Archive for August, 2010

Gorge Swim

At least once a summer, the boys and I go to a great swimming hole and play until we are worn out or too cold to move.  The weather has been plenty hot enough to preclude the latter.

Falls at the swimming hole

There are many jumps into foaming deep water from heights of 5, 20, and 25 feet. There are gentle rapids to float in and rocks to sun on. And usually there are no other people there since it is a steep mile and half walk in.

25 foot drop

I forgot my goggles this trip and didn’t get search the bottom for trout and “crawdads”, but the jumps and swimming up near the falls and sliding through the rapids and taking pictures of plants and spiders and sunning and eating snacks was quite enough for one trip. 
The jump takes your breath and the foam ingulfs you and sweeps you away, but I’ve not found a way that it hurts (belly, back, face).

Forward Flip

I get dizzy trying to do a flip any more but some can still do it. I do advise that if you try what we are doing that you thoroughly explore what is under the water as we have. There are certainly places we don’t jump. The turbid water prevents seeing rocks that are less than a foot under. Other places are 8 to 12 feet deep right off the edge. The water was up for summer which makes it more turbid, more fun current and deeper pools. The only drawback of higher water is the turbidity that prevents seeing fish and formations under the water, but we couldn’t anyway.

I wander what caused the wilting of the blackberry leaves, a mildew, a smut, a rust. But the blackberries sure look good.

The grass spider builds a sheet with a funnel where it awaits prey. During windy times more prey falls but also more litter.  The spider knows the “signature” of falling prey and ignores the litter. Unlike orb weavers, some of whom eat, reprocess, and re-weave an orb every day, or least every few days, the grass spider may go most of the season only repairing the web and tolerating “camoflouging” litter.  If the site is good there is no reason to move other than another large spider running you off your web.

Grass Spider in the Entry-way

The lampshade spider is the hardest spider

Lampshade Spider

for me to take a picture of because it so well blends in with the rock it is on. Also, it is extremely difficult to show both the spider and the lampshade shape of the web though this picture is one of the better efforts.


The heat this summer has been accompanied by a substantial amount of rain in our area, so the vegetation has been quite green and much that the drought years had killed back is filled in. I include here but a few nice samples of what we saw.

Souther Shield Fern (Maiden Fern)?

A fern will not usually grow so tall and robust as this one on a rock shelf in full sunlight where this is located unless the rainfall and seepage supplies ample water as is true here. This sample was more than 3 feet tall. You naturalists can tell me if I identified it correctly.

Water spiders and their shadows

There was this pool at the side of the river at an incoming creek of spring that was relatively very cold. The boys and I had to dare each other to get in. While I was waiting for them to take their turns I noticed that water spiders

"Crawdad" exploring his domain

cast a shadow much larger than themselves. I guess I could to if I controlled the fringes (diffraction pattern at the edges of my person in the medium I’m in), but alas I am not supported on the surface tension of my medium or his. Yes, I did go into the pool and I was not the last one. I also jumped off the 25 foot jump several times but the picture of it was blurry.  A few final pictures of my boys. One I couldn’t pass up because it’s classic:

"The Look"

Where are we?

Peaceful, contemplative moment

Cardinal Flower

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Last Sunday the pastor preached a Bible-based, convicting and practical sermon. The text was John 18:12-27.  Early on he said the theme of this intertwined story was “the glory of Christ in His trial; the sinfulness of Peter in his denial.”  As the sermon progressed this sentence kept working on me.  It rhymed and it showed great contrast. I began to think there was a poem here that might help me remember the sermon ideas reflecting the text.

Glory of Christ revealed in His trial
Peter’s sinfulness in his denial
Contrast Christ abiding in the Father
With Peter wandering, to then falter


Not shrinking from truth in the face of death
Fearing man when expectations a myth
If I spoke “rightly, why do you strike Me?”
One of His disciples? Not I, said he


Dependence on God and Christ is the way
Reliance on self will bring much dismay
Cohorts, commanders, courts could not dissuade
A slave-girl side-tracked allegiance once made


“I have spoken openly to the world”
Not a cold heart while warming hands unfurled
Boldly speak of Jesus the Son of God
Or rooster crow pierce your heart like a rod


Trust in the Father through Jesus the Son
Don’t shift allegiance to serve number one
Return to your first love, know of His grace
Don’t wander and falter, finish the race

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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18


Pointing to the One who made, saved, and sustains