Monday, December 31, 2007


Back area stream that has logs laying across the stream. It is interesting how the boulders have broken off the hill side.

1 Samuel 2:2
" There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blue jay

Activity at my bird feeder yielded this photo of a Blue jay.

Here is a web page that has many photos.

Wikipedia as usual has a great site on Blue jays. Many times when I hike in the woods there is a Blue jay to announce my entrance into the woods. Or from the Blue jay's view his woods :)

They have quite a respiratory of bird calls.

Job 12:7
"But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

360 Video in Snow

I enjoy snow hikes. This video, shows the rough topography of the loess hills I hike in.

There were some flickers that I tried to get a photo of but they would not cooperate. But it was a nice day, about 2" of snow with temperatures around 30 degrees.

Isaiah 45:2
"I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars."

Friday, December 28, 2007

40" Diameter White Oak

I came across this Oak after measuring 2 38" oaks just a 100' uphill. Notice the tree stand where branches stem off from the bole of the tree.

Psalm 111:3 "Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

White Oak in Draw

Here is the tree I came across Christmas morning.

Below is the same White oak in early November, for comparison.

Psalm 66:5 "Come and see the works of God,
Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Throated Sparrow

I saw some sparrows rummaging around in the leaves and got a photo of this one. The yellow eye patch striped head with a white throat patch ID's it as a White Throated sparrow. Zonotrichia albicollis. Wikipedia has a good description and bird call example. They normally forage around in the ground for seeds.

Chipper Woods Bird Observatory also has some good photos.

These birds were hard to see. I zoomed in to 20x to shoot the photo and then cropped the photos even more to post it here.

Psalm 106:4 "Remember me, O LORD, in Your favor toward Your people;
Visit me with Your salvation."

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

photo taken 23-Mar-01
Christmas week is always the time I think of the coming year. Though all is bleak now, spring is coming. Great things happen with small beginnings.

Luke 2:8-20

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;

for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."

So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.

And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Iced Red Cedar

May each of you have a blessed and Merry Christmas.


Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."

Isaiah 9:6,7 "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

"There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Grape Vine Climbs Tree

Here was a unique vine climbing up some trees. My photos have become drab lately, which reflects the winter woods. So here are a couple of photos to liven up my blog.

Photos taken November 12th.

Psalm 119:50 "This is my comfort in my affliction,
That Your word has revived me."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hike Durning An Ice Storm

When I left for a hike it was 35 degrees, the weather said 3 to 5 inches of snow and rain first. When my dog and I got to the woods some ice pellets were falling but it wasn't bad. We had a great time hiking and looking at trees. I took a photo of this tree not sure what kind it is. But it may be easy to find with the vines climbing up it.

The ice pellets fell during all of our hike. My dog a black lab enjoys this kind of weather. When we got back the car she took off like a shot probably to get rid of some of her excess energy. Now as I write this she is curled up at my feet and the snow is coming down hard.

I measured the tree:
Height 94 feet This seems a little high. I hope to find this tree again to check my measurements.
Circumference 79"
Canopy 47' x 35' so average would be 41'
Total points 183

This tree (the one with the branch or sucker tree going off at about a 45 degree angle) is 120 degrees from the first tree and the creek is running at 50 degree.

24 inch stump about 15' in the air and the fallen tree points to my tree, I measured (when I sight along the tree) when I follow the creek that runs at 50 degrees.

Matthew 7:7,8 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Curving Shigle Oak

Walking through the woods I came across this Shingle oak. The curved branches at the top caught my eye. There doesn't seem to be anything straight on this tree. Unlike most shingle oaks this one has lost most of its leaves.

Isaiah 35:4 "Say to those with anxious heart,
Take courage, fear not
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

360 view of Woods II

I thought I would try another 360 view of woods. I am starting out shooting south with a south facing slope, which has most of the snow melted off. As I move to the east and north facing slopes there still is snow. There are a lot of hollows showing the rough topography of the area.

This area has better selection of trees than yesterday.

Isaiah 41:10 "Don not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you,
for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

360 Degree View of Woods

Here is a video of the woods I was in at lunch. There were no big trees here. Some may call this scrub woods. Pioneer woods would be more accurate. I am not far from some mature woods that look much different then these.

Notice the drop off as I turn around. These loess soils don't have rock in them and erode easily.

Psalm 54:2 "Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of y mouth."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

White Oak

Here is a white oak tree that I use to locate other points of interest in these woods.
I've got measurements which I want to double check.

This is amazing. I took this photo in Nov 2006 and the above photo in Dec 2007. I have almost the same angle in both photos. this angle probably gives the clearest shot of the tree. Other views may be much more obstructed.

My measurements on 26-Nov-06 were:
Height 79 feet
Circumference 120 inches
Canopy 76 feet
giving 218 tree points.

This is a tree that I come by often and I use a Persimmon tree that is 5 degrees from the White oak as a guide to find this tree.

Blocky bark of Persimmon tree.

John 14:6 "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Protected from Ice and Snow Fall

Here is an interesting photo with arrow showing how even winter woods may protect the ground against ice and snow. I don't really understand this, It is a north facing slope with the usual trees. This is another unanswered question that I will keep in the hopper.

Psalm 40:5
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You If I would declare and speak of them,They would be too numerous to count.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Blue Sky and Ice

The blue sky accents the iced trees.

Job 37:9
"Out of the south comes the storm, And out of the north the cold."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

White-breasted Nuthatch

It was quiet in the woods till I noticed this little fellow. A White-breasted nuthatch. I saw him but as I got my camera ready he moved to the side of the tree. I had to wait a while for him to come back. The funny thing about these birds is they always seem to eat upside down.

Here is a site that plays his song.

Job 35:11
"Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth. And makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Loess Valley

I took today off because of snow plowing duty coming up tomorrow. So off my dog and I went into the woods to explore. We took a new trail that had been built recently. I took it slow walking on ice. We were making a racket as we walked. We diffidently were not going to seek up on anything.

A bunch of turkeys ran to the left and to the right of as we came to the first main bend in the trail.

I am at a cross roads of valleys. This is looking East.

This is looking North.

And this view is looking west.

When I got to this point in my hike I wondered if I should continue further or head back. I figured that I had gone far enough in the ice, so my dog and I headed back to the car.

Psalm 23:4
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I fear no evil, for You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sun After Ice Storm

There is only a short time you can see the beauty of an ice storm once the sun comes out. The rays of the sun will immediately start melting the ice off the trees. I went out today at lunch and took photos of these beautiful trees. .

Here are some of the shots I got today

Psalm 66:5 "Come and see the works of God,
Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ring Billed Gulls

I saw some sea gulls flying up and down the Missouri river. Occasionally they would dip down to the river and get something.

I ID these as Ring-billed gulls because of the black wing tip with ringed bills and they are in Missouri in the winter. The ringed bill is not clear but I don't see any other gulls having a spot on the top of their bills.

I noticed that we are located on the northern edge of their range. These gulls might be passing through on their way south.

Psalm 103:19 "The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Storm

Ice storms are caused when warm air approaches an area cold enough to freeze. The rain falls on freezing cold ground, forming ice. We get these storm a lot around here sometimes losing tree limbs and electric power. Not a lot of damage happened today.

Psalm 147:17
"He casts forth His ice as fragments;Who can stand before His cold?"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Box Elder / Acer Negundo

Here is a Box elder maple that was cut down under a power line. Notice the heart rot that rings the tree.

Below is a photo of the stump showing the red stain that seeps into the good wood from the heart rot.

One of many things I am looking for is an explanation of what is going on with the red stain?

Matthew 13:45,46 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,

and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sumac in Winter

Here is the sumac in winter. The season takes away the beauty of fall. But the winter sleep of the plants waits for the warmth of the coming spring.

Yesterdays post showed the way they looked with their fall colors.

Psalm 104:31 "Let the glory of the LORD endure forever;
Let the LORD be glad in His works;"

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Smooth Sumac / Rhus glabra

Driving back to my office at the end of the workday, early November. I decided to cut through a park and came on these flaming red sumac. When I got home I keyed them as Smooth sumac. Along with smooth leaf edges a distinguishing characteristic is the bud is nearly enclosed by the leaf scar.

Indians crushed the fruit to make drinking water fresher.

In the Appalachia region Smooth sumac leaves were smoked to relieve asthma.

Psalm 16:8

"I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Friday, December 07, 2007

First snow of the 07-08 Season

I took a little time at lunch to get these close ups of Eastern Red Cedar.

Psalm 147:16
"He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Post Oak

Here is the second Post oak I have found. They are the 2 trees growing right together. This tree is in the same area as the other Post oak I found. As I look through these woods I will probably find more.

This tree is found in the transition from forest to prairie.

Colosians 1:13 "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son."

Twisted Tree

Sometimes this deformity could be caused by a vine that winds itself around the tree.

1 Peter 2:7-9 "and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men

(for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,