Tag Archives: Nature

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

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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.

Cabin Fever on Another Snow Day

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Snow drift through the sun room window. Glad for the sun. Not so glad for the wind – except to see the fabulous shapes being sculpted. Photo: TLClark.

My beloved suggested I could write about Cabin Fever.  We’ve reached the age where “better safe than sorry” guides decisions.  We’ve both driven enough miles on snow/ice covered interstates or in gusty cold winds to know that snow/ice covered plus gusty cold winds is a recipe for disaster.  So we’ve rescheduled today’s appointments in Iowa City which were the rescheduled appointments from yesterday.

What to do?

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Photo:  TLClark.

  1. Play games on the computer (seems to have become the default option).
  2. Read a book (another common default option).
  3. Pull out an old fashioned board game or maybe a deck of cards.
  4. Memorize a poem.
  5. Work on the puzzle.
  6. Do some genealogy sleuthing.
  7. Sort those old pictures and get them boxed to mail to someone who will enjoy having them.
  8. Play the piano/keyboard.

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    This puzzle was a challenge the first time around – not sure why we decided to do it again.  Photo:  TLClark.

  9. Watch a movie.
  10. Bake cookies.
  11. Clean the bathrooms.
  12. Clean out a drawer or a closet.
  13. Write a sympathy note or a thinking of you card – with pen and paper.
  14. Be creative in the sewing room.

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    Clockwise from top right:  a) Hand sew the binding on scrappy strip quilt. b) Free motion quilt the butterfly quilt. c) Add sashing to the finished blocks and join them into a quilt top. d) Start an entirely new project using fabric from the bins in the corner.  Photo:  TLClark.

  15. Use the colored pencils to draw something new or color in a coloring book.
  16. Sort, discard or keep, categorize eleven years of digital photos.
  17. Plan another series of blog posts.
  18. Call Mom & Dad or Grandma Mary.
  19. Sort through a box full of old church papers; recycle most of it.
  20. Work on taxes.
  21. _________________________________

What would you add to the list?  What would choose first?

Snow on Window

dsc01283 (2)Good morning and welcome to another snow day.  I figure I can either grumble about treacherous roads and having to reschedule some appointments.  Or I can enjoy the view.  Today I choose the view.  And give thanks for all who are working to make the roads safe again.

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“The Wonderer” (6th Stanza: God)

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Photo: TLClark

Robert William Service wonders at “my Hand … my Eyes … my Heart … my Brain” in the first stanzas of “The Wonderer.”  Then he notes “You’re just as wonderful as I” and invites us to wonder and marvel at Creation.  In the sixth and final stanza, Service turns our attention to God:

If wonder is in great and small,
Then what of Him who made it all?
In eyes and brain and heart and limb
Let’s see the wondrous work of Him.
In house and hill and sward and sea,
In bird and beast and flower and tree,
In everything from sun to sod,
The wonder and the awe of God.

Wonder and awe.  Of Creation and Creator.

“In the beginning God created …”  Genesis 1:1

I understand the first chapter of Genesis as ancient poetry – beautiful, evocative, imaginative.  It is an invitation to take another look at the world and to wonder at our very existence.  As a person of faith in the current era, I am quite willing to stand in awe of the ‘Who’ of creation and not worry about the details of the ‘how.’  Nature is.  And God was at its beginning, is in its midst now, and will be present in all the days to come.

“Consider the lilies of the field ….”  – Jesus, Matthew 6:28

I invite you to look at a few flower photos (sorry, no lilies).  Notice the color, the texture, the raindrop or the shadow and to see the wondrous work of God.  Then gaze – perhaps at a person or pet near you or at the scene out your window – and notice other beautiful, marvelous works of God.

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Photo:  TLClark.

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Photo:  TLClark.

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Wildflowers of a restored prairie on a rainy day. The Morton Arboretum. Photo: TLClark.

This is the last in a series of posts in response to the poem “The Wonderer” by Robert William Service.  Read the whole poem by clicking here.