“We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know Who holds tomorrow.”
It’s a mild Sunday morning, beautiful 70 degree temperature with a few clouds promising rain later in the day. My husband and I have recently returned home from church, he enjoyed some banana-oat and I some yummy buckwheat pancakes:) We have now settled into our own little writing nooks….he is busily editing a book, and I have been thinking about today’s sermon, which was on worry. It brings many images from the Bible to my mind….some of which point to how God takes care of nature as our example. I thought I’d add some photos with a few scriptures as my takeaway from a theme that’s good to be reminded of daily.
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Mt. 6:26,27
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Mt. 10:29-31
The above picture is of a bird I rescued after it flew into our window. Every time I hear a thump, which is sadly often, I race to the window to see if I can spot the victim and get to it before my cat does. I’m amazed at how much I care for these little birds, which I had nothing to do with bringing into the earth, and then, how much more our heavenly Father cares for us!
” And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Luke:25-27
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you…Mt.6:30
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself…Ps.84:3
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Ps. 91:4
A phrase our pastor said that really stuck out to me was…
“To worry is to imagine a time when God will not be with you.”
God has already promised us in Mathew 28:20
“And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.”
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6,7
Of all the beauty that our loving, heavenly father created, there is none more precious to Him than us…..
Psalm 8:3-9English Standard Version (ESV)
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[a] and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
At the moment, I am sitting on a deck in West Virginia watching and listening to a thunderstorm roll in and thankful that it waited until after our morning hike. I love a good thunderstorm, especially when they are so conveniently timed. Since our hiking is on hold, I thought it would be a great time to pull out my morning-time memories from July.
I know some people are not very keen on spiders, but they don’t bother me if I know they aren’t poisonous and they don’t get in my way. We even had a beautiful argiope build a nest on the porch at our old home and we liked her so much we named her “Miss Nelly.” When the powerwasher came to clean the house, he thought I was crazy when I gave him strict instructions not to dare harm Miss Nelly!
Back to July….and a web I saw the morning sunlight shining through-they can be a real work of art.
The home-wrecking wrens abandoned the nest they ousted the black-capped chickadees from…apparently the male wren may build several nests before the pair choose the nest to use. Below, mama wren is waiting for me to leave the porch so she can take the moth in her mouth to her waiting babies. She took over my hanging Fuschia plant, and I don’t know how long I was watering the poor eggs before I saw the wren and discovered the nest. All is well, I didn’t drown the fledglings, and I will post pictures of them soon.
I was very pleased this dragonfly stayed perched on a Tiger lily bud long enough for me to get a picture…
The autumn sedum is gearing up for its fall show with emerging buds…
Black-eyed Susans, Russian sage, and hosta blooms really come into their own in July…
Russian Sage with Black-eyed Susan in back
A mourning dove looking rather coy, or regal, not sure which….
One of my favorite little creatures enjoying some greens…
And finally, what would I do without my morning, or anytime, Harold sightings! He really showed me some new stuff this month.
First I caught him looking rather, for lack of a better description, bizarre…
I was actually worried about him when I first observed this strange wing “arrangement.” I watched him for a while until to my great relief, he flew away, allaying my fears that he was somehow hurt. When I googled this spread-wing posture, I learned that this can be done to dry their wings, keep their balance when perching, regulate body temperature and several other reasons.
Next, if I hadn’t known herons build their nest up high, I would have thought he was building a nest on one of his favorite perches during another morning observation of him. I watched him for a while as he grabbed different sticks off the fallen log and put them down into a pile before he finally found one he liked and flew off with it! I don’t know if he was adding it to a nest already in the making or if it was the stick he planned to use to woo a passing female with. Since nesting season is pretty much over, however, and herons stick with the same mate all season, I’m really not sure what Harold was up to… maybe the nest just needed some repair.
So, that wraps up my morning time from July in pictures! The rain stopped here in West Virginia, and my son and I were able to get in an after-dinner hike and take in some more scenery of this beautiful state. I look forward to sharing some of those pictures with you!
Until next time!
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love…Psalm 143:8
“No price is set on the lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer.”
– James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfal
Dust from the fireworks has settled, Princess survived yet another year of booms and bangs, sure “they” were after her, and once again, like every year, I wonder how it’s possible that so much of summer has already gone by.
As I enjoyed looking back on my morning pictures from May once June arrived, I have done the same for my morning times in June. I love looking back at photos taken and relive some of the moments and memories of my early, quiet times on the porch and beyond.
The turtles were out in full force this month. I like them a little more when they stay in the creek, if they happen to be snapping turtles that is. I have not seen our pond visitor again up close as I did in May, but I spotted it’s relative sunning on this log with a friend….
and another duo with the same idea further out…
I always love the way the early morning sun highlights the ferns and glistens on the waterfall…and the moss on the rocks, well, that’s just the icing on the cake.
The American bullfrog in our pond that we have dubbed “cave-frog” still occupies his cave and was seen peeking out beyond the water grass one morning between croaks.
He is loud, but I had no idea just how loud till my neighbor across the street told me she could hear him! She is a nature enthusiast herself, so it was an appreciation not a complaint:)
As for flying creatures, our little hummingbirds have been enjoying their new feeders……..
And “Harold” was observed on several breakfast hunts…
Upon arising one morning I was greeted with our first hydrangea bloom of the summer, and by evening the same bush boasted several more blooms.
Replenishing my morning cup of coffee on another morning, I heard scratching on our porch, screen door. I looked to see a real cutie, who upon seeing me quickly ran off. I captured him resting his very visibly pounding heart before ascending the tree. The poor guy was beyond shaken.
I have no idea why he was intent on entering the house….I would say he was drawn by the aroma of coffee, but it was more likely that he was running from our cat, “Gladiator Gabby.”
The large trees in our back yard are a wonderful habitat for birds, especially the woodpeckers, but it was the sunlight streaming through the hole in the above tree that caught my eye on this particular morning.
Leaving a hotel one morning after a weekend trip, my son pointed out some adorable ducklings enjoying a morning swim. It was the mother with one of the ducklings near a blooming lily, that, of course, captured my attention the most…
And lastly, I have Princess to thank for the following picture taken at the end of June. Her morning vigil by the front door resulted in a sight I am ever so glad to have seen…
and kudos to the deer for allowing me to photograph her in front of such a lovely, blooming backdrop. She seemed to enjoy her morning stroll through the neighborhood, so I may see her again in the future.
Until next time!
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love…Psalm 143:8
“I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought. ” Helen Keller
The above quote could very well be mine…..there is never enough time spent on the beach. I usually leave the shore most reluctantly, the last to ever want to start packing up to go, as if, somehow, I’ll never be back again. There simply is nothing quite like the feeling one gets on the beach or the myriad of memories to be made there!
Not having to keep an eye on little ones of my own anymore on beach outings, I find my eye is drawn to the antics of other children on the beach. The two boys in the foreground of the above picture were so much fun to watch. They were about the same age difference apart as my own two sons, and brought back so many wonderful memories of our own beach days, gone too quickly by.
The larger group of boys in the picture were having the absolute time of their life! The squeals from them jumping the waves together as they came rolling in one after another quickly caught my attention and provided amusement to anyone watching.
I love the freedom and joy kids have to just be kids on a beach….laughing, squealing, jumping, running, playing, splashing….the sand and waves make for the most wonderful playground of all!
Add a bucket or a giant hole in the sand and what kid could ask for anything more!
Taking a walk down the beach we came upon this royal work of art. I can only imagine the fun had building this sand castle…I do hope they got pictures of their wonderful masterpiece!
My favorite sandcastle picture of all-time, however, is this picture taken years ago of my own two boys creating their ever favorite “drip castles.” There is a beautiful story behind this picture, but I will simply say, it is a tangible reminder to me of the love and care the very Creator of the waves and sand Himself has for me, and indeed, each of us.
I don’t remember seeing Brown pelicans on the beaches around here growing up, only seagulls. Perhaps I was too busy building my own sand castles to notice back then, but either way, I enjoy watching them now as an adult.
I can tell you pelicans don’t sneak in and steal your fries from under your nose when you least expect like the rascals below have been known to do! And as more than a few members of my family will attest to, they also have habits a littlemore annoying and messy than simply stealing your fries! Still, the beach would not be the same without the sounds of gulls in the background.
By far, the best way to end any beach day is sitting around a bon-fire with family and friends…a true highlight of any summertime memory.
I wish you and yours many wonderful summer moments, beachside or not:)
First, I have to thank my younger son for sharing this picture of the dock and for taking a film class in a building with such a gorgeous view:)
Usually when I visit one of the nearby beach towns this time of year, I’m either sitting on the beach or riding one of the cycling paths nearby. It’s rare that I have the opportunity to just sit on a dock and enjoy the bayside beauty and rarer still to find such a peaceful, quiet dock in the month of June. When my husband and I dropped our son off for his first film class, I wasted no time in grabbing my camera and settling in by the bay to capture some salty-air scenery.
The Phragmitespictured above and below, while beautiful, can be very invasive, unfortunately, choking out other native grasses or taking over too much shoreline. It has many positive uses, though, besides being very scenic; it provides a wonderful habitat for several species of birds, it is used to make a musical instrument similar to the clarinet, its stem and seeds atop the stem are edible, the reeds can be woven into baskets, or used in thatch roofs-these are just some of its many uses in various parts of the world.
It apparently also makes wonderful nesting material, as this house sparrow proved…
This black bird, I believe a Grackle, was also a fun little guy to watch as he went flitting through the reeds…
Now, since I was on the dock of the bay, I did get a few underwater creatures, for instance, the famous Maryland Blue crab:
A little hard to see through the bay water, but the pretty blue markings are still visible. A few were getting close to the crab trap (below), and I wished I could send a warning down to them to back away!! I must admit, though, I don’t feel so kindly towards them when they pinch my feet in the ocean!
The last bay inhabitant I took a picture of is the horseshoe crab. Sadly, I usually only see these washed up on the beaches, so it was nice to see them swimming around, making designs on the sandy bottom with their dragging tails. I learned many interesting facts about them at the link above… from their blue blood being used in the medical field to their link to the survival of the long distance migratory bird, the red knot. For an interesting video of the horseshoe crab click here.
While a fascinating creature, it does not make for the prettiest picture with the barnacles on its back, so I’ll end the post with another pretty topical view of the bay.
Next stop, the beach. See you there!
A little music for your listening pleasure, the inspiration for this post title, enjoy!
May and October are without a doubt my two favorite months of the year. Of course, each month has its share of beauty, but this spring and fall month, in my opinion (and my hemisphere), outshine them all. So, while we are now in the first week of June (already!), looking back on some of my special morning sightings in May helps me hold on to that spectacular month just a little bit longer!
I’m not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, when we first married, my husband actually thought I must be ill because of how late I would sleep…no, I’m not divulging the hour! I don’t sleep anywhere near that late now, but I am quite groggy for a while after rising and really don’t know what I’d do without my morning coffee.
These coffee times, as I sit and stare, and then stare some more, have proven to be some of the best times to observe much of the first stirrings of nature and the beauty of the sun’s early rays on foliage and flowers. With my camera ever at my side, it’s rare that I ever get down a cup of coffee before it cools off, but I’m able to capture some special moments, so sometimes warm coffee will just have to do!
I never tire of seeing my beautiful cardinals…this was a rare picture of them together in the tree. I have only observed them together when at the feeder or ground-feeding.
Spring is a very active time for the creek…ducks, eagles, geese, and even spawning fish keep the area very busy and very noisy if you add frogs to the mix!
I had to chuckle to myself as I watched this male and female goose swim by. Though not obvious in the picture, the assumed male is much ahead as the female followed slowly behind, seemingly taking in all of the delightful sights as she swam happily along, while hubby up ahead was clearly on a mission.
For whatever reason, all I could think about was how this was a great representation of what my husband and I look like when we go to the mall together!
On the day our pond was emptied and cleaned in early May, I was able to see and count almost forty bullfrog tadpoles. I had never seen a bullfrog tadpole and was thrilled to have the opportunity to see them up close. The pictures are a little blurry through the water, but back legs and even front stubs are visible.
Most of the sights I am able to photograph from my porch, but once the coffee kicks in, I sometimes go for a stroll to check out the latest blooms.
First blooming roses
I was never able to really grow azaleas out our old house due to lack of shade, here, they are abundant, and I eagerly look forward to their show every spring!
Columbines are another flower new to me at this home, a spring beauty for sure.
My Uncle Harry gave me my first Coral Bell plant, a favorite in my old garden for hummingbirds. They transplanted nicely here and I also added a few more. I have always admired their delicate beauty.
My favorite blooms, however, have to be the Bleeding hearts….these were the flowers, more than any other, that my boys liked to pick when young with their chubby little fingers to give to me. They were as intrigued by their shape as I was and still am…I have more than one pressed from my sweet little boys from too many years ago, sigh. I tried to bring some from our old garden when we moved, but the transplant didn’t take. I quickly bought some at the local nursery and will always have a place for them in my garden.
Finally, a few last views of the creek and pond-one a real surprise that I just happened to notice crawling out of the pond as I glanced out the back window:
Yeah, he, or she was a shocker for sure!! We’re not certain who will now be sticking their hands in to clean the pond filter, but what an amazing sight! This is my first snapping turtle up close and personal…I was most thankful for a zoom lens!
I round out this beautiful month in pictures with my favorite creek-dweller. He got in right under the wire, the last day of May, which also happens to be my birthday. I hadn’t seen him for at least a month, so I’m sure he and his lovely lady were just swimming by to give me a friendly birthday greeting! They started my day off in a special way for sure!
I hope that you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane for May. June is only four mornings old, and already is showing off its splendor, so I look forward to sharing some of my moments for this month and every month to come!
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love…Psalm 143:8
Who is Harold? Well, if you haven’t yet met him, you can be properly introduced to him here . This post, however, will be devoted mostly to his archenemy, and no, it’s not my husband!
Harold’s rival is a sweet, 91 year-old, blonde beauty, a social butterfly, champion paddle-boarder, creek swimmer, island-explorer (maybe blondes really do have more fun), and self-appointed greeter of all who happen to pass by while she’s out and about in the neighborhood.
She loves to take walks, then cool off in the creek on especially hot days-she has even been known to mud-bathe when the tide is out. She bears the title of royalty, though she’s quite down to earth…she is, none other than, Princess-our lovable, happy, Harold-hating shepherd.
We got Princess from my sister, who very sweetly took on a male shepherd, his mate, and eleven puppies to find homes for. We already had a dog, Noah, but he was getting up there in years. The kids were young, so I thought it was a good time to get a puppy they could grow up with and I would have as company when the “empty nest” years hit.
Princess was the runt of the bunch. The original owners of the shepherd family said she had to be resuscitated after she was born, so I think she became a favorite, and it is they who gave her the name, Princess. When we first brought her home as a pup, I remember her being afraid of the dark, and especially a full moon. However, after her dad came to join us, which is another story, he became her idol and she soon braved-up facing the dark and the moon like a champ!
I’ve loved many dogs over my life, each special in their own way, but never a dog with a sweeter disposition than our dear Princess.
So why her intense hatred of Harold? We really don’t know. Why he hates her, is quite obvious! He is a grouchy loner after all, but more than that, he loves to hunt in our “backyard.” He will occasionally stroll through on his way to his next hunting spot or stand just off-shore at low tide.
Upon spotting him, Princess goes into an exceptionally venomous barking rant and runs down to give this foe a piece of her mind. At this point, anything Harold had been eyeing for breakfast, lunch, or diner has just swum off, and off goes Harold as well, screaming angrily as he does.
I’ve often thought it’s a really good thing we can’t understand Harold’s language!
Princess trots back, happily satisfied that she has once again laid down the law to Harold and, once again, is ruler of all she surveys.
Job well-done…her father, Smokey, would be so proud:)
So now you know all about Princess, our faithful friend and Harold’s faithful nemesis!
“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.’” —Rudyard Kipling (author, The Jungle Book)
Few things in life rival the beauty of a bride on her wedding day.
That beauty combined with all the laughter, love and joy-set amid the landscape of the Chesapeake Bay, made for a very memorable “all things beautiful” kind of day.
After several, unseasonably hot days on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Saturday was a mild 70 degrees-a perfect temperature for an outdoor wedding.
The scenery was spectacular…sailboats, ducks, seabirds, sand, even the infamous…
…Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Dwarfed only by the bay itself, it rose in the distance, a rock-solid symbol of strength and support-a very fitting backdrop to the culmination of a relationship that had already stood the test of time.
The very handsome groom is my nephew, Joe. He was the first grandson, first nephew. Needless to say, I think we drove his very patient parents a little crazy in the beginning with our baby-loving frenzy! He is named after my brother, Joseph III, so that would, of course, make him Joseph IV. That information, however, was not relayed till after a few pranks had been played on my dad, allowing him to believe his first grandson’s name was actually… “Henry!”
My family remembers well, I’m sure, the t-shirt my ever-comical brother, Steve, bought for him with the phrase “Don’t call me Henry” printed across the front! I don’t recall if the t-shirt was given before or after the real name was revealed….I only remember the huge relief that shone on my dad’s face after finding out his first grandson would indeed bear his name and not some guy named Henry!
Thirty years and many out-grown t-shirts later, my first nephew said “I Do” to his gorgeous high-school sweetheart. They are an absolutely perfect couple and we are so thrilled to welcome his beautiful bride, Valerie, into our family!
Here’s wishing them a long, happy life together…and maybe, some day, a little “Henry” of their own!
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
This little fellow has the right idea. He is also the inspiration behind this post. When I photographed him, I loved that he had a flower stuck on the end of his nose! Then I thought, wow, he really is taking that “take time to smell the roses” thing literally!! Since photographing him several weeks ago, I think of him every time I stop, pull over, or just pause to soak in the unexpected beauty that sometimes just hits us out of the blue.
I’d love to share a few of my spontaneous photos….unexpected moments of beauty…
This was taken when the Dogwood trees were in full bloom a few weeks ago. I was leaving the grocery store by a different route, and at the end of the road, there they were in all their glory! I was so glad no one was behind me so I could quickly snap a picture with my phone. I just loved how the white intertwined with the pink!
I took this last night as my mom and I were leaving a Mother-Daughter dinner in honor of Mother’s Day. We walked out of the church hall, rounded the corner to my car, and were met with this gorgeous view! I was captured by the golden hues of the sunset and grasses surrounding the rustic looking barn. This scene may warrant a special trip back another evening with a real camera!
Minutes later on our drive home, we spotted these families taking a sunset stroll. Without hesitation we decided to take a U-turn. They did not enjoy the intrusion as evidenced by them abruptly turning their backs on us and waddling off in the opposite direction.
We, however, loved the sight of all the “families” congregating together, so they just had to deal with us.
Lastly, today running errands, I rounded the corner and spotted this lonesome fellow sitting on a log. The picture is so horrible I really shouldn’t show it….but I HAVE to! Why? Because, doing yet another U-turn to snap this picture, I was almost hit by another vehicle I did not see in my blind spot….oops! He was not happy, and I was more relieved than I can say at his quick reflexes. Somehow I don’t think he would have understood my explanation that I simply had to turn around to go take a picture of a Heron! Don’t tell my husband.
So, so bad, I know! This picture proves that I am simply shameful in which photos I share! It also convinces me, more than ever, that I should never again leave the house without a real camera on the passenger seat. I can only imagine-and that’s what it takes here-what a great photo this would have been. Right now though, think of it as a form of “Where’s Waldo.”
So, there you have it. My pictures obtained by taking the time to stop and enjoy the daily and sometimes unexpected beauties of life… all inspired by my flower-nosed frog!
Well, today was the day, finally! Each spring I wonder exactly when they will appear and try to have the feeder filled and waiting for them. Occasionally they have beat me to it, but this year it was up and waiting for them at least three weeks ahead of their arrival. I had just looked at the feeder late afternoon, and wondered why they hadn’t yet arrived, moments later I looked back, and there they were:
The first time I ever saw a hummingbird was not till my mid-twenties while on vacation in Colorado. I could not believe the beauty of these tiny, hovering birds. When I was older and married and moved into our first home, a hummingbird feeder was put in place the first spring and I have enjoyed them every spring since.
I have sweet memories of the first time our sons noticed hummingbirds….we had a feeder hanging in view of our breakfast nook so we could enjoy their comings and goings throughout the day. We first noticed them one evening around dinner-time, a male and female. The boys quickly named them “Kiwi” and “Cherry” since the female is an olive green with iridescent touches and the male has pinkish-red iridescent markings around its throat. This worked out great since my younger son loved the color green and my older son loved red-they each had their own personal hummingbird:) We could almost always count on them for our dinner-time show, and loved watching their quick stops in for a drink before buzzing off again.
For small birds, they can be very feisty towards others wanting a quick slurp of nectar, so it wasn’t long before I realized we probably needed at least one more feeder. They also know how to communicate their needs, which astounds me…. I was very surprised one day to see one hovering and peeking in my glass doors to “let me know” the nectar had run dry! For a really great article on their behavior and other fun facts, visit this site.
If you have not yet welcomed these beauties into your yard, consider putting up some feeders or plants that will attract them-you will be greatly rewarded, I guarantee! Though it’s easier to buy pre-mixed “nectar” at the store, the red food coloring in these is not recommended….try the recipe found here instead. Happy watching!!