Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Box Elder Maple

I am drawn to box elder because of the green twigs I find in the winter woods are different than the other twigs. All of them are brown or gray.

Lord I thank You for the variety in the forest. May Your glory be shown to people of all faiths to know that You are God and King of kings. I listen for You as I walk in the woods.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Black Willow

A revisit of the willow tree I posted last August.

One of the things that is noticeable of willows is the bud lies flat against the twig. The leaves are long and narrow but you don't see that in the winter. What you do see is the thin twigs.

Leviticus 23:40 "Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days."

So now when I see Willows I will think of rejoicing before the Lord. Thank you Jesus for what You do for me. I trust in You.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Black Willow

Here is a Black Willow on top of the bank next to the Missouri river. It is leaning over the bank, which this tree seems to do a lot. It usually grows around bigger trees and has to lean to find the light. Willow can withstand flooding thus the propensity to grow in bottom land sites and thrive there.

The saplings of willow grow straight and are good for furniture making. That is brush furniture. The wood is light and would not stand up the use of normal furniture.

One of the reasons I am drawn to finding different types of trees is their ability to adapt to different types of conditions. Christians are not all the same. That may be why there are so many expressions of Christianity. We have different abilities and should not be discouraged if we don't measure up to others. Instead of trying to measure up to others serve God as you were made to do. 

We all have abilities if we will renounce the sin desires that are within us and turn to Christ and live for Him. Look to Jesus and not yourself and He will sustain you.

Psalm 55:22 "Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."

Father, I look to you and Your Son and the Holy Spirit to guide me in my life and work. Thank You, let it happen.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Northern Sholveler

The long and wide bills makes this duck distinctive.

Each and every day God shows His glory through creation. Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to watch your beauty the wonders you have made.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Bottom Land

Our hike yesterday along the Missouri River. Tangle of woods asleep. Waiting for the warmth and added light of Spring. Just as these woods can seem foreboding and unforgiving to the untrained, People can seem foreboding and unforgiving. A kind word and an act of care can change a person. Let us not see only with our physical eyes but also see what God can do with His love for others. 1 John 4:7-10 The Message Bible "My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God."

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

American Sycamore Bark

American Sycamore bark is unique. As these photos show, there are 3 layers with 3 colors. The whitish inner bark is the new growth of bark. the outer brown/gray bark is older and it peals off and will flake off the tree as the tree expands with growth.

Just as this bark sheds with growth, so Christians life will change with growth. The old will fall away and the new will take hold. Embrace the change of a new life in Christ. It says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."


Lord, I thank you for the work You do in my life. I look to You for life and ability. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sycamore Bud and Seed pod

Here is another Sycamore bud that is completely enclosed by the leaf during the summer. The seed pod is left on the twig in the middle of winter.

 Below is a summer photo of a Sycamore fruit pod.

Sycamore trees have many of these pods, and a few of them remain on the tree during the winter. This tree makes a good den tree for the center of the tree wood rots and leaves a cavity that wildlife makes use of for their dens. The wood that survives is hard and the grain is swirled. This makes the tree hard to split for firewood. I know because I got some of this wood from a neighbor and worked hard to split it.

The tree grows taller than other hardwoods in the area making it a dominate tree where it is found. It does best in lowland areas, but will also grow on hillsides.

When I think of this tree I think of the rot the tree is experiencing within the bole of the tree. Yet it grows tall and the bark makes the tree to stand out against the other trees in a hardwood forest.

Christians can thrive even though they have problems in their life. It is not our ability but our availability that God is looking for. He will take our wounds and weaknesses and turn them for His glory.

Hebrews 11:32-34 "And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight."

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Robins Among the Sumac

Sumac usually grows as a shrub in Kansas and Missouri. We were walk along a trail that went through a field of Sumac. It was not hard to walk through but the stems were stiff. There was sort of a path as we made our way through.

This plant occurs in open areas, and along boarders. The leaves turn a nice red in the fall.

As there is an abundance of fruit for these Robins so God will provide for us.

Daniel 4:12 "Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, And in it was food for all The beasts of the field found shade under it, And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, And all living creatures fed themselves from it."

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ring-Billed Gull

When I first saw Gulls in Missouri and Kansas, I was surprised. But I read that these gulls frequent the interior of the country and nest at fresh water sites. Once they hatch they usually return to the same area year after year.

They will eat most anything, but fish and bugs are preferred. Garbage is another staple they have adapted to. They enjoy flying along with the wind currents, diving to the water when there is a food source.

The oldest known gull was 27 years old. They usually nest in large colonies numbering in the thousands. These birds take 3 years to attain their adult plumage. This bird has the adult plumage.

The soaring of these gulls brings to mind the ability of Christians to soar above the problems of life with the relationship with Jesus that we have.

Isaiah 40:31 "Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Branch Becomes Tree Leader

Here is a sapling that had a branch become the leader of the tree. The original leader had been broken off and the branch that was going sideways starting growing up because of the change in status.

People need to live ready for opportunities, because we don't know what the future will hold.

Luke 12:35 "Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit."