Friday, February 19, 2016

Abandoned Pasture

This mess of trees is growing on an old pasture that was clear of trees when I hiked by this area 28 years ago.  This area is being taken over by pioneer trees that grow in open areas of heavy upland grass. After these trees run their course other trees able to grow taller will grow up here.

People say then want to have an area of nature stay the same, but that isn't possible with out management. For the forest is always changing and adapting to the environment and conditions through time.

Our life is like the soil of this pasture. What we allow or neglect will dictate what happens to us. If we let our life just go with the flow not much is accomplished. But if we apply ourselves to wisdom we grow as a person and become useful to ourselves and others.

Proverbs 2:2
"Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;"

Monday, February 15, 2016


Buffalo roamed the plains for 1000's of years. Until the settlers came and cleared them out.

The army needed a lot of buffalo to supply their troops with food and leather. Indians also were stampeding buffalo over cliffs for an easy kill harvest. There was a demand for the hides in the east and in Europe. People were conducting contests on how many buffalo they could kill. Then the government wanted to clear the buffalo out of the plains to force the Indians to the reservations.

Buffalo were down to just a few 1000 around 1900. But they have made a comeback to around 500,000 today.

 I was reading Theodore Roosevelt’s account of running a ranch in the Dakotas. They had a severe winter and many of their cattle died in the deep snows. Buffalo can survive the harsh winters on the northern plains of North America. They are adapted to the climate, while the cattle brought over from Europe are not.

Are we adapted to a life lived for Jesus? Or will the harshness at times that come to Christians cause us to forsake our beliefs?

Romans 8:17,18 
"and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

Friday, February 12, 2016


Walking in the woods I would come across some moss now and then at the trails edge. Some moss was sort of sketchy or sporadic with twig debris all through it. This was one of the better ones I found.

Moss will establish itself in the winter when most plants are dormant. 
Moss grows and thrives in poor and compacted soils. It thrives in the shady moist areas.

Though home owners would not usually like moss in their yards or on their house or buildings, moss is a beautiful plant. I enjoy the softness that it provides  color in the woods that is void of color and drab. I always enjoy finding it in the woods.

Just as moss in its right place is enjoyable, we can find peace in life as we live with  a purpose for God.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wolf Tree

A wolf tree is noticed while other trees blend into the forest.
What do wolf trees represent?
They take up more space than normal because of the lack of competition.
They become the dominate tree in the area.

Wolf trees take what others need to advance.  A wolf tree takes up space. Keeps other trees from growing by using up the sunlight.  The tree has many branches and usually does not grow tall. So the tree is not good for lumber.

Oh wolf tree growing in the park.
That started when the land was void of trees.
The land has now has change its purpose,
As other trees have grown, the land has on the map been marked.

The wolf tree is a picture of a person that does not have other people around it to help them or teach them or direct them. The tree never shed its lower branches because there were no other trees to shade out the lower parts of the tree. So the branches just kept growing and the tree became more and more dominate.

This can be a picture of people not having a proper place in society, therefore they grow and  develop in ways that are not useful.

Let us find our proper place with others that will enable us to develop useful skills. Let not our abilities go to waste but have them flourish as God gives.

Ezekiel 17:24
"All the trees of the field will know that I am the LORD; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will perform it."

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


Found cattails near a couple of ponds we have hiked by. Cattails offer a number of natural food options. For instance in March the new shoots coming up from the roots provide a substitute for pickles. Later that month you can spread out the leaves and the inner core of the plant tastes like  a cucumber. The top spike of the plant can be broken off and cooked like corn on the cob.

I have always found the plant by water, showing their adaptation to this environment. 

This walkway through the cattails was interesting.  We had hiked a ways to get to this place and enjoyed our time here. It will be nice to come back in the summer time to see these plants in full bloom and growth.

Isaiah 35:7
"The scorched land will become a pool
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
In the haunt of jackals, its resting place,
Grass becomes reeds and rushes."

Let the promise of God's rejuvenation bring hope to your life.

Saturday, February 06, 2016


Humidity turns from vapor to frost as the water particles touch the ice cold glass. The slight scratches on the glass directs the formation of crystals.

Frost is damaging to some plants. Farmers make every effort to protect their corps or plant according to the tables that show them the from frost free dates.  The water in the plants will expand breading the cells within the plant. This ruins the plant for market.

Just as frost damages plants so Christians need to guard their heart from turning cold. A cold heart is not receptive to the things of God. Without our being willing to receive from God we can't believe God's word and follow Him.

Psalm 78:47 "He destroyed their vines with hailstones And their sycamore trees with frost."

Lord let us not be cold towards You. Give us willing hearts that will respond to Your direction. Thank you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Crows on Guard

We drove to an area I new crows stayed at in the winter. Sure enough there were a bunch of crows flying back and forth between a park area and a row of trees. We parked in a gravel area where I positioned the car to photo the crows flying back and forth.

Crows summer and nest to the north and come south in the winter. I don't see crows around here in the summer. So I'm assuming they all leave. There are some crows that stay in an area all year around. If they stay in the Kansas City area I don't know of it.

Crows are moving more and more to urban areas. Could it be that they have learned that hunting is not allowed in the city? They will eat food waste that is around cities,.

They will roost in large groups. This could be for protection as an owl might attack at night. With a large group they will hear the alarm and scatter.

I have read they live up to at least 17 years. Though up to half of the new born crows don't make it long. One thing I always notice about crows they have a guard crow up in a tree watching for the crows that are foraging along the ground. If the guard crows sound the alarm the crows will all flay away.

Christians need to on guard as well. Many things will sneak up on us and hinder our walk and service for God.

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."

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Northern Pintail

Vast area of distribution. Breeds in northern Europe, Asia and North America. Then winters south down to the equator.

The stripe on the side of the head is distinctive. The duck has a longish neck and the bill is blue gray and gray legs and feet. The males long tail feathers give point to its name.

Hens call is course quack and males sounds like a woodwind instrument whistle.

The nesting area is many times far removed from water.

Psalm 81:10-16
"I, the Lord, am your God,
Who brought you up from the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
11 “But My people did not listen to My voice,
And Israel did not obey Me.
12 “So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,
To walk in their own devices.
13 “Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
14 “I would quickly subdue their enemies
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
15 “Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him,
And their time of punishment would be forever.
16 “But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Flood Recovery

This stand of Cottonwood trees have grown up since the 1993 flood along the Missouri river.

The land was formally farmland. After the flood the government took the land and allowed it to revert back to a natural wildlife area. The area is in the Big Muddy Wildlife area along the Missouri river.

Cottonwood trees do well in this wetland environment. You can see the work of beaver on a few trees that are showing whitish bark being chewed off by the beavers.

Growth comes to land after a flood disaster. The type of tree that seeds into a flooded area is a special type of tree that survives well in wet soil.

Christians also can bounce back after a disaster. The process of recovery is related to the type of problem they encounter. 

It says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."

God uses what Satan throws at us and turns it for our good and the good of others. Knowing this, we can look with expectancy for the good God will work in our life. Just as land managers expect nature to recover after a flood.