Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Possum


Possum or opossum, is the only mammal, in North America, that carries her young in a pouch. They are born just 13 days after conception, the size of a bumble bee.

After a month the young may start to take a peak of the world outside. They leave the mother after 3 months.

They will eat anything. Meat, carrion, vegetables. They climb well and use their hind feet the way humans use their hands. 

These animals have been trapped for fur but they aren't worth much. They are known for playing dead, (playing possum). But they really aren't playing but are responding to stress.

Do we become incapable of dealing with large problems? If so, we can turn to the Lord for strength. He is our rock and our redeemer. Let us not be anxious but build strength by trusting in God.

Psalm 56:11 "In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Father, I look to you for strength and protection. Thanks.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Little Bluestem Grass


(Schizachyrium scoparium)





This grass is native to most of the US except California, Oregon and Nevada. And grows well in grassland areas.

It is a bunch grass that is perennial, meaning that it comes up year after year.

It can be grown in zones 3-10. It grows best in the sun in well drained soil.

Local grass will do better than grass brought into an area that it is not suited for. 

Psalm 146:5-7 "How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free."


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Canada Goose Gosling




This is an April photo of a gosling. Some geese like to eat on grass year round.  As soon as they hatch they are capable of swimming, walking and eating on their own. 

One reason they like grass is that they can see predators easily. At 10 weeks they are mostly full grown. Flying around 9 weeks.

The adults lose their flight ability during breeding and regain it about the time the young are able to fly.

The yellow plumage of this gosling will turn to gray soon.

Father, just as you provide growth and food for the these goslings, so You will provide for us. Thank you for all You do for us.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Savannah Woodland


Here is a natural Savannah, where the undergrowth does not grow up like woodland around it.


This bottom photo is less than 100 yards from the top photo. A much different woods.

What is causing the difference? In these 2 examples. The weather would be the same. the soil type would be the same. The difference is the top photo is on a hilltop and there may be less soil there, being more rocky.

Most Savannahs I see around Missouri are managed to look that way. This one is natural.

The openness presents an inviting atmosphere. The thick woods takes a little more aggressiveness to enter.

Christians need aggressiveness to enter into ministry. Where does this eagerness come from?  I think it comes from accessing the power of God.

Psalm 110:3 "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; ..."

Father, let me understand the power You have made available to us. Thank you. In Jesus name let it be.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Leaning Northern Red Oak


Measured the circumference of this Northern Red oak in 2006 of 128.5" The circumference this August is 137.5" an increase of 7% in 10 years. That is a 2% increase in the volume of wood. But it is a big tree, so 2% is a lot of wood.


Above is the picture of the leaning tree. This photo shows the tree on the left. It doesn't look like it is leaning that much. In the winter it is a lot more noticeable.

What we do for Christ might not seem like much. If we keep at it, the amount starts to add up.

1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."

Father, let me serve you with joy and eagerness.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dew




Dew happens when the temperature drops in the night lower than the air is able to hold water. The warmer it is the more water the air can hold. As the temperature drops in the night the water content will stay the same but the air loses its ability to hold that much water.  The result is dew. 

In the morning the sun will come out and the dew will evaporate back into the air.

Sheep sometimes will get enough water from eating grass that has an abundance of dew. Dew can be a type of gift from God that is accessed in the morning before the hustle and bustle of life makes it harder to hear from God. As we sit in God's presence reading the Bible we gain insight from the Holy Spirit who teaches us the Bible.

Deut 32:2 "Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As the droplets on the fresh grass And as the showers on the herb."

Psalm 5:3 "In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Catalpa


One of the identifying characteristics of a Northern Catalpa tree is a round leaf scar. The above photo shows this. Few trees have this characteristic. 


Another way Catalpa trees are recognized is the cigar like seed pods the tree produces.


The end of twigs usually have buds on them but Catalpa's don't.

Below is the bark of an old tree.


Catalpa wood is light with straight grain. This makes it easy to split and I use the wood for kindling.

Kindle afresh the gift of God that is within you. We should not let what we used to do for the Lord go to waste. Instead, kindle it so that it will grow . Just as a fire is kindled to give you more fire and heat. Kindle your giftings with Bible reading and prayer to allow you to serve the Lord with more zeal and enthusiasm.

2 Timothy 1:6 "For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands."

Lord, revive me according to Your word.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Large Catalpa Tree




Looking for trees in urban parks we found this large N. Catalpa tree.  It was in a local cemetery and provided shade with benches under it.

We measured it to record its size and to watch for growth in the years to come.

Height 72'
Circumference 139"
Canopy measured 2 different ways 65' each way.
This gives the tree 227 points.

This will be the baseline of other Catalpa trees. This is the first one I have measured.

The leaf size is also unique and easily identifies this tree from a distance.

As trees age they provide shade for us to rest under. Let us also give grace and rest to others.

Isaiah 4:6 "There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain."

Father, thank you for the protection from the worries of life You give.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ginko



Went downtown to the farmers market to buy some produce. On the way there I noticed this Ginko tree planted by the street. These trees are good trees for street planting because they will survive a lack of water and smog does not bother them like it would other trees.

This is a tough tree species and survives down through history when other trees like it have become extinct.

The herbal use of this tree is interesting. Crushing the leaves gives a herbal benefit of better concentration and improves short term memory.

Habakkuk 3:17,18 "Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation."

The resilience of the Ginko points to us the way keep on with Christ. Part of this resilience is knowing the Bible and trusting God when all else is failing around us.

Lord, I look to You to sustain me and give me the resilience to trust You in life. Thanks.