Tag Archives: Nature

Photo Challenge: Wonder

Spring is on the way!  I marvel, even wonder, at buds swelling on the end of tree branches.

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Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

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Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

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Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

With eyes open and a camera in hand, I found a few other things of wonder in my neighborhood this morning.

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Re-freeze from yesterday’s snow melt. Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

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Leaf in snow bank. Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

Thanks, Frank, for the photo challenge!

Photo Challenge: Sunrise

When I read Frank’s photo challenge Tuesday I just laughed.  It was a dark and stormy morning with more rain than sunshine.  Wednesday rolled in with dense fog.  A sunrise on Thursday didn’t look promising – more dark clouds and plenty of wind – but I looked out after breakfast and decided to walk down the street in search of the sun.

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Woodland Reserve Pond.  Photo: TLClark, 3/14/19.

After weeks and weeks of snow and cold, it felt good to be walking outside!  It was still chilly but the sidewalks were mostly clear.  I imagine the bike path (on the other side of the pond) still has a few icy sections.  Between melting snow and heavy rain Fourmile Creek is FULL and flooding low-lying areas.

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Fourmile Creek Flooding Briarwood Golf Club, Ankeny, Iowa.  Photo: TLClark, 3/14/19.

While I didn’t get a spectacular sunrise picture, just being outside was good for my spirit.  Being outside near sunrise reminded me of this Bible verse:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, [God’s] mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  – Lamentations 3:22-23 NRSV

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No Parking Anytime.  Photo: TLClark, 3/14/19.

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.  – Psalm 90:14 NRSV

May you know steadfast love and mercy every morning – whatever the weather!

Teressa

Take a look at fresh fruit

I suggest you ignore this post.  Instead, find a piece of fresh fruit, pick it up, and take a few minutes to consider its surface texture.  While you’re at it, notice how it was attached to the tree or bush or vine or whatever plant on which it grew.

What?  You’re still reading?  Or did you come back?

The other day I noticed a banana on the table.  Its surface is smoother than an orange.  And not quite as smooth as an apple.

The results of my attempts to photograph the banana were dismal.  The orange and the apple pictures were better.  Eating breakfast this morning I decided to try getting decent photos of blueberries and strawberries.

So here you are: pictures of fruit.

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Fuji Apple.  Photo: TLClark, Feb 2019.

I’m thinking a whole series of photos of apples would be fun to do.  Different kinds with their different colors.  Use a knife to cut one way to see the star-shaped center with seeds.  Cut the other way – the usual way – for apple slices to eat with peanut butter.  Maybe an apple with a single bite or perhaps many bites.  Maybe just an apple core.

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Navel Orange.  Photo: TLClark, Feb 2019.

I really should have taken a photo of the navel end of the orange!  But I liked seeing the stem; notice how different is is from the apple stem.

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Blueberries.  Photo: TLClark, Feb 2019.

I opted not to highlight the ends of the blueberries once attached to a plant because I’m intrigued by the little star on the other end!

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Strawberries.  Photo:  TLClark, Feb 2019.

The underside of the leaves of the strawberries are a much brighter green than the top side.  I wonder if that’s always true or just true of this particular crop.

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Fruit in Bowl.  TLClark, 2019.

If there were other kinds of fresh fruit in the house – other than an over-ripe banana and some pineapple already cut up – I’d have more pictures.  Guess I need to start next Friday’s grocery list!

 

Another Snowy Sunday

It snowed nine or ten inches between 9 p.m. Saturday and mid-day Sunday.

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Since snow-covered, slippery roads have veto power over (nearly) every voluntary activity, my husband and I missed gathering with other Christians to worship God for the second week in a row.  We’re the type that rarely miss church.  Missing two Sundays in a row is highly uncharacteristic, nearly unthinkable!  God doesn’t mind; but it makes my week feel odd.

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Our driveway Sunday morning after a bit of shoveling on my part an hour or so earlier; before the professionals arrived.

A week ago we held our own little worship service.  We sang a few songs from Taizé, read John’s favorite scripture (Matthew 6:25-31), prayed, and sang some more.

This Sunday we listened to Iowa Public Radio and worked on a puzzle while waiting for our out-of-town weekend guests.  It had just begun snowing when they headed to the hotel late Saturday; we were hoping they’d safely return to our home Sunday.  (They did.)

Whether heading to church or staying home, It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders has become one of my must-listen-to Sunday programs.  Sam and his guests help me hear the week’s news from a perspective outside my every day experience.  It has the feel of chatting with friends and leaves me feeling both encouraged and challenged (much like a good sermon).  I can’t tell you what I heard yesterday but I’m sure it fed my spirit (also like a good sermon).

Be safe, friends, wherever you are whether or not there’s snow on the ground.  And may you hear something today that feeds your spirit.

Teressa

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Crawl

My imagination must have been napping when I read Frank’s photo challenge earlier this week.  Nothing came to mind for the prompt “crawl.”  He had a photo of a snake. Since I’m not a fan of snakes, I knew I wouldn’t go that direction!

An idea crept up on me earlier today.  Crawling through photo file folders, I found a few not-so-creepy-crawlies on flowers.  Bugs don’t creep me out like snakes do.  And most of the bugs that have appeared in my pictures fly as well as crawl.

Here are three photos of Japanese beetles on flowers and one image of damage done.  All were taken in early July 2011 when the beetles invaded our flower beds, voraciously eating their way through foliage.

IMG_1426One Japanese beetle crawling on a single zinnia doesn’t look too destructive.

IMG_1474One cosmos with seven – or more – Japanese beetles doing their thing.

IMG_1488Japanese beetles are certainly crawling all over the marigolds, but are they feasting?

Zinnia foliageShredded leaves tell the tale of the beetles’ visit.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rose

I can’t decide which is more fun when it comes to a photo challenge:  grabbing a camera to take a new picture OR browsing through digital photo files.

Frank Jansen Photography’s photo challenge this week is rose.  I’m sharing three pictures from my files and one from trying to come up with something new.

First, a yellow rose in our yard from a few houses ago.  I think that may have been the only place we lived with roses in flower beds.  That is only because the prior owners had planted them!

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Photo:  TLClark, 5/30/08.

Next up, a rose with an interesting center.  I can’t tell from the series of pictures I took if the rose is in a bouquet or was a single stem.  Nor can I tell you what the occasion was – although it was part way between Christmas and my birthday.

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Photo: TLClark, 1/15/12.

Finally, a rose of another color.  It’s clearly from a bouquet on the dining room table.  The bouquet may have been on the altar at church – but that’s a guess since other photos taken that day are all at the church.

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Photo:  TLClark, 1/22/17.

I wanted to do a new picture for the challenge but there are no roses in the house.  So I started thinking of the word “rose” as the past tense of the verb “rise.”   While baking frozen rolls for supper I couldn’t resist this last picture.  The dough rose before I put it in the oven, then rose more while baking.

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Shelter from the Cold

We have a resident rabbit.  Or maybe it’s a bunny (is there a difference?).  Long ears; fluffy little white tail.  I startled him (her?) the other night when I peered out the window to see how much snow had fallen.

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Rabbit hole (lower left); he lives under the sidewalk leading to our front door. Photo: TLClark, 1/29/19.

With snow on the ground, it’s easy to see where the bunny has been and where he takes shelter.

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Bunny tracks heading to/from shelter.  Photo:  TLClark, 1/29/19.

Record low temperatures and even colder wind chills are in the weather forecast.  We are being advised to take shelter.  Stay out of the wind, out of the cold.  Stay home if possible.

It is not possible, of course, for so many.  Police, firefighters, EMTs.  Doctors, nurses, aides, janitors, cooks, and all who keep a hospital humming.  Road crews.  Utility workers.  Staffs of nursing home, care centers, and homeless shelters.  Those who must go to work or go without pay.  Those who must go to work or face losing their job.

Schools – including universities – are closed.  Some small business owners are opting to shut their doors for a day or more.

Other businesses will be open and are likely to have customers.  Gas stations.  Grocery stores.  Pharmacies.  Medical clinics.  Some (most?) eating establishments.

The Lord will protect you from all evil; God will protect your very life.  The Lord will protect you on your journeys – whether going or coming – from now until forever from now.    – Psalm 121:7-8 CEB

Guide us all, O God, with your wisdom that we might make good and sound decisions about our coming and going in dangerous weather.  Shield from harm all who serve to keep others safe.  Amen.