Friday, February 29, 2008

Hackberry Roots

Here is an interesting photo of roots exposed by erosion from 2 Hackberry trees.

Colossians 2:7
"Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


One of the main reasons that I am drawn to nature is the quietness that I find in the woods.

I found this rough bench off trail in the woods a couple of weeks ago. It symbolizes for me the opportunity for reflection and meditation that returns peace to my soul when I am troubled by many problems that are not as important as I make them out to be.

When in nature I can stop and consider what Jesus is teaching me through the problems I face and the Scriptures I read. I could get the same thing by closing my eyes and stilling my soul anywhere I find myself, but the woods offers the opportunity freely.

There is something about being among trees with branches raised to their creator that speaks to me of worship. The different types of tree that I find in different woods explains that God has made people different and where one will excel, in another circumstance another type of person will excel.

These woods have always been here. It is as if they are waiting for me to come and be renewed. God is always speaking and waits for us to come to Him. My life is richer when I hear from Him and understand His ways.

Isaiah 41:1a
"Coastlands, listen to Me in silence,
and let the peoples gain new strength."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gouty Oak Gaul on Shingle Oak

Here is the upper story of a Shingle oak that has these growths.

This growth is caused by a tiny wasp producing a chemical causing this growth reaction.

Isaiah 59:1
"Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chinquapin Oak Disease?

Here is disease like growth that is occurring on this Chinquapin. The knobs have multi sprouts.

Isaiah 53:5
"But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Downy Woodpecker

Friday's lunch hike yielded this Downy woodpecker.

Downy and Harry woodpeckers are the only ones with a white back in the middle.
Harry woodpecker is larger and has a longer beak. Though I couldn't see the beak in any of the photos I took and being far away, I am not positive that the woodpecker is of the smaller size.

I heard the woodpecker for a while before I saw it. Being patient and scanning the branches above I finally spotted it.

This photo shows how the tail is used to brace against the tree when the woodpecker is after food.

Jeremiah 17:210
"I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Field Sparrow

There was a flock of these Field sparrows sitting in a tree. By the time I got my camera out they were gone. I did get some shots of birds on the snow. they would fly back to the tree, but again I was not quick enough to get a photo.

Field sparrows have a rusty cap with a pink bill and the eye stripe is less noticeable, than other sparrows with a rusty cap.

Wind is blowing the feathers making it look like this bird has a crown.

Matthew 10:29
" Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Black Cherry Bark

Black cherry, Prunus serotina, young bark has characteristic short horizontal lenticles.

John 13:34,35

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Eastern Red Cedar

Many disparage the Eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana. I like it because it grows where many trees won't grow. In my neck of the woods, it adds color in the winter when all the other trees are in winter rest.

The tree is a widely distributed tree, meaning it can withstand a wide variation of climate conditions. It may be found on abandoned fields, dry exposed sites. It is a good tree to reclaim strip mine areas and shelter belts in the plains.

Many of the seeds are eaten by birds and those digested seeds may germinate afterwards.

Eastern red cedar has a low capacity for water loss, which helps it adapt to dry environments.

It provides important nesting sites for many birds.

Close up of the foliage.


Here is a photo showing how it will occupy a rocky cut bank area along a road.

These last 3 photos show the different colors that the tree will have in the winter.

2 Samuel 5:11
"Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a house for David."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What is Eating the Bark off of These Saplings?

During my hike recently I came across these saplings that had the bark eaten off. What ate them? My first guess would be possums. But it is a mystery.

Matthew 18:7
"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Post Oak Sapling Revisited

This contrast between fall and winter in the leaf color is similar to the Shingle oak. The above photo was taken 15Feb08 and the bottom photo was taken the 1st half of November 2007.

John 37:37,38 "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine / Pinus strobus is of the white pine group. This group of pines have 5 needles per bundle compared to the yellow pines which have either 2 or 3 needles per bundle.

The tree will grow for 200 years if left undisturbed. There are reports of a maximum age of 450 years. The tree does better than others in marginal forest soil types.

The needles of white pine look finer than yellow pine trees. I can tell a white pine by the look of softness of the needles from a distance.

The trees put on a whirl of branches each year. You can estimate how old a tree is by counting the number of whorls up the bowl of the tree.

One of the few cones not decayed by February 13th.

Eastern White Pine has 5 needles per bundle. White pine do not grow naturaly in western Missouri. So I go to parks to look for planted trees.

There are 2 main pests of white pines. Blister Rust and White Pine Weevil. Keeping the tree away from damp areas or pruning the lower branches up to 9' off the ground will go a long way in protecting them from pests. Allowing the tree to grow up under other trees until they are at least 20' tall will protect them as well.

Psalm 147:2,3 "The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bur Oak Along Creek

Photo shooting southwest.

Photo below shooting north.

I am fairly certain that I measured this tree about 3 years ago. But finding my notes will take some time. Below is the measurements I took the 14th of February 2008

Height 69'
Canopy 80'
Circumference 127"
Total Points 216

The trees along the creek and the hillside were not as tall as the trees further to the south. Therefore the quality of the ground for tree growth was inferior.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Red Oak

Here is a Red oak in the photo above it is to the left of the tree on the far right. I call it a Red oak not knowing exactly what species it is. The 2 red oaks I run across in woods in west central Missouri are Northern red oak and Shumard oak.

I measured this tree:
height 89'
circumference of 99"
Canopy of 62'
Total points 204

Here is a close up of the tight bark characteristic of red oaks. They are healthy trees, growing to dominate the forest.

Isaiah 66:1,2

"Thus says the LORD,
'Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?

For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being," declares the LORD
But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.' "

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shigle Oak Sapling Fall to Winter

Below is the photo taken in November 2007 above is the same sapling of a Shingle Oak taken February 9th 2008. I usually don't see color (or have noticed the difference) in the Shingle oaks during the fall.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Multi Stemed Chinquapin Oak

I came across this multi stemmed Chinquapin oak on my lunch hike today. Some of the questions I have about this are was this caused by sprouts from an old stump? Did the trees grow together?

Sometimes the tree is weakened by this type of stump. I will find one side of the tree fallen often in the woods.

Psalm 133:1
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hackberry Rotted

Here is a Hackberry tree that has one side of its stump rotted but the tree seems to be unharmed.

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

Monday, February 11, 2008

Video of Snag Debris

This snag has debris that has fallen down the hill.

I don't know what kind of tree it was, but it seemed to dominate the forest.

James 3:13-18
13Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Moccasin Speaks

My wife's mother's former roommate's (in the 1940's) sister-in-law wrote the book about her grandmother being captured by Indians. Whew. When my wife told me that the first time, I was lost in one of the steps. After about 3 times of telling me I had her write it down.

This is a story of an unfortunate family heading west to settle. Unknown to the family that part of the country was experiencing an Indian war in southwest Kansas and surrounding areas.

The writer goes back and researches the history of what happened and organized a reconciliation reunion with the Indian descendants.

As always, you can click on photo to see larger image.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Kentucky Coffee Tree

Today I came across a Kentucky Coffee tree. Gymnocladus dioica

Notice that the bark has long narrow strips.
Twigs are stout.
The leaves are twice compound.

The name came from the seed pods which have been boiled to make a coffee drink. Indians did this and also during the Civil war it was tried.

Lumber is redish and coarse but it polishes well.

Its hard to tell which tree I am talking about. The Kentucky coffee tree is the one in the middle. It is at the beginning of the trail.

Here you can see the seed pods left on the tree in February.

A close up of the seed pods.

This tree is not common in any location of Missouri but is scattered around the state.

Psalm 69:32,33
"You who seek God, let your heart revive.
For the Lord hears the needy,
And does not despise His who are prisoners."

Friday, February 08, 2008

White Wood on Dead Tree

This white wood caught my eye on a recent hike.

Psalm 119:97
"O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day."