Three Season Identity

The naturalist was informative and engaging with our grandchildren during the program we recently attended at West Virginia’s Cacapon State Park.

The on-again off-again rain did not stop our outing, but must have others because we were the only attendees.

Valerie Chaney, Full-Time Naturalist, at Cacapon State Park happily answered our questions as we made our way around the park. She gave each of us a pair of binoculars to see nature close up. She asked thoughtful questions to the children as well.

The nature lodge is well-made, cozy, and full of all sorts of local wildlife. Beautifully taxidermies line the walls in a grand display of the wonders of the natural world to see up close. Some of the animals and fish I have never seen. Thankfully the huge wolf is not local!

One interesting challenge Valerie gave us was identifying trees. She invited us to study not only the leaf structures, but the bark on the tree as well, and the general overall look of the tree. Such a challenge! She encouraged us to be able to identify them in those three ways throughout each season of the year.

She would watch and listen to the birds and ask if we knew them and their songs. Some we knew, she told us the others. The huge Pileated Woodpecker hole in the tree was fun to see too!

She gave us an interesting way of looking at the wonderful world of nature all around us. The park has many activities for families. Check them out! Also on FB.

Glad this huge wolf isn’t local!
Look at the size of the Pileated Woodpecker holes!
These two Shag Bark Hickory’s make for an easy tree to learn by its bark.
Grapevine is another easy starter for beginning naturalist.

Another trip to West Virginia’s Cacapon State Park will be made this summer. As an added note; their restaurant and gift shop are terrific!

Five-Minute-Friday Word Prompt—Heal

“Jehovah Rapha,” is the cry of my heart this sad week. We cry out to God, and He hears us. Oh Lord, heal our land, heal our people.

We are living in an upside-down world of no sense. Wrong is called right and right called wrong. Yet, we all can agree the mass murders that took place this week are wrong and devastating. If only Your people would hear Your voice, You would heal our land. Repentance belongs to us, we must repent of our sins for God to hear us. Dear God, hear those that cry out to You. Comfort our hearts, those families. Spread Your loving wings over our hurting hearts. We need You! This is my prayer this week. To God be the Glory!

Five-Minute-Friday Writing Prompt—Know

What do you know with clarity in your life?

What we know appears quite foggy in todays newspapers, tv, and popular magazines. They seem bent on removing all clarity from our minds in regards to sexuality, simple math, and even to our families. So, what do you know?

Can you write the reasons in a list, defend them from current cultural opinion if need be? Are you able to have a decent argument with one holding an opposing view? Keep in mind an argument is a civil exchange of ideas of why one believes as they do. Name-calling, belittling, anger, and yelling constitutes a fight.

A good argument takes thought, practice, research and humility. May we know, and never forget, the humility required in all this current cultural muddle.

What do you know?

Wrong Choice of Word

I apologize, I used a wrong word in my previous post on Thursday Thoughts. I said, “…to provoke reflective thoughts.” This is a wrong word choice. A better word would be cause.

My intent is to enjoy the reflective thoughts photography offers us in a positive way. This is not for negative, rude, damaging photos or thoughts. Any posts in that arena will be removed.

Thursday Thoughts #1

It seems like a fun thing to start on this blog, that is, to cause reflective thoughts through photography. There is much truth in the old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

So every Thursday I hope to post a photo of mine with the thoughts that came to mind upon looking at it. With the goal of stirring a thoughtful moment in our often crowded, busy day, a daily, small time of reflection is a wonderful thing. I hope you agree, and perhaps post your thoughts as well. If you would like to share with others your own photo and thoughts, please post your address in your comment.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

In Focus #15—More Birds in the Hood

Birding is more fun with company. At least it is for me. I appreciate the extra eyes and smarts it takes to correctly identify fast moving birds around branches. A comic could easily be drawn of me with binoculars, camera, bird book and pencil hanging and flopping around my neck and filling my hands. Did I mention I also have our dog with me? It really is a comical sight, and usually an unsuccessful outing. Beautiful birds are passing through on their way to their summer homes elsewhere. It takes great skill (and another set of eyes for me) to identify them. That said, more times than not, my focus is on the easy birds that live in the fields, woods and ponds with us, and those returning home to us.

What fun to watch the male goldfinches change into their courting attire every spring for summer. They stay home year-round, but loose their brilliant yellow in winter. Also, happy, happy songs fill the air in the barn with the joyful return of our beloved Barn Swallows. Springtime is best time to see even more of our neighborhood birds because tree leaves are just bursting forth. Their small size offers big windows to see many of our beautiful local birds. It is my favorite time of year for birding. Our locals are not in as big a rush to get somewhere else, nor are they as ravenously hungry as those passing through. Making them easier to follow and identify.

A flock of beautiful Bohemian Waxwings were just chilling on a branch earlier this week. They have wonderful lessons to teach on sharing. I have seen them all lined up on a branch passing berries down the line to one another. There are so many sweet singing sparrows busy building their family homes for the year. The Red-winged Blackbirds are busy tending to home and family as well this time of year. While the Carolina Wrens could not sing a sweeter song.

I invite you to go outside, look and listen to this blessed, happy time of year the birds are telling us all about.

So many sweet sparrows.
We are delighted when our Barn Swallows return home for the summer.
We all know warm weather is coming when our Goldfinch sports his fancy summer clothes!
A flock of beautiful Bohemian Waxwings.
They share their food with one another.
Birds teach us much.
An extra—the spectacular Dogwood is in full bloom!

FMF Writing Prompt—FAST

Does time go faster as we age?

I have heard that all my life. I have also heard that time goes faster when one is having fun. Does that imply we are having more fun when we are older? Is that why it seems to go faster?

Too many questions for an early, rainy morning. I do not know the answers. I do know our lives are short, only a speck in the realm of life. When we are gone the place where we were remembers us no longer.

So, I want all my fast days to be well spent.