Friday, December 30, 2016


Summer creek with little slope. The water only flows here during rain. There is a little bit of water flowing but not much.

Water finds the lowest point and creates a stream, washing all the dirt away leaving only rock. Streams come in two categories. Streams and intermittent streams. Intermittent streams only flow part of the year when there is enough rain to keep it flowing.

The life found in the stream varies according to how deep the water is and how fast the water flows. Some fish prefer fast flowing streams. While other fish can't handle fast water, only living in slower flowing water. The depth of the water will  dictate to an extent the fish that live there.

Christian growth is refereed to as being better if people live and use a stream instead of a lake or pond. If our source of water is on again and off again there would not be good health. We need to have  a steady diet of Scripture to thrive spiritually, along with fellowship, prayer, giving and serving.

Father, don't let me be an intermittent stream for You. I want to seek you with my whole heart.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Blacked Capped Chickadee

Small little bird that hangs around our feeder all winter. As I watch it come to the feeder, it first lands on a near by bush for 3 seconds. Then it flies to a branch above the feeder for a couple of seconds. Then it lands on the feeder and gets a seed. This takes about 1 to 2 seconds. It flew back to the bush to crack the seed shell and eat the kernel. After a few times of this it noticed I was sitting near by. The next time after getting a seed it flew to the other side of the street to eat the seed kernel. But the bird kept coming back because I was far enough away.

It has a long tail so the measurement is deceptive of 5 1/2". The House Sparrow measures 6 1/4" for comparison. This bird also has a shorter tail. The Blacked Capped Chickadee has a head a little big for its body size. We live on the southern end of the range in mid Missouri. The Carolina Chickadee comes into Missouri as well. Their calls are different but this does no good for identification, because they learn each others call.

They breed to a hybrid. The Blacked Capped has a little bit of gold in its breast while the Carolina has a white breast.

The bird is inquisitive and will come by when I'm hiking in the woods to see what I am up to.

They are able to store food and remember where they hid it and what kind of food is where. They can remember where they hid their food up to 28 days. They usually hide the food in tree bark or lichen patches.

Let us take the example of the Chickadee and store God's work in our heart for Christian living and spiritual nourishment.

Psalm 119:105 "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. KJV

Father, thank you for this fun bird that shows the way to live in the cold winter. Let me store your Word in my heart to serve You.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


The fog was heavy this morning bringing more moisture to the ground. Got a photo of frost on this small leaf.

Genesis 27:28
"Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, 
And of the fatness of the earth,
 And an abundance of grain and new wine;"

Father I look to you for sustenance and strength each day. Remind me to look for the morning dew in the morning.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Monarch Butterfly on Calico Aster

Psalm 121
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

God has given us His promises to rely on in life. There are many things that come our way but as we rely on God, He brings us through it all.

God is not asleep. He is with us through thick and thin. The problems in the day will not overwhelm you. And the problems at night will not destroy you. We can trust in God and rely on Him in all we face in life.

Can we believe God's promises? Yes we can believe Him. Reject the doubt that naturally comes with trials and instead trust what God says. Jesus is our savior, friend, helper and He is right now in heaven praying for us as we believe what He has promised us.

Father I look to you to help me through all the problems that come my way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

American Woodcock

Well camouflaged bird, that walks slowly along the forest floor. It probes for bugs in the forest soil with its long beak.

The unusual placement of their eyes permits them to keep watch for danger in the sky while they have their heads down searching for food.

The newly hatched chicks leave the nest a few hours after hatching and rely on their mother for food for only a week.

People are on the other end of the scale. We rely on our parents for 20 years or more. The more help you get, the better prepared you are for problems that lay ahead.

Proverbs 15:22 
"Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed."

Father, I look to You for guidance in my life. And to give me good friends to help me also.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Snow Geese

What a marvelous sight I found at a nearby wildlife refuge. And there are a lot more coming.  They were always honking. When more of them would take to the air volume went up. And the volume went down when most of the geese settled down on the water.

The population was down so far in 1916 that hunting was stopped. It was started again in 1975. The population is so high now that the breeding grounds in Canada are being damaged by the overpopulation. There are some dark birds in this species and they are called blues.

They breed in Canada all the way up to the Arctic ocean. They winter along the Mississippi river down to Mexico and the Gulf coast. Some Snow geese that winter along the Pacific ocean will breed up in Siberia and some of those that winter along the Atlantic ocean will breed in Greenland.

Females will spend up to 18 hours a day foraging for food at their breeding grounds. But once they are sitting on their eggs they don't eat much. The oldest known snow goose  was 27 1/2 years.

Wing span 54" weight 116 oz. (7 pounds 4 oz) 2-6 eggs a year with one brood.

They sound a warning by honking before they take off and we shold pay attention to the warnings written in the Bible.

Joel 2:1 "Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!......"

Father let me be aware of Your warnings and serve You to help others follow You.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

American Coot

I don't ever see coots flying. They are content to swim away or run along the top of the water. But today was different. This was not just another day at the lake for these coots. Danger was in the air. I saw a Bald Eagle and all the birds knew he was around.

Danger has a way of waking people up. Defenses and preparations are made. The trouble is most people don't have a clue there is danger and live life as if nothing at all is wrong.  But we have an enemy and he is prowling to devour people spiritually. Many are easy pickings and lose their life spiritually because of the devastation that comes their way.

Don't be an easy target. Instead prepare for the future by returning to God and staying close to Him.

Mark 4:15 "Some are like the seeds along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them."

1 Peter 5:8 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

Father, I look to you. For You will pluck my feet out of the net. (Palm 25:15)

Saturday, December 03, 2016


The Killdeer is a plover and is a shore bird. But they don't always stay by the shore. I found this bird at a baseball field. Their name comes from their call that sounds like a shrill killdeer.

Many of the plovers run along beach shores to gather their food. Killdeer run for a while than stop to see if they have stirred up any insects.
The oldest Killdeer was found rebanding in Kansas, 10 years and 11 months.

Killdeers will try a broken wing trick to get predators to not go near their nest.  This works fine but horses will still step on their nests as they roam through the pasture.

I enjoy seeing these birds and the energy they show as they work the ground for food. 

1 Peter 3:10 "For,The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit."

Father, thank you for the energy that comes from you to enjoy life and all You make.

Friday, December 02, 2016


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


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



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
Green-winged Teal
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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Males have black feathers and females have brown. They grow up to 9' tall and 320 pounds. Their diet consists of plants and bugs, locusts, snakes, lizards and rodents. Like all birds they eat sand and pebbles to digest their food.

They don't need to drink water. The plants they eat provide the water they need. But if they come to a watering hole they will drink from it.

Ostrich birds are the largest. They can't fly. Their bodies are built for running. They have been known to sprint up to 43 miles an hour and can maintain a run of 31 miles an hour.

They don't bury their head in the sand as fables have noted. But they do lie down with their head on the ground which may look like it is buried.

Isaiah 13:21 "But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there."

This verse refers to the destruction of Babylon. Ostriches show up where the land is desolate of civilization. As a type, the Ostrich represents desolation. Babylon was destroying Israel. God will support Israel and He will support us. We can trust God to come to our aid when the enemy strikes.

Father, lead me from desolation to the light of life.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

A nice shot of this butterfly on white flowers. Butterflies are attracted to flowers to get the nectar.

1 John 2:15-17
"Do not love the world nor the things in the world.
 If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life,
is not from the Father, but is from the world.
17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts;
but the one who does the will of God lives forever."

Watch what you respond to so that your life will be a blessing to others.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Large White Oak

Photo taken 10/18/2016
f9 1/500 12mm ISO 1600

This White oak dominates in these woods. The other trees are much smaller and looked to be from another generation. Why does one tree dominate while others fail to make the size. Part of the reason is the type of tree it is. White oaks grow to a large size if given the right conditions. 

These oaks need to grow in full sunlight to gain full potential. If the tree is overshadowed it will grow slowly and bide its time till there is an opening in the canopy. With full sunlight, the tree that had been growing slowly will start to grow faster.

Christians need to receive light from our Lord Jesus to grow to their potential. At the same time there needs also the fellowship of other believers to encourage and guide them to better growth. We need the right mix of freedom and support to mature. 

Father, guide me to stay focused on You. Whether I'm a small tree or a large one, I look to you for my support.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Swanson's Hawk

The nest of the Swanson's hawk is about 2' in diameter and about a foot high.

The oldest Swanson's hawk was caught for rebanding and was found to be 23 years and 11 months old. The North American breeding population runs abound 580,000.

These hawks have one the of the longest migrations of the American Raptors. When these hawks are breeding they eat the normal hawks diet of rodents, reptiles and rabbits. They will scour the open fields for food and nest in nearby trees along the edge of fields. After they are done breeding they make a major switch in diet to insects. They will run on foot after insects with their wings partly spread.

Maybe it is because they are adaptable to different diets that their population remains stable.

I find it interesting that a majestic hawk like this will chase after a lowly insect.

Proverbs 16:19 "It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."

Father, remind me to stay humble and look to You for my strength.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebes don't fly well. They are not spotted often in flight. Usually they are seen on the water. They are divers and are able to hold water in their feathers to allow them to dive and stay under water for a while. They eat a lot of their own feathers, which is used to filter their food so that harmful parts won't get into their intestines.

Their defense is to dive under water. Sometimes they are submerged with just their eyes and bill out for breathing.

They build their nests in the water. They use the plants in the water to anchor their nests.

Pied-billed Grebes are water birds like ducks and can be IDed by the thick bill and large head and brown feathers.

The large head reminds me at times of people that think they know something. We need to remember, it is not what we know, but what we can testify of that matters. Life with Jesus does not consist of knowledge alone, but what we do with our knowledge in love for others.

1 Corinthians 8:1 "...knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies."

Father, lead me in the love You have for me.

Monday, November 07, 2016

European Starlings

I was driving out of a nature area and I came across a flock of Starlings taking a bath in this puddle. Water was flying everywhere as you can see. Then all at once they took off in a cloud as if on cue. I had seen birds flying in formation like this but never seen them stopping to take a bath in unison. After flying around for a while they came back for another bath. I think it was because there was not enough room for all of them to utilize the puddle. Anyway it was interesting to watch them and their response to maintain formation in the flock.

They may be flying this way to protect themselves from a predator

The group is not led by a leader, but the flock of Starlings flies as a group. It is called Starling Murmuration.

Here is a youtube video of this type of formation.

This flying formation could represent the leading of the Holy Spirit on the church. We don't realize the Holy Spirit is leading others as He is leading us. We can rely on Him to guide us in difficult days.

Romans 8:26 "... the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words:"

Father, let me be led of Your Spirit to flow with the church to bring glory to Your name.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

White Throated Sparrow

These birds breed in Canada but have come south for the winter. We have not had a cool fall as normal, but these sparrows have arrived and I was glad to get a shot.

They sometimes mate with Dark eyed Juncos and produce  hybrids. These offspring have white tail feathers and look like dully marked White Throated sparrows.

They nest near the ground or up to 18" high. The oldest White Throated sparrow was found to be 14 years and 11 months. from a banding operation.

These birds don't stay long in one place and I was following this bird from branch to branch before I got my shot.

Like a sparrow that often moves our life is busy at times. We should be about the purposes of God and not just rest. Let us make sure what we do is profitable and we will be blessed.

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, I thank you for the work You have given me. I rejoice in the grace you have given me.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Clover Flower

This clover will winter and come the next year. It is used as a cover crop which keeps erosion in check by having it growing hold the ground during rain. One value is the plant fixes nitrogen in the soil. This nitrogen causes other plants to grow much better in the year to come.

This plant can be sown in fields that have been harvested but the stubble has not been tilled under.

Christians need strength in their life to produce fruit in the future. Having God's word hid in your heart builds strength if you use it.

We don't need strength when life is easy. But when troubles come we need the strength of God. How do we get access to strength? By turning to God and His promises. Rely on God and what He has promised and you can trust Him.

Lord I trust you and when troubles come I will not fear but put my eyes on You.

Psalm 112:7 "He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord."

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

European Starlings

There is little difference between the sexes in these Starlings. The female has a yellow ring along the edge of their iris.

Most birds have strong muscles to snap their bill shut. European Starlings muscles do the opposite. They force the bill open. This helps them grub through grassy areas to find food.

European Starlings present a problem with managed forests in that their droppings burn out an area where they roost. They are trying to move them from place to place to turn this problem into a benefit.

The Starlings thrive where man has altered the environment. From 100 birds released in Central Park of New York City in 1890-91. There are now, more than 200,000,000 birds in North America. The birds take over areas that had been used by local birds.

Just as Starlings have intruded into the population of North America. So bad influences can made their way into our lives. It is important to realize that there are long range results to the things we decide to do.

Some may say they will dabble in sin for a short time and then walk away. They think it will be fun and they won't get hurt. Instead they find they are trapped in the sin they thought was harmless and it may be decades before they are free. Some people never get free from their problems.

Proverbs 29:6 
"By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices."

Father, give me the grace to walk in Your light and not to fall into temptation. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Great Horned Owl

The most common owl in North America. They are fierce predators, which are able to take large birds such as Osprey and other owls. Of course they eat smaller animals also.

If you see a mass of agitated crows, they may be bothering a Great Horned owl. They may stay after the owl for hours. This owl is the greatest threat to the crow.

Owls have special feathers that allow them to fly quietly and sneak up on their prey. The primary feathers are divided like a comb. This configuration breaks up the turbulence of the wind passing over the wings, causing less noise. Owls wings also are wide and short allowing them to fly through a forest easier.

Because of the nocturnal life of owls they are associated with evil in the past. Owls and witches go together at Halloween.

Ephesians 5:11 "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;"

With a true knowledge of nature we understand the role owls play in nature. Yet because of superstitions and ignorance people are afraid at times. We should not fear problems when we have Christ with us. Instead we can rejoice in the victory we have had and will have in Christ as we serve Him.

Father, I thank you for Your guidance in my life and the victory that is coming by Your power and direction.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cedar Waxwing

The red spot on the wing is interesting. I don't see it often. This red spot is made up of a waxy substance in the mature birds. Females prefer birds with this marking. 2nd year birds usually don't have these markings. Older birds do have them. Therefore the waxwing name. They like to eat Cedar berries. 

The Cowbird will lay its eggs in the Cedar Waxwing nests. But they reject the eggs by either abandoning the nest or ejecting them. Sometimes they damage the eggs. 

Cedar Waxwings will eat old fruit that has been fermented which makes them drunk or kills the bird if they eat too many.

This alcohol is a type of the problems people face. I have never heard of a marriage that claims alcohol saved their marriage. I have seen a lot of marriages that are ruined by alcohol. I worked downtown for a number of years inspecting streets. During that time I ran into a lot of homeless people. Many of them had a real problem with alcohol. I have never heard of anyone getting their life back together because of alcohol.

Many families are hard up because of money being spent on alcohol instead of using it wisely. Alcohol is a problem and the best way to deal with it is to quit. Some can't without help. Jesus offers us the best help. Turn to Jesus with your life and He will bring you to peace. Not only peace, but a purpose in life. With Jesus we can live as we were made to live. Not with religious rules, but with the vibrancy of service that comes with the love Jesus gives us.

Luke 11:13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your [a]heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Psalm 121:2 "My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth."

Father, I look to you for Your help. I thank You for all You do for me.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Walked over this boardwalk. It goes for a mile or more. The land is not flooded currently but during rains the nearby river will overflow and flood this forest, leaving standing water.

Not much oxygen is in these low land soils. Some plants get their oxygen from from the stems that are spongy, which are able to absorb carbon dioxide from the air.

We are able to easily view this environment because of the boardwalk built for us. God has made a way for us to be with Him. He sent Jesus and died for us, paying for our sin. Now we can come to Him as we accept His free gift.

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Father, I don't want to ignore Your gift today. I decide to walk with You today. In Jesus name You will do it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Mississippi River

The Mississippi river has one of the main watersheds in the world. The Ohio, the Missouri and the Arkansas rivers flow into the Mississippi.

Here is a view of the Mississippi river from Hannibal Missouri.

In the north by St. Anthony Falls the flow rate is about 6 cubic feet a second. At the first lock and dam the flow rate is about 12,00 cubic feet a second. And by New Orleans the flow rate is 600,000 cubic feet a second.

I think of God's love when I see this type of river. The flow of God's love  and support for us is beyond what we can imagine.

Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,"

Father, I worship You, I praise You, I thank You for life, light and your purpose.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Young Red Headed Woodpecker

These birds gain insects from trees. But they also acquire food in flight. They will eat seeds and store the nuts for the future.

The young birds are the new generation that continue to live, breed, nest and give life and to our world. Their nature is passed on from parent to baby. Human nature and learning is passed on from the parents to their children. As Christians we teach our kids about God and how to follow Him.

Psalm 78:8
"And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God."

Let us not be unfaithful to God. Let us prepare our heart to receive God's word, believe it and follow it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sunlight on Pawpaw leaves

The large leaves of this Pawpaw sapling are receiving a bunch of sunlight. I find it interesting to see the different shades of green by the amount of sunlight the leaves receive.

I was looking for these leaves to have already turned yellow. Instead I get a green leaf photo. Many of the leaves have already fallen so more light is getting in.

This tree will never grow like an oak or maple. It is not made for that. It is happy, so to speak, to grow under the forest canopy of the giants.

Our growth at times is limited by the amount of light we receive. And other times our growth is limited by our ability to use what we receive. We grow in God as we position ourselves to receive from Him and rid our life of things that waste our time to hear and grow.

Ephesians 5:15-17 "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

Father, I give you my day to use for You. I listen for Your direction. So it will be in Jesus name.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Birds Devour Fruit

These birds are enjoying the bountiful fruit from a vine growing in my Eastern Red bud tree. The bottom bird is a Starling, the one in the middle could be a Cedar Waxwing and the top one is a Robin.

Matthew 6:25,26,33 
"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Can we trust God with our needs?  The Bible says we can, but there is a condition. Seek God first! How do we seek Him first? With our time, our money, and our priorities. Live for the purpose of pleasing God. We put Him first with all our heart, soul and strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

Monday, October 24, 2016

Blue Jay

I have been trying to get a photo of a Blue Jay for a long time. They seem to realize that and hide behind a leaf or branch so I don't have a clear shot. Yesterday I got this one.

Most of their diet is insects and nuts. They imitate the calls of hawks and the Red shouldered Hawk often. They are noisy and their presence is known from their noisy call. They don't have a regular migration. A bird may migrate one year and not the next.

Psalm 128:1,2
"How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you."

In their boisterous way Blue jays seem to be happy with their lot in life. Let us be happy as we walk with God. He will bless us as we minister as we are led. God will provide for our life to serve others. We can trust God to meet our needs as we meet the needs of others.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Red Tailed Hawk

I watched this hawk for 45 minutes, hoping for it to move to another position. He didn't move except to take another bite from his catch. He kept watch in all 4 directions constantly.

This reminds me of the verse in Psalm 130:6 "My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning."

Let us be awake to the world around us. There are many opportunities to share the Lord and to pray for the needy. Keep watch, the Lord will bring opportunities our way.

Father, I look to you for your guidance and direction in life. Let me see Your guidance. In Jesus name it will happen.