Ravenous Raptors

For a few days, I could only find one of the young hawks in the nest. Here it is all by its lonesome near the nest.  And then a few days later, it had ventured onto a nearby branch.  I still was unable to hear or see the other one.

On a branch near the nest

Wow! It sure has grown!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wandered all over the woodline, looking up into the pines to see if I could spot the other one.  I was a little concerned since I had photographed two in the nest only two weeks before.  Here is the woodline now as compared to how it looked when I first found the nest a few months ago.

Woodline area where nest is

Three months ago

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, I happened to be out on my deck and heard one of the parent hawks come flying and calling. Suddenly one, then TWO fledglings landed on the forest floor at the edge of my yard to be fed. I quietly (ha!) ran inside and grabbed my camera and Praise the Lord they were still there for some quick shots.  (Now I wonder if the two photos at the top of this post were of only one or both?)

Sharing is NOT an option!

I noticed one of them kind of covered the prize with its body and spread its wings out over the ground.  The one in the background does not appear to be pleased.  As I watched, the two squabbled for a while and then one flew off and the other got down to eating.

Yesterday while I was outside on my deck, the whole drama played out again.  One won; the other lost and flew away.  There is no way to know which won over the other, but they definitely look well-fed.  With both alive and well, I can breathe a sigh of relief.  As you can tell, I am definitely heart-invested in this family!

I am grateful as always for what Father sets before me, especially when I am feeling like I have been for the last week or so.  This coming Friday will mark 104 weeks since my husband passed away. Since he died on a Friday, they can sometimes be difficult for me. Although the actual date and two year mark will be a few days later, this Friday will probably hit me pretty hard.

Now can you see how the Lord blessed me so many years ago and set me here in this yard? 

Though gloomy may I be at times, I cannot help but smile when I walk outside.  He lifts me up, He brings me Joy, He helps me through it all.  My heart is one with Him even when I am side-tracked and don’t even realize it!

Thank you, Lord!

Posted in Bird Watching, Creation, Faith, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Night Visions

Isn’t it interesting how different things are and look at night?  It is a whole other world in my yard and sky. I love to just walk outside and sometimes turn on my yard lights and see who or what is wandering around.   It never gets “old” and often takes my breath away.

Last month with my backyard light on, I looked over at the Paulownia tree in the wood yard.  WOW!  It was heavily laden with blossoms that almost looked like they were fluorescent.  In the background, the sky was full of stars.  Obviously I needed to do my best to capture its beauty.

Truly a beautiful tree!

I had never noticed before the blossoms at night.  They are lovely during the day and their perfume fills the air.  But this?  I could not stop looking at it.

I was looking at the wood yard because that is where I feed my deer.  There are usually at least two deer there but there have been as many as seven at one time!  It’s interesting that sometimes they share or take turns.  Other times, one will just hog it all to herself and literally chase or beat off anyone else who gets too close to the food.  There is an occasional opossum and though rarely, a fox may be trotting through.  One time while the deer were feeding, an opossum walked by in front of me heading for the corn pan.  It walked right up to where the deer were and stuck its head into the pan.  I have no idea exactly what transpired at that moment in time, but the opossum took off and ran rapidly over and into the woods.  I didn’t know they could move that fast!

Several weeks ago, we had a super moon event.  I knew I wanted to get outside that night.  The moon  comes up in the eastern sky, which the front of my house faces.  As I saw the moon coming up, I hurried outside so I could start taking pictures.  My camera doesn’t do “night photos” that well, but I have learned how to trick it by zooming in and out and grabbing shots almost continuously.  I was in luck that night and some of the pictures came out pretty impressive considering all of that.

I then moved around and started capturing the moon behind some of the branches of my redbud tree.  These are some of my favorites.

 

 

 

 

And then there is the frog/toad symphony that plays for me every night.  They astonish me with all the variety of sounds they make.  Here’s a little piece for your enjoyment. 

Well, there’s a taste of what it’s like to visit my yard at night.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I do.  Every night.

And that’s one more reason for me to be thankful.  Nature is a reflection of the Glory and Love of its Creator.  How incredible must Eden have been?  Through the lens of my heart, I can, in my wildest imaginings, envision it.  Granted lowly me could never come close to “seeing” the real thing.  For now.  But here, I can at least appreciate what I do have and breathe in the wonder of the promise to come.

Living your life with Jesus in your heart with Him leading and guiding you truly is the only way to get through this life.  The heart-led way is the only way to truly be able to see and know what is real in this world.  It is a connectedness with His world that enables a true communion with Him.  It requires a commitment on our part and that can be quite the struggle because we humans naturally lack that ability to let go of our own reason and wants.  But, He has been committed to us since Creation and will always provide us the means and the faith to overcome that.  See my post here for a deeper look at Heart-Led living

In my heart, I know this to be true:     Isaiah 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.”

Until that day, I will have my night visions to dwell upon and enjoy.  I do so hope you find joy in what is around you as well.  Way too much fun to miss out on that!

 

Side note:  A lot has occurred with my hawk family.  Until enough time has passed to adequately update you, the continuing story will be on hold for now……

Posted in Faith, God, Heart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tears and Joy

It was a busy Friday. Both of my granddaughters needed to get to different places at the same time while their Mom was working. That was accomplished by mid-morning. Then my grandson and I wanted to run some errands and get myself a new television. We got back to my house in the middle of the afternoon. I went out on the deck just to relax before we came up with more stuff to do.

While I was sitting outside, I looked over to the woods and to my horror I watched one of the baby hawks fall to the ground beneath the nest. I kind of panicked at first. I quietly and slowly walked over to see if it had survived the fall. It definitely did.

Definitely perky.

Alive and maybe well?

Immediately I got onto my computer and began searching for anybody in our state that I could call for advice or help. Most of the Raptor rescue organizations I called had no one available and was told to leave a message. I really wanted to talk to a human being. I finally found somebody who answered their phone and they gave me a number of an organization near me that I could call.

I called and there was a long voicemail message explaining to me what all they can help with and what particular Raptors they can respond to. After a while I was routed to a person with whom I talked about my situation. During my looking around on the web I saw repeated advice about what to do with a baby should someone find one and the person with whom I spoke concurred.

You should try to return the bird to the nest if possible. Obviously I can’t climb a tree 40 or 50 feet up. The next suggestion was to find a suitable box or an old laundry basket and fill it with nesting material as fast as possible. Then to try to get it up a tree at least eight feet and secure it. I told the gentleman that I was speaking with that I really had no way to do it myself. He told me he would reach out to anyone who might be nearby to help. In the meantime I told him I would check with some of my friends and neighbors and see if they could help me.

In the meantime, I was keeping a watchful eye on the baby.  One of its parents was nearby and flew down to the ground a distance away.  It slowly moved towards its baby who was very vocal toward its parent.

One of my neighbors whose office is nearby told me he would come as soon as he could. So I got busy finding an adequate box in which to place branches and pine boughs to form a nest inside. I did and made a nest as best as I could inside.  And, my neighbor showed up to help!

Not quite to spec I am sure!

We got my ladder and put it up on a pine that is right next to the nesting tree. We rounded up pieces of 1×4’s that I found around and in the barn and he built a platform. He then screwed the box into the platform so it wouldn’t fall off. Up in the tree he secured the platform and the nest box with screws into the tree.

With leather gloves on I picked the little baby up and handed it to him on the ladder. And the baby was gently placed into the box.

Now to put it in its “nest box”

At first I didn’t see the baby doing anything and then pretty soon you could see its little head sticking up inside the box. Mom and dad were flying around and one of them landed just above the baby but did not approach it. It was getting late in the day so all we could do is see if it made it through the night.

There’s that little head!

 

 

I was worried about the ladder staying by the tree because it had been strapped in so it wouldn’t fall over while it was being used.  Raccoons surely can climb and might get the baby. My son-in-law and grandkids came over and helped get the ladder away from the tree and back by the barn.

The next morning when I woke up I didn’t hear or see anything from the nest box. The ladder was no longer there of course.  I really didn’t think hauling it over there and then climbing up it would be a good idea for me anyway;  I would have to wait for somebody to come over and check on the baby for me.

That afternoon the kids came over again and checked on the baby with the ladder. The little baby had died in the night. Part of me wishes there was something else we could have done but I don’t know what that would have been. We had followed the only advice that I could find from reading or talking to the folks that know what they’re doing.

Baby was given a little burial ceremony by the guys deep in the woods. I know that it probably didn’t remain there very long but at least our hearts were in the right place and we did our best to try to save the little precious baby.  I was saddened and cried once I was alone again.

Today I heard the other baby hawk in the nest calling and I am sure I will see one or both of the parents taking care of it soon. And hopefully it will grow up and fledge and I will get to watch it as it matures into an adult here in my yard just as I did the two from last year.

However, I did want to take a picture of it for this post, so I just now grabbed my camera and walked out to the woodline.  It is cloudy out, but there’s enough light to grab as many pictures as I could.

Oh my gosh!  At first I thought my eyes were deceiving me since even with my readers, I can’t see all that well.  But no, they weren’t.  My heart leapt with joy!

Check this out:

What joy filled my heart!

As you can see, these two are much larger than the little one that fell out and died.  It must have hatched considerably later than the older ones.  And three mouths are a lot harder to feed for the parents and the smallest mouth seldom wins in the battle for food.

Death is a part of life for us all.  Thankfully it is simply the portal to our new life in Eternity with Our Lord Jesus.  For now, life in this world is what we make of it; how we deal with it; and most importantly, how grateful we are for the many blessings Father gives us while we are still here.

1 Cor 2:9  “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

John 14:2 ” In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

Wow!

(I will keep you updated)

Posted in Bird Watching, Creation, Faith, Family, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We have babies!!

In my last post (Rear View Mirror), I told about my red-shouldered hawk pair and their nest.  Today, I have some good news!

I was outside (as usual) this weekend and heard a sound that I was unfamiliar with.  It was coming from the treeline just about where the hawk nest is.  I smiled.  Deep inside I knew what it was.  I ran inside and grabbed my camera.  Y’all know the drill, so I needn’t go through all the wordy description of what all I did to use it.  He he

The little sound continued and I aimed the camera at the nest.  Once I was done, I headed back to the deck where I started scrolling through the pictures and zooming in.  I am not certain how old this little one is but I am fairly sure it is very young.  It’s hard to find images of newly hatched hawks anywhere to be able to figure that out.

Awww…. How sweet is this?

Just way too cute

 

Today, I thought I would see what the little  bird was up to.  And of course I had my camera hanging around my neck.  Mom and Dad were both around so I figured I would try to be quick about it.

Well, lookie here!

Wonder if we have boys, girls or both?

Twins for sure in any case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the yellow at the top of the beak?  I can’t wait to watch them grow and fledge.  Last year I only noticed them once they had left the nest.  This year I get to watch the whole process unfold right before me each day.  And I will be sure to keep you updated.

Now I am wondering if there is another egg or two yet to hatch?  It is not that unusual for red-shouldered hawks to lay three or four eggs.  That might be to ensure that at least one or two hatch and survive.  Last year I don’t how many eggs were laid, but we did have the two fledglings.  Their antics and pictures are covered in a previous post.

Sigh.  I am in love.  I am in love with Our Creator, Our Savior, Our LORD.  Saying that I am humbled by all that He showers me with would barely express how I feel.

I will tell you one thing.  I am so so grateful that in this crazy and mixed up world I have so very much to be thankful for.  My heart, filled with his Joy, overflows.

As I have said before, look around you.  See all there is to see that He has waiting for you.  And don’t forget to look up, down and all around you!

Father, thank You for Your Love and Gifts.  Thank You for filling my heart and showing me Your heart-led Way.  My mind will lure me into places that may not be where I need/want to be, but my heart, lead by You, will never stray.

 

Posted in Bird Watching, Creation, Faith, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rear View Mirror

Every day is a beautiful day and some days are especially so.  A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had not seen either of my hawks in the yard.  Since they had already built a nest this February, I thought it odd.  When I woke up the other Saturday morning, I went out on my deck with my cup of coffee.  It was a sunny day, with a slight breeze and it felt good.  I thought again how strange it has been without seeing a hawk in any of my trees.  Hmmmm……

I felt the urge to investigate. I went inside, grabbed my Canon and headed off to the edge of the yard where the pine grove stands.  I stood off about 50 feet or so from the “nest tree” and pointed then zoomed the camera in towards the nest.  As I did so, she (I assume) flew up and landed!  I guess my concerns were unfounded.

I believe she was tidying up;  all I could really see was her tail facing me but she was definitely fussing around.  Here is what I saw….

Well, talk about a butt shot!

Mom fussin’ and tidying up

 

All the while, I was snapping pictures as fast as my finger could press AFTER the camera focused that is.  (This Canon does take its time about that).  Soon she turned around and looked right at me.

Wow! How beautiful. And those eyes !!!

If you look/zoom in closely at her beak, it appears she has a feather in there.  Well, who wants loose feathers in your house?  Ha ha  Or maybe there is more to it than that but I sure couldn’t venture a guess on what it would be.  I guess she got tired of my nosiness or that feather needed to be gone so she flew off.

Once I was done taking pictures, I ran up to the deck and started scrolling through them all.  And me oh my, what did I find!!!  Talk about live motion capture at the exact right moment in time.

Off she goes with that feather in her beak!!

Do tell, what prompted me to grab the camera at that particular moment on that sunny day?  I hadn’t even had two sips of my coffee yet.  I am in awe of how amazingly blessed I am.

This June, it will be 28 years since I moved here.   I was dropping off my daughter to spend the night with a friend back then who lived across the street from here.  As I was backing out of their driveway and looked in the rear view mirror, I saw a “For Sale” sign in this front yard of mine.

The Lord knew how very much I would need this peaceful sanctuary of mine when I entered my later years.  I am so very grateful that I looked in that rear view mirror!

My entire backyard is like the middle of a beautiful meadow with trees and surrounded by forest.  Mighty pines, oaks, and cedar with scattered sweet gum, wild cherry, sycamore, wax myrtles and maples are here.  A sweet little creek runs in the back and a gazillion critters make their homes all around me.

How many times do we look in the rear view mirror of our lives and actually realize the fruits and blessings of the past events?  I know I have and do.  Every day, every beautiful day.

Yes it is, everyday, a beautiful day.  No one and nothing can change that for me.  And believe me, the evil one tries.  Often.  Everyday.

Thank you Father for blessing me as you do.  For showing me Your Love, Your Grace, Your Peace.  For giving me Your Strength against the powers of evil and those who do his will.  For filling my heart with Your Love to give and show to others.  For dying for me and all the world so one day, this gift I have in this world will become the New World, the New Creation.  Thank you!

God bless all of you!  Search for Him everywhere for He is there.  Wherever there is beauty, He is there.  He is here for you, for me, for all of the world.  Do find Him if you haven’t.  Get to know Him.  He is Truth and Love and all that is Good.

And don’t forget to look in the rear view mirror!

To read more about these beautiful creatures – My resident hawks  and a post about the fledglings here from last year – Young hawks

 

 

Posted in Bird Watching, Creation, Faith, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inasmuch as you did it unto Me

Waking up with the sun!

This past year has been quite challenging, but full of opportunities!  And, with the coming of Spring, I was really excited.  Not in a very long time has its arrival brought so much to my yard.  I am happy.

During these times of difficulties for so many, I have counted my blessings every day.  And I prayed and asked Father what can I do to help?  For He has blessed me over the years with so much – an ability to learn/grasp new things, an inherent love for people and nature, and the wisdom to get out of debt.  Deep inside of my little heart, He has filled me with His Love.

So I have been sharing in every way I can, mostly with my time.  Being retired and on my own, I have a lot of time.  I have helped quite a few folks with medical problems, working as a patient advocate.  I have learned about anatomy, disease, diagnostics, pathology, treatment protocols, etc. over the years.  With that knowledge, I can help folks talk to their doctors (with me the go-between), understand what the doctor is saying and recommending, thus enabling them to make wise decisions for themselves.  I visit in the hospital and pray with them, comfort them and just be there for them.

Father has also blessed me with the ability to recognize in plants (to a very limited degree mind you) the many healing powers they have to address so many of our ailments of whatever type.  Over the years, I have learned how to treat my own ailments and slowly to “know” what and how to treat others.

I also like to help people find their way through the maze of medicare or medicaid as well as applying for disability.  I have learned who and how one is qualified, how to apply properly and who to call specifically for assistance.  Some folks simply need someone to help them with their finances: how to reduce their debt, create an actual budget, or how to start saving for something.

I have donated to what I consider to be worthwhile charities, both local and international and to individuals who need help with supplies, transportation or food.

I am not telling you all of this for accolades from anyone.  I don’t care about all that.  Helping someone is its own reward.  Most importantly, I am doing my best to follow the Word of my Lord.

Matthew 25:35-36 “…for I was hungry and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me…. 40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it unto these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.”

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”

Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”  13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.”

A beautiful inspiration for giving is wonderfully expressed in the song “Thank you for giving to the Lord” by Raymond Bolz.  I heard a compilation of that song in this YouTube video : Thank you for Giving

I am so grateful and I pray that one day, His Glory will shine on me.  May I be found worthy!

 

 

 

Posted in Faith, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Blessed Am I !!

Oh me and oh my!  I have posted many times about my beautiful red-shouldered hawk pair and once again, I shall once more.

My beautiful pair

It has been almost non-stop rain here; and it soon will be again today.  By the end of this month, we may shatter our meteorological winter precipitation record from ’83-’84.   My yard is very mushy.

Anyway, the hawks have been mating daily right in the trees in my wood yard which lead me to believe that they have GOT to have a nest nearby in the pines.  I grabbed my Canon and started walking over there.  I saw the male watching me.  Pretty sure I must be getting close.

Pine grove at edge of yard

I walked over to the maple in the center of this photo and started looking up among the tops of the larger pines that you can see.  I had to kind of take my time and stay in and amongst the lower maple branches just in case he decided to thwart my objective.  Hee hee.  He has been bringing her delicacies often while she perches in one of the branches of my trees.  At the moment, however, he was still eyeballing me.

As I was gazing at the treetops, I saw what looked like a pretty decent sized nest made of branches and sticks and who knows what all else.  I started taking pictures.  Once I was done, I came back up on the deck and started looking at what I had taken.   WHOA!  I zoomed in on the nest and saw her.  Oh man!  I was so excited, I could hardly control myself!   Woo hoo.  I had found their nest.

Zoom in; she is to the right of the nest

Last year, their fledglings spent most of their “growing up” weeks being fed by their parents here.  Man, can they get L O U D!   See this previous post to find more….  Fledglings mentioned

I have no doubt their young will be raised here again this year.  Here are some interesting tidbits on timing:

Average incubation period: 33 days

They fledge after hatching: 35 – 49 days later

Parents feed them after fledging for: 56 – 70 days

From egg to “freedom” from parents: 124 – 152 days or 18 – 23 weeks

That’s quite a bit of time.  It is possible for them to have another brood, but golly the parents would be worn out after all that, don’t you think?  Hopefully, I will be posting more on this family as time goes by.

Words cannot even begin to describe how full my heart is.  I am in awe and feeling so blessed to have this amazing story to experience and to tell.  All of creation reaches out to us.  To have this yard where Father’s creatures are alive and speaking to me is surely one of His greatest gifts.  Oh, that all of us knew this.  Oh, that all of us could see and hear His Loving Gift to us ALL.

So, in spite of all the challenges and craziness of the world around us, Father gives us many ways to step out and away from this world and bring us into His.  Every moment, every day.  How blessed am I?

 

 

 

Posted in Bird Watching, Creation, Faith, God, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Wash Me!

Let there be light!

It was a really hot day and I had a lot to do in the yard.  Winter would be here soon and I really wanted to clean up what I could in the yard before it got too cold.  My “to do” list had gotten way too long with very few things crossed off, so I needed to get busy.

I worked a good five hours, taking breaks often since this little old body can’t go like it used to.  When I finally stopped for the day, I realized just how good it felt with what I had accomplished and how really tired I was.

I had to lay down, dirty and sweaty though I was; so I did.  As I was resting, thoughts started coming into my head that were not pleasant.  Feelings of grief from my husband’s death, feelings of anger because he had left me alone with so much to do and no one to help me, the manner of his death and the guilt of all the “woulda, coulda and shouldas” as if I could actually have stopped or changed anything enveloped me.  This deep and dark gloom settled onto and inside of me.  I went into a deep despair and started thinking things that no one should ever think.

As I laid there feeling so discouraged and sad, I started to sob.  I couldn’t stop.  And the crying didn’t help.  It made me feel worse.  I knew I needed to get up and shower.  I just could not stop crying or even will myself up out of the bed.

Something pushed me hard to do it anyway.  Not a voice, but something and it was pushing me hard.  What am I doing?  Why am I even bothering?  I didn’t even want be here anymore!

I forced myself up and dragged myself into the shower.  As I began to wash, I started praying from the depths of my heart. “Father, please!  As I cleanse this body, won’t you please take all this sadness, anxiety and grief and wash it off and out of me?  Rinse all this darkness and despair right down the drain?!”

I finally finished and grabbed the towel, tears still welling up in my eyes.  As I was drying off, I looked around inside of myself.  Then I noticed.  “It’s gone!” I shouted aloud.   “The sadness – it’s all gone”.  WOW!

I praised Father and thanked Him and literally shouted “Hallelujah”!  I was awestruck by His wonderful Love, Compassion and Grace.  How humbled I was that in His amazing kindness, He did that for me!  I felt so renewed and full of peace.   Now, those tears were tears of JOY!

How is it possible that He noticed my sadness?  That He was so aware of me and my pitiful heart?

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted  and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”    Psalm 34:18

How grateful am I.  He dwells inside of my heart!  And had my heart not been aware of Him and my mind submissive to my heart, I know there is no way I could ever KNOW Him and receive these many blessings.

Friend, shut off your mind to the world and to the many thoughts that race through it.  Father doesn’t work with and through us when we are focused on this world.  Satan rules this world and gains great pleasure when our hearts are not in sync with God.

Give your heart to Jesus.  You will be so glad you did!

Posted in Faith, God, Heart | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May I Be Found Worthy

If every little thing weighed me down, I would sink into the ground. 

I am still sensitive to people’s sayings or doings to me, but not so much other stuff!  My biggest weakness is getting my lil feelings hurt. 

It is only when my heart leads me, guides me and communes with our Father without my mind involved that I can even get through a day sometimes.

Without the Father, how else would we ever get through the day?  In spite of our ownselves!  One beautiful day at a time.  Him holding us up every daggone time we fall….   See Proverbs 24:16

It is time to bring joy to little and big hearts.  Time to escape the anger and rage.  Time to rejoice in Father’s Love and Gifts.  May we open our Hearts and may His Spirit join us there.  Oh, Lord, lead my heart to Thee.

One day, everyone will know Him; some to eternal life and others to perish.  Saddens my heart and brings me to my knees in gratitude and humility.  But not often enough!  Being fallen and under the wiles of the devil, that evil dragon who devours mankind, is challenging especially to those who know the Truth. 

I pray the Lord comes soon!   I pray I will be found worthy!  It is hard not to cry right now, knowing what a sinner I am and then knowing He loves me still.

Each day we choose how to be or not…..

 

And now, may I begin to share a few of the many photos that I have taken over the last (gosh, who knows?) how many months. 

This is one of the Northern Flicker family that comes and goes during certain times of the year in my yard. 

Amazing Colors

And the oh, so beautiful male Northern cardinal.  He is sitting in my redbud tree.

Northern Cardinal

My amazing Red-Shouldered hawks!     Here is a photo of them each in a tree.   One is at the center of the far right tree and the other is to the far upper left.  Open photos up so you can zoom in.  

Sigh! What a thrill

One of the pair who live here

Its mate (:^)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look how beautiful!

They will begin their amazing dance in the sky in late March or so.  Watching the male dive bomb her and halt in mid air, pivoting back skyward is amazing.  I have actually seen them mating one year in my sycamore tree! (Do a search of my posts for more about my hawks!)

May Father hold you near to Him.  May He bless you with the peace that only He can provide.  Hold tight – we are in for a ride and only with and through Him and His Mercy will we get to the other side! 

 

Posted in Faith, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Of Sunsets and Little Wrens

One evening as I walked out onto the deck and enjoyed the setting of the sun and the scurry of little birds heading for bed, I glanced to my right and gasped.  The pine grove along the edge of my yard looked like it was on fire.  I ran to grab my camera, praying what I saw would stay just long enough for me to take a few pictures so I could capture the beauty and, of course, share it with you!

Wow!

Woods on fire?

This brilliance I beheld only lasted for a few more minutes as the sun dropped.  Needless to say, I literally was transfixed as the oranges and yellows deepened and slowly disappeared, turning into purples and grays.  And then the early darkness set in.  I could still see the yard, but it wouldn’t be long until it was completely dark.  Granted, the clarity of this photo isn’t that great – maybe the lighting was off or user error?  (Ha Ha)

I am seriously in awe of all this beauty right here in my yard.  I have no words to even begin to say what leaps out of my heart and up out of my mouth and eyes – His Glory shines everywhere.  I sometimes tremble from it – not “fear” tremble; AWE tremble.

My deck faces the west, so as the sun starts to descend, it shines into my deck.  I have a tablecloth draped over a beam that serves as a curtain.  I un-clip and drop it down when sun rays shine into my eyes.  After the sun is behind the trees in my backyard, I clip it back up.  I just ran out and  took a picture of the curtain.  Even though it was barely peeking through the trees, I captured the sun as well.

My “curtain”

As you may have read in previous posts, I have a LOT of Carolina Wrens that live in my yard.  There are probably five different pair that live here because I see nests all over the place: under my stairs, in the shed, in the barn and who knows where else!

They wake up early and stay up pretty late for most in Bird World.  I can hear their little chitters and songs all day in the yard and in the woods. I will try to record them before I post this.  You will hear for yourself how sweet they are.  Well, I did it!

Here are a couple of pictures of those sweet, happy, chirping birds.  They love to climb up, under and all over my pallets, where I stack firewood close to the house during the winter.

Sweet little thing!

Look at that face and tail!

Anyway, each evening as darkness approaches, a little wren hops up onto the rail of my deck.  It will chitter and attempt to sneak over by the curtains as long as I have already tied it up.  If I am outside, I take that as my cue to exit the premises and I sneak back inside.

I watch from my kitchen window as it hops up on the bottom fold, then up along the inside to the top of the right side and just nestles in like a…. wren hammock?  The other night I snuck outside after it was totally dark and my backyard floodlight was on.  Sure enough, there it was all snuggled in.  I didn’t forget my camera.

Zoom in, top right

Ehhhh…… I did it for ya!

I really didn’t want to frighten it because birds do not see well at night and never in this world would I scare it out of its own bed!  I did look closer and saw its tail so I was able to determine that sure enough it was a wren.

Goodness!  I just now stepped out onto my deck before it got totally dark and what do I see?  A wren in that fold.  I frightened it.  No, them!  It was a Mom and she flew off by the shed.  A little baby one hopped out onto the beam and was unsure what to do while Mom was twittering at it.  Little one hopped into a fold on the top left and nestled in.  Time for me to go back inside!

But wait!  Two deer just walked up to their corn feeder.  Uhhhh….. well, more about my deer in a later post.  Back to the wrens…..

I opened my blinds so I can see.  It is still light enough out for me to barely make out anything.  Actually, I can’t see worth a hoot!  Oh well.  Time for a break.

Here I am, back again and you don’t even know how long I was gone (a couple of days actually – lots to do.  Ha)  So right now, it is getting dark again and so far, the little wrens have not come to their “bed”.  I guess if they do, I will know the next time I go out on the deck.

I sigh.  A good sigh.  A peaceful sigh.  An “all is right in my world” sigh.  Peace.  Real, true, peace.  Twenty seven years ago last month when I bought this place with small trees, who could have known that here I would be with all this peace and beauty around me?  All the trees have grown mighty and tall.  Birds and all kinds of creatures make them and my yard their home.

He knew though.  Father in all His wisdom and love knew.  How much it would mean to me.  How much I would need this at this time in my life.  His Creation in all its glory spreads like a lovely smile all around the world.  It beckons us to commune with it.  It shines forth His Glory to all of us.

Psalm 96:11-12 – Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

REJOICE IN THE LORD!  I am so humbly grateful that He has opened my heart to Him, to His gifts, to His JOY. Creation rejoices with me, with you, with all of us.

To God be the Glory!  Amen

 

 

Posted in Bird Watching, Creation, Faith, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments