Archive for April, 2011

Colorful Treasure

I can’t always get out to the woods for a hike so on the weekends I enjoy the more rugged parts of the greenway by the river in our town.  I can’t say it is undisturbed because the environmental perturbation was and is causing far more briars, poison ivy, hedge, and honey suckle than ought to be.  However, there are corners where the native species are returning, if only they can be ignored and let grow. And there were more flowers than my poor camera can focus on.  I need a macrolense for the small ones…..

Trillium cuneatum, Sweet Betsy


Podophyllum peltatum, May Apple

 …. you can barely see them.  So small, so common,  
so beautiful. The only difference in weeds and flowers is what you see in them.  If you see something choking out your big, showy, bought, cared for flowers, it’s a weed. If it’s Spring and you are in the woods, it’s a wildflower.
I have some showy flowers in my yard and I enjoy them, but I like the wildflowers, too. God’s garden is beautiful in both places.

Star Chickweed – Stellaria pubera

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South Mountains in bloom

Crested Dwarf Iris (Iris cristata)

The iris somewhat surprised me, not because of its presence but its ID. I had always thought is was the blue flag but this is blooming at the wrong time and living in far too dry a habitat. I am also amazed at the variety of plants called dog hobble.  All these plants show tremendous variety and I just wonder what the “kinds” of  

American Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)

Genesis equate to.

Dog Hobble (Leucothoe editorum)
Rhododendron (R. catawbiense or R. carolinium?)
Frazier Magnolia (Magnolia fraseri)
Friends at High Shoals Falls

My blog is acting weird. It is installing pictures in the reverse order I put them on the screen.  No matter.  I am so thankful to be able to get out in the woods.  I commented to one of the people who went  that we were the odd people out. 

Red Trillium or Wakerobin (Trillium erectum)

She went with the guys and I went with the kids.  Of course, they don’t like that title but if I’m the old man then they’re the kids.

Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia)

I went on a hike in the South Mountains State Park with my son and four of his friends.  The flowers are beginning their full show of the season declaring the glory of their Maker.

Red trillium differs from Sweet Betsy in that the former stand erect on a peduncle (stem) and the petals fan out while the latter has petals sticking straight up with no peduncle.  The leaves of the Foam Flower remind me of something my mother used to pot.  I wish I could remember what it was.

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Have you heard the buzz?  A bald eagle pair and three freshly hatched eaglets 80 feet above the ground in Decorah, Iowa are being videoed for the whole world to see 24/7 by webcam, color by day and IR by night.  It’s cute and a bit gross (raptor feeding habits are a bit coarse).  But most of all it’s wonderful to see God’s creatures in a way we really never did before.  Check it out at http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles Like all of God’s creatures bald eagles give glory to Him. God illustrates this in various ways in His Word.  His wisdom and power in creating and sustaining His creatures is a common theme: “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, stretching his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? On the cliff he dwells and lodges, upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place.” (Job 39:26-28) Even with our increased understanding of these creatures over what Job had we can neither make the eagle nor sustain him. But another theme common to Scripture is that of God’s care for His people in all times as similar to and above that of His care for His lesser creatures: “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. The LORD alone guided him…” (Deuteronomy 32:11-12a).

Though not on so grand a scale, my students bought and installed a bluebird nesting box with camera and cord in conduit so that we can watch what is going on inside the nesting box.  It is beginning to get interesting.  We have all learned much about nesting, territorial, and brooding habits of the Eastern Bluebird. As a result of God’s power and wisdom in creating and sustaining the world and its creatures it all belongs to Him and depends on Him: “I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is Mine, and all it contains.” (Psalm 50:11-12)

“The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising you.” Psalm 84:3-4  The birds find and reside where they are supposed to be and so should we- in God’s presence, praising Him who is worthy by reason of His greatness and goodness as Creator, Sustainer, Lord, King, Savior, and all that is superlative and lifted up.

(The middle of this video is a bit tedious but as the popular saying now goes, “wait for it, wait for it.”)

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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