Sunday, December 31, 2017

Shagbark Hickory Bud and Leaf

Psalm 34:8-10
"O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing."

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Small Yellow Flower

Psalm 34:6,7
“This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.”

Monday, December 25, 2017


Sunflowers are the symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration.
They follow the movement of the sun from East to West and this process is known as heliotropism.
Sunflower oil is used to soften leather, condition hair, for wounds, as a cooking oil, it has been used for medicine, animal feed and is a bio-diesel fuel.
It is one of the fastest growing plants. It has been known to grow 12 feet in 6 months.
A single sunflower can have up to 1000 to 2000 seeds.

The heliotropism characteristic makes this flower interesting to me. It reminds me of the importance of always having the Lord before you in all you do. This attitude of doing things for the Lord keeps me on the right tract by not having my will but God's in view.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Sweet Pignut Hickory

Found this hickory and it keyed out to be Sweet Pignut Hickory. I'll have to wait till spring to check the leaves to make sure.  Below is the tight fissured bark which is typical of hickories.

Sweet Pignut Hickories have thin husks. More reasons to head to the woods. I can compare the difference between the two nuts. There are a lot of Bitternut hickories in the area to find.

Unique buds show the tree and its character. Another hickory has orange buds. They are fuzzy and it is a Bitternut hickory.

These buds below come from a Bitternut hickory tree. It will be interesting to look at the tree in the Spring to verify  what kind of tree this is.

The pith of the twig is brown and solid.

The Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting. His word is true and can be trusted in hard times. He is a Father to the fatherless, a friend to the friendless. Let us give Jesus the opportunity  to show Himself strong for us as we serve Him.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Virginia Creeper

One of  the first to show color in the fall.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, 
and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 20:16
"So the last shall be first, and the first last."

The lowly vine of Virginia Creeper has its time of beauty in its season. Let us not look at our position but our purpose. Do that well and you will be given more to do.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Hackberry in NKC vacant block

Found this Hackberry in a vacant lot. This is a good profile of the tree, showing the branch structure.

The buds hug the branch.

God is good and will help us and provide a way for us no matter what the problem. Live in expectation of His guidance and help. Look to Him and believe our creator that He can be trusted and taken at His word.

John 16:33
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Branches grow from Fallen Tree

I see this occasionally. A tree falls but does not completely die. Branches start growing from the bole of the fallen tree.

Even when what we try to do fails. There is still growth possible if we will keep at it. Never give up.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Poison Ivy

Three leaves, let it be. Is a saying I heard as a child. This plant has an oil that causes a bad rash on many people. If you think you have been exposed to this plant, wash your skin as if you were trying to get car grease off. Doing this will keep you from getting the rash.

This plant is a vine. It can't grow up off the ground by itself. 

Large Poison Ivy vine growing up this Persimmon tree.

Just as we may be exposed to Poison Ivy we may be adversely affected by the cares of this life. Just as this Poison Ivy vine is strongly attached to the tree. Sin, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, hardness of heart, a bad attitude, ungrateful heart will affect us adversely.

Jesus offers us the solution. Turn to Him and He will help you cut these these strongholds out of your life. To ignore this vine will put a strain on the tree causing it to die prematurely. When we ignore the sin that attaches to us we are hindered in living a fruitful life for Jesus.

Poison Ivy run amok can turn into a painful experience. Don't ignore God's direction. He wants to help us and heal us, so we can minister for Him to others.

John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Father, be merciful to me a sinner. Guide me by your Spirit to leave the old ways of the world and walk in newness of life. In Jesus name. Let it be.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lightning Strike Cottonwood

I came across this tree last summer. There was a lot of bark on the ground that seemed to be stripped by the lightning strike. It is interesting to watch the results of this event. I watched a Kentucky Coffee tree a few years ago after it was hit by lightning and it ended up dying in a couple of years.

Even when disaster strikes us we have victory in Jesus. 

Romans 8:37-39
"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, 
nor angels, nor principalities, 
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, 
will be able to separate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Monday, November 27, 2017

Squirrel making use of Tree Cavity

Found a squirrel making use of a tree cavity for a home.

The Lord will bless us in life as we follow Him. He will show us places that will protect us from the storms of life. He will lead us to green pastures that will nourish our inner man.

Psalm 23:1-3
"The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake."

Sunday, November 26, 2017

River Birch

Circumference 37.5" The stem to the right was 32 5/8" but not used in the points.
Height measured at 52'
Branch canopy measured at 56' 40'
Total points 102

This tree is an ornamental planting in a park. They are usually found along rivers. The tree grows in open areas. If it is overshadowed by other trees, it will die out.

The paper thin bark of this tree makes it unique. Horizontal lines in the bark also are unique. The buds hug the twig.

I found a leaf that shows its characteristics.

It is unusual that the male catkins remain on the tree after the leaves have fallen. Is it unique for this species?

The variety of nature never seems to end. The same with people. We are all unique and offer to God and others an ability and gifts that others don't have.

Ephesians 2:10
"For we are His workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand 
so that we would walk in them."

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Muskrat Home

This wildlife area had some muskrat lodges in the ponds. They build them out of mud and sticks and make the entrance under the water. Swimming in the water they access their lodge from underneath and then come up into their dry living area.

They get their name from their musky smell. They are 16-25" long including an 8-11" tail. In the wild they live 1 - 3 years. They have web hind feet for swimming and smaller feet in front for digging. They eat mostly a plant based diet.

Muskrat lodges amidst ducks in water,
Open sky and peaceful surroundings.

Looking for photos amidst nature,
and I am the spotter.

Muskrat lodges made of plants and mud,
their entrance is accessed under water.

They live secluded in their home,
but most would call it a dud.

Busyness and progress pass them by,
the acquiring of stuff is the thing.

In the end a dumpster is used to clean it all out,
but the lowly muskrat will still be there by and by.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


We spend a lot of time hiking trails in nature. They make the way much easier and they are going somewhere. I go off trail often. It is not to go somewhere, but to observe life where I am. When I want to get somewhere I usually stay on the trail.

Many times it is going and not arriving that we aim for. Spiritual, mental and physical health benefits are gained by spending time in nature. Nature is a reflection of God's handiwork. I look for insights to life by observing nature.

Go with God in worship and thankfulness in all you do.

Isaiah 55:11,12 
"so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Record Eastern Cottonwood

Reading an article written 2014 I became aware of a record tree that I would have easy access to. We went by there yesterday and measured the cottonwood. While we were there a small branch fell but the tree is fairly healthy as far as I could tell. 

The tree diameter is 112" which is a circumference of 351.8"
The height is 79'
The tree canopy is 123' and 107'
Giving 460 total points for the tree.

An Old Tree

A tree grows in a field,
unnoticed by many.

Time passes by,
some trees grow others are cut down.

Houses are built,
roads are laid down,
children play,
families gather under its shade.

Each year the tree expands,
as the sun gives its warmth.

Winter brings the snows
It withstands the driving rains.

The tree waits for the spring,
responding with growth to the return of warmth.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sleeping Ducks

Here is a group of Mallards asleep on the water. A quiet scene in nature. If you let it nature can calm your soul from the rush of life. Wait on the Lord and let your heart take courage. He will do great things as we trust in Him and let His power flow through us.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bent Tree

I see in this tree an ability to grow in adversity. Winds come against it but it withstands the wind. The ground it grew on may have shifted but it adjusted its growth. Or there may have been a tree to its left that died off and is no more. The tree grew around it to find the sun and continues its growth.

We may be a bent tree but are continuing to follow Jesus. Our past may have been messy but that is not deterring us from our quest of following Jesus.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Eastern Hophornbeam

Here is a close up of the bud of this tree and the shredded bark below.

This tree has wood that is harder than Osage Orange. I cut some Osage Orange about 1994. Those 2 logs are still sitting in my back yard and are not rotting at all. The Hophornbeam tree would make excellent fence posts or tool handles. The only tree that has harder wood is the Flowering Dogwood.

The withered leaf below shows the serrated edge that looks similar to elm leafs also beech trees.

Just as the wood of the Eastern Hophornbeam is hard, Christian can show strength against adversity with reliance upon the Lord and the promises He gives us to live in a fallen world.

Here is a link to other posts on this tree.