Friday, December 02, 2016

Fire




Fire is a destructive force in nature. It can also be a cleansing force. Much of the undergrowth in the woods will be cleaned out during a fire.

Earth is the only planet in the Universe that fire will burn, no where else has that much oxygen.

Place a cold spoon over a candle and you will observe the water vapor condense on the metal...

A fire that burned in London in 1666 burned up much of the city. It also burned up the rats and fleas that were spreading the Bubonic plague that had killed more than 65,000 people the previous year. After the fire the plague stopped.

The Black Dragon Fire of 1987 is the largest wildfire in modern times. It burned some 20 million acres across China and the Soviet Union, an area about the size of South Carolina.

The Yellowstone fire of 1988 burned for months and did not go out till the arrival of cooler weather and rain. This fire burned 793,880 acres or 35 miles square.

Do we want God's fire in our life?  Hebrews 12:29 shows God is a consuming fire. If we are serving Him, His fire makes us hotter.

Father, show me how to burn brighter for you.


Thursday, December 01, 2016

Fire Break




Hiking these woods I came across some workers that were blowing leaves and making a clear path in the ground. They said they were clearing this path for a fire break. They were going to burn the leaves and debris on the ground to maintain the Savannah woods.

Before civilization fire came through the woods from time to time.  This kept the undergrowth down and trees that were more resistant to fire thrived.

Fire is like problems. In the past foresters tried to stop all fires. But the forests started to change from Oak trees to less desirable trees. So now foresters burn occasionally to maintain the woods as they now.

We don't like the problems that come our way. Problems will make us stronger if we respond to them from the directions in Scripture. When we trust God we grow in Christ. When we turn to man to solve our problems we fester in the weakness we live in.

James 1:2-4 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Don't complain about your problem. Turn to Jesus and look to Him for the answer.

Father I thank you for your provision You have promised.


Here is a link to this area, showing what it looks like in summertime.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ginkgo Leaves



Ginkgo leaves at end of bud. There seems to be 8 clustered at the end of the bud.

This ancient tree seems to know that it is the light the provides its ability to survive. All the leaves at the tip of the twig is a sign for me to seek the light.

Micah 7:8 "Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy.
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me."


Go to this link to read my other posts on Ginkgo trees.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Immature Turkey Vulture


Immature because the head is mostly black. The mature Turkey Vulture has a red head. Two tone wings and wings making a V and not flat are ID signs of a Turkey Vulture.

I have noticed these vultures like to gather in the morning and evening and fly around in circles for a while before departing to sleep or head out for the day. This communal activity is interesting.

Vultures are usually looked down on because they eat dead meat. This is God's way of nature. I have heard that a vulture will come up to an animal they think is dead. But when the animal moves it is revolting to them.

They have a good sense of smell, but not good enough to detect rotting flesh from the high altitudes they maintain while looking for food.

Habakkuk 1:8 "Their horses are swifter than leopards And keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, Their horsemen come from afar; They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour."

Thank you Father, for the sanitary service these birds provide.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fall in Late Afternoon




Late afternoon sun enhances and late fall colors bring out a unique scene. There is always things to see in nature, but sunrise and sunset accent their beauty.

The Lord will bring beauty to our life as we make ourselves available to Him.


Matthew 4:16 "The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned."

Father, I look to Your light, to lighten the darkness I find myself in. For You bring my way to fullness.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey

Photo taken at Bass Pro Shop

The wild turkey and the Muscovy Duck have been domesticated. No other bird in North America has been domesticated.

Wild turkeys are native to North America. Wild turkeys (a different race of turkey from the US), were brought from Mexico to Europe in the 1500s and when they came over to North America they brought them with them. They flourished till the early 1900s. Farm turkeys were released to try to increase the wild population but they didn't survive. Wild ones were then introduced, taken from more populous areas and this worked.

Now Wild Turkeys are prevalent over the 48 states of the US.

Length 43 to 45 inches
Wingspan 49 to 57 inches
weight 23 pounds

Turkeys are consumed at Thanksgiving and I will use them as a type for thankfulness. Our thankfulness brings a better life, instead of complaining about problems. It is thanksgiving that allows us to enter the presence of God.

Psalm 100:4,5 
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations."

As we come to God with thanksgiving we receive grace and mercy to help in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16
" Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, 
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Father, I thank you for Your blessings of grace and mercy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Northern Shoveler

Drake 

 Hen


This duck is widespread over North America. They are monogamous. They nest in grassy areas, away from open water. They are a common duck not having any danger in their population. They are 19 inches long and weigh 1.3 pounds. The large bill looks like the duck is out of balance.

The Shovelers have a larger bill than other ducks. The N. Shovelers bill is about 2 1/2 inches long. Their bills have filter type projections on their bills to separate the water from the food they eat.

The oldest Northern Shoveler was a male about sixteen 1/2 years banded in California and found in Nevada.

They don't feed in the mud at the bottom of the pond. This feeding habbit keeps them from getting lead buckshot in their system. The lead kills off those who eat this substance.

Like the N. Shoveler, Christians can stay away from trouble by not allowing immoral or too much media to occupy their mind. To follow Christ requires faith, trust and belief. When the teachings of the Bible are pushed out by bad stuff or just too much stuff, their health spiritually suffers.

Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Father, I thank You for all the varieties and difference there are in nature.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Smart Deer Buck


Sunday afternoon at near dusk, we decided to walk around the block and found this nice buck. It is hunting season so the buck moved to houses for safety. The woods near us,  listed as a green way, has had deer hunters with illegal feeding of corn by the deer stand in years past. This deer must know all about this and has come to the houses where no one takes any shots.

Christians must live smart as well. There are traps in life. Some are: alcohol, drugs, illicit sex. Other traps are less obvious but are just as dangerous. Such as: neglecting family by working too much, spending too much time in recreation and not serving God as they should. Spending time on media and not in the Bible and prayer.

Let us not be fooled by the traps of this world but instead serve God with all our heart.

Psalm 91:3
"For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence."

Psalm 124:7
"Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; The snare is broken and we have escaped."

Proverbs 6:5
"Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler."

Thanks Father, for Your protection.




Saturday, November 19, 2016

Swanson's Hawk



Out of the corner of my eye I saw this hawk fly into the woods. I noticed a bump on a branch thinking that might be the hawk and took a photo of it and it came out fairly nice. Can't blow the photo up more than this because it was a long way off. (maybe 150 yards)

The tail feathers match up and the dark around the edges of the wings match with a Swanson's hawk.  I saw one of these birds flying over the lake nearby, so that is another indication that this would be a Swanson's Hawk.

The vastness of the woods behind the hawk would cause the hawk to be invisible from the distance I was at if I hadn't seen the bird fly into the woods. Being alert was the key for me that day to find this photograph.

In most endeavours of life, being alert to what you are doing is essential to success. Some things seem like they don't take much effort like going to church and being a Christian. But that is a mistake because, we may not realise there is a war going on around us.

Stay alert and keep vigilant in your efforts to live for Jesus. Learn to use the weapons and skills He has given you.

Father, I look to you for protection. Strengthen me to be a vigilant worker in Your kingdom.

For further reading on this subject, go to some posts on my other blog.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Northern Pintail


The 2 ducks having a horizontal white stripe on their head are Northern pintails. Also IDed with longer neck, white breast and male has thin pintail.

They are  dabbling ducks.

List of:American Dabbling Ducks
American Black Duck
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Gadwall
Green-winged Teal
Mallard
Mottled Duck
Northern Pintail
Northern Shoveler
Wood Duck

These ducks feed mainly on the top of the water rather than diving below for food.

The Northern Pintails average in population over five million. The added wetlands help to increase breeding. The population drops during dry years and increases in wet years. They hybrid with a number of different birds.

Pintails migrate early in spring and move north as soon as the wetlands are ice free.

This early migration is a type of eagerness that Christians should strive for. We should always be ready to go and serve as we are led by God.

1 Peter 3:15 "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;"

Father, I want to be eager to follow your directions.