeder. Everyone enjoys a little elbow room.



Feeders can be inexpensive and plain, or very decorative and ornamental.  The hummingbirds only care about the nectar and happily leave design and decor choices to the humans’ personal tastes.  But it is important for any feeder to contain a good deal of bright red coloration.  Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to brightly colored flowers, including yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples, but are drawn to the color red much more than any other color as it signals a food source to the tiny bird, so they naturally associate the color red with food.

Wearing a bright red shirt one hot day last summer, a hummingbird approached and examined me closely before sadly moving on, clearly disappointed after determining that the giant flower he thought he had joyfully discovered was not in fact, a flower.


There is no need to purchase pre-packaged hummingbird food mixes in the store, as a perfect nectar mix can be easily and inexpensively prepared in your home kitchen using only sugar and water as the ingredients.

It is important to prepare the nectar supplement mixture using only Refined White Sugar, as honey can promote dangerous and harmful fungal growth and should never be used. In addition, organic, natural and raw sugars may all contain excessive levels of iron which can be harmful to the birds. Plain, white refined sugar is sucrose, which when mixed with water comes the closest to matching the chemical composition of naturally occurring nectar in the wild.

With a brightly colored red feeder, there is no need to add red food coloring to the nectar mixture, as the chemicals in food coloring can be harmful to the hummingbirds.


Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

To prepare the nectar mixture, simply mix 1/4 Cup of Refined White Sugar in 1 Cup of Boiling Water until the sugar is all dissolved, or a ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water if preparing a larger amount. Let the mixture cool and then fill the feeder and hang it outside for the birds. Simple as that.



For best results, hang the feeders preferably about head high so you do not need a ladder to reach it for cleaning and refilling, and also in the shade to keep the nectar from spoiling as quickly as it would in the full sun.  The nectar will serve as a healthy and beneficial supplement to the birds’ natural nectar diet in springtime, and then all summer long as well, providing the birds with an extra and welcome energy boost at the end of long, hot, and dry summer days.



Keeping the feeders freshly filled and available for the birds when fall arrives and having the extra nectar nourishment available will help your little neighborhood hummingbirds restrengthen after the breeding season is finished, boosting energy and helping them to prepare for their long migration back to southern wintering grounds.

Autumn feeders will also provide welcome and needed nourishment to hummingbirds in winter migration passing back thru on their way south. Because of the influx and numbers of migrating birds, putting additional hummingbird feeders out in the fall can actually be very helpful in providing needed migration energy for all who stop by to visit.



Extra nectar mix may be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a clean glass or plastic container.  If the mix in the feeder becomes cloudy or mucky, it should be discarded and the feeder cleaned.  The feeder should be cleaned regularly every few days, especially during hot weather to keep it free from mold and mildew, as nectar is a food and will spoil. We usually clean ours every other day just to be safe.

Feeders can be cleaned using various sized bottle brushes and by soaking them in a mixture of 1 part plain white vinegar and two parts hot water, then thoroughly rinsing to keep the birds healthy.

If black mold is detected, soaking for an hour in a bleach mixture of 1/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water can be done, followed by very thorough rinsing. Mold should not be an issue if the feeders are cleaned regularly.



To control and keep away uninvited wasps and bees which may visit hummingbird feeders, avoid choosing a feeder with the color yellow on it, as yellow is known to attract them.  Some feeders have built-in water moats which protect against ants contaminating the nectar, and some have screens over openings which only allow the hummingbird’s long tongue to enter, keeping bees and other insects out.

For additional tips to prevent the problem of unwanted insect visitors,  visit Control All Insects On Nectar Feeders.  In years of feeding hummingbirds with different types of feeders, we have never really had a problem with either mold or uninvited guests.


Hummingbirds can be territorial, especially during breeding season, so there is no harm in hanging out more than one feeder, which may result in even more visitors to your yard.  If possible and for the best results, hang additional feeders out of the line of sight from one to another to attract more birds and to diminish conflicts over territory.



Adding native plants for your regional area and growing them in your garden and yard will also help the hummingbirds by providing natural shelter and food, including a healthy environment for insects. Many are surprised to learn that insects provide an important part of the hummingbird’s diet, especially during the breeding season.

For help in selecting the best native plants for not only hummingbirds but all birds, a great resource to check out is Audubon’s Native Plant Database. Simply enter your zip code to find the recommendations of local experts in your area for your yard. Then you can narrow down the search by the type of birds and/or plants you have in mind.



So, happy Hummer Season!  Little Red Bear and I hope this guide to helping the hummingbirds was helpful, and that both you and your family are able to experience the joys and delights of watching the amazing aerial displays and acrobatics of hummingbirds all summer long. Teaching children about the wonders of Mother Nature can never begin too early, and hummingbirds are fascinating and captivating to watch for all ages.

Likes, Comments, and Shares are always appreciated, in addition to sharing with family and friends to help spread the word to others about Mother Nature and helping to make the world a better place for everyone. Including the Hummingbirds!

Thanks as always for visiting and spending part of your day with us.  A small gesture or kind word can brighten someone’s day or change a whole life around. Join us in the “Smile & Compliment” club and help brighten someone’s life today!  — Jim (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this feature, you may also like — On Singing Birds, Baby Rabbits, and Our “Springtime in Little Red Bear Land!” Video 

(And if a new visitor — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.” — Robert Green Ingersoll

~ Every Day is Earth Day.   Think Globally — Act Locally. ~


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

                   “The woods hold not such another gem as the nest of the hummingbird.                   The finding of one is an event.” – John Burroughs


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” — Vincent van Gogh

 


 

Please Don’t Pull The Dandelions — They’re Nature’s Gift!

Oh my gosh!  It’s early Spring and here come the dandelions all over the yard.  What to do?!?

Answer — absolutely nothing.  Relax, have an iced tea, and simply leave them be. We really dig dandelions here, but perhaps not in the way some may imagine.

My father, noted for his dandelions obsession, would have me busy every available free moment years ago it seemed, dandelion puller in hand, sent out to pull and dispatch the lowly yellow flowers out of our burgeoning green lawn.

“Now, get down deep and pull ’em up by the roots or they’ll surely come back on us, son!”

My idea of true technological progress was when my father came home one day with a long-handled dandelion puller newly purchased from the hardware store, one I didn’t have to bend over all day with or crawl around the yard on hands and knees.  Yep, modern science had come a long way. I could pull ’em standing up!



In the suburban sprawl era of the early ’60s with new subdivisions sprouting up everywhere, my father could and did spend hours talking with other men in the neighborhood about — Grass.

Seriously weighing the merits of one variety of grass versus another and how best to care for their lawns.

Those out there on the very cutting edge of technology were experimenting with the new Zoysia Grass just becoming available at the time, and “plugging” their lawns with it.  Anybody in their right mind seeded. Everybody knew that.  They were “plugging!”

“Poor Troutman’s lost his mind this year with that Zoysia grass.”

“Gonna have an ugly mess on his hands for sure!”

“That Zoysia stuff turns brown like straw all winter.  A real fire hazard, that!  He’ll be sorry.”

“Well, he’s a young college guy and doesn’t know anything.  He’ll learn.  Ya just can’t beat good ol’ Kentucky Blue Grass.”

“Nah, that stuff burns up in the summer heat.  I’ll stick with my Fescue.”

And on and on it went. Heady stuff, those evening, after-dinner grass meetings on the sidewalk.  We won’t even go into Crabgrass debates.  And what in the world to do about that guy on the corner and his dandelion infested yard, blowing seeds all over the neighborhood?

“Who does Baggett think he is, after all, a Dandelion Farmer? Look at his mess down there! Why doesn’t he get out and pull those dad-gummed weeds?!?”



The beauty of one’s lawn was definitely a status symbol in the subdivision back then, as dandelions in your yard certainly meant that you would be looked down upon by all of the folk meticulously fertilizing, treating, and clipping perfectly manicured lawns, proudly pushing their new, bright green Scotts’ spreaders in front of them while whistling a happy tune, dandelion digger tucked into their belt or back pocket.  And yes, there was a distinction.  Farmers ‘mowed’ down weeds.  Lawn aficionados ‘clipped’.

Folks with dandelions in their yards were judged to be lazy, uncaring, and downright disrespectful because soon those wicked seed puffs would be blowing thru the air on spring breezes and re-infesting all of the honorable and upstanding folks’ yards.

Such was life in the suburbs during the time of manicured lawns and new homeowners aspiring to be featured on the cover of ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ magazine.



But, let’s hold on just a bit and fast forward several decades.

Honeybees, critical to the world’s food supply, have been decimated in recent years from an assortment of maladies —  colony collapse disorder (CCD), global warming, selective industrial crop plantings, insecticide and herbicide poisoning, the uprooting and destruction of native plant species, and so much more.  They sorely need our assistance for the benefit of the planet, and it just so happens that leaving those dandelions in your yard alone for a while is one of the very best things that you can do to help them in early Spring.



When honeybees and other pollinators first emerge in the very first warm days of early Spring, like bears coming out from their dens after a long Winter and having depleted their honey stores which kept them going thru the Winter months, they are hungry and in need of nutrition right away. And just as Mother Nature intended, those bright yellow dandelion flowers in your yard are one of the very first emerging and available food sources for them every year.

Each dandelion flower is composed of up to a hundred individual florets, each one packed with needed nectar and pollen before later emerging flowers and plants bloom and are available.  Dandelions are one of the earliest and best food sources for bees and pollinators each Spring.  They count on dandelions for survival.



Not only honeybees feast on the flowers but also bumblebees, hoverflies, beetles, and butterflies.  Later, goldfinches, house sparrows, and others eat the seeds while raising babies in the nests.

For us, young dandelion leaves make a fine addition to spring salads and are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, and the flowers (leaving some for the honeybees and wildlife) have been made into Dandelion Wine for ages.  Just be sure the plants have not been treated with chemicals or lawn fertilizers for food safety.



So, if it is necessary to mow the grass, please consider raising the height of the cutting blades to safely pass over the dandelion flowers for the first month or so. It makes mowing thick spring grass easier, anyway. And then sit back with your iced tea on the porch to enjoy the parade of honeybees, butterflies, and other visitors to the dandelion flowers in your yard, confident that you are helping both them and the environment.



And if a well-intentioned neighbor makes a comment, just bring them up to speed about why it is so important to simply leave the dandelions be in early springtime, for the sake of the honeybees and pollinators. And us.

Cross-pollination helps at least a third of the world’s food crops and 90% of wild plants to survive.  Without bees to pollinate and spread seeds, many plants, including major food crops that we ourselves depend upon for survival, would die off.  And that is why early spring dandelions are so important.

Some have stated that if honeybees disappeared from the Earth, humans would inevitably follow four years later due to lack of food supplies. If letting the dandelions grow in early springtime helps the bees survive and keeps the grocery shelves stocked, we are all for that.

Besides, I haven’t met the Mother yet who doesn’t delight in a freshly-picked dandelion bouquet from her four-year-old in the Spring.

And, if the dandelions are all mowed down, pulled out, and tossed away — how could we ever hope to make a wish?



Speaking of dandelion bouquets and making wishes, if you have small children or grandchildren, check out the delightful little children’s book “Why Dandelions Grow” by Nita Marie Clark available on Amazon.

Told in verse with colorful illustrations, the book tells about how dandelions came to be (they seemed to be an afterthought, you know), and is very instructive for youngsters on both dandelions and bees, along with the importance of dandelions to the survival of bees in early springtime.

Little Red Bear and I always advocate teaching children about Nature and its importance, beginning at the earliest age, so they will become involved, learn to appreciate, and care about taking care of and preserving it for the future.  That’s the Little Red Bear way.


Working together we can do our best with Mother Nature to help the bees and other pollinators.

Thanks always for stopping by to visit with us, and please feel free to share this important message with family and friends!

My story friend, Little Red Bear, and I hope you will join us in the “Bee Friends” club and simply sitting back to watch the dandelions grow, confident in knowing that you are doing something positive and a ‘good thing’ for the environment and Mother Nature.  — Jim   (and Red!)

If you enjoyed this feature, you may also like → “Happy Hummer Season! Welcoming, Helping, and Attracting Hummingbirds In Your Neighborhood” 


Think Globally — Act Locally — Tomorrow Begins With You TODAY!

Children + Nature + Outdoors = Happy, Healthy, Balanced Kids


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

                 “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength                   that will endure as long as life lasts.” – Rachel Carson 


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today. Patrons help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as an ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes.

Because together we can do so much!


“How doth the little busy bee, Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day, From every opening flower!”

 – Isaac Watts, ‘Divine and Moral Songs for Children’