Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Report

Well, it feels good to be writing a blog post again! A lot has changed in the scenery around here since I last wrote; spring has fully sprung and we've had a few days that felt an awful lot like summer! Over the last couple days, it seems like every time I look out the window, things are a little more green and luscious.

No more do I have to look for a hint of green in the fields; now I have to look for any colors BESIDES green! And the grass doesn't look like a buzz cut anymore, but is getting shaggy and thick...ready for a haircut in a few weeks! Today when I went for my walk I was thrilled to see the blue sheen of the grass, rippling in the wind.
Birds abound in every tree and bush, their bright songs competing with the mellower woodwind tones of the frogs. Speaking of the frogs, they have developed their voices, and now have enough breath for long, droning notes, the perfect accompaniment for a summer night. I saw some of them today when I walked by the pond. Only usually I didn't see them until I heard a "plop!" and saw their hind legs pushing them into the murky depths. Dozens of "plop" sounds preceded my footsteps, and the noises became silent in that area, but the relatives on the other side of the pond kept up the tune bravely.
The trees are beginning to bud, and not being afflicted with pollen allergies, I am enjoying the dusky greenish yellow tint that is sweeping across the forest. Daffodils wave cheerily in the sunshine (I hope to get a picture of them soon), and add their fragrance to the air, which already smells gloriously like summer. It's really pretty impossible to describe what summer smells like, only that you know it when you smell it.

Even the cows know summer is on it's way! Tonight they were let out onto the grass for an hour or so, and one escape artist found a way into the open field of waving green grass. In no time all sixty cows were following her, and they charged into the grass, kicking up their heels and plowing into the tufts of growing hay. Full of high spirits, they refused to be herded sedately like usual, but darted from one side to another, getting just out of reach but no closer to the barn. Ominous clouds, shattered by golden sunlight, began to slowly drop great drops of rain as we worked to get them in. Only the cowdog, charging onto the field like he knew he was a hero, was finally able to get their attention. We couldn't blame them. It's awfully hard to wait for summer!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Forsaken but not Forgotten

Hello dear blog readers! Just a note to say that I haven't forgotten about the blog, and I really do want to write a new post, just haven't had the time lately....but NEXT week I very much hope to! :) Thanks for checking in! Also, a friend pointed out that I should add a "Followers" section, so I did. :) Enjoy the hot summer weather this weekend!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Frog Songs

WARNING: This blog post doesn’t even pretend to be profound. It’s just pure enjoyment of God’s creativity!

This evening I walked out to one of the ponds, and was amazed to hear how vigorously the frogs
were singing! I managed to sneak right up to the edge of the water without disturbing them, and realized that the racket of frog sounds is actually made up of several distinct voices.
I don’t know much about frogs at all, but I think I’ve heard that the reason they chirp is to attract a mate. I found myself grinning as I pictured the gentlemen (or maybe they’re females, I’m not sure) who were producing the different sounds.

Away to my right, there was a rather debonair frog whose song sounded almost exactly like, “Pretty birdy!”, repeated over and over in a see-saw voice. Ostensibly this was a mistranslation, and he was actually saying, “pretty froggy, pretty froggy.” One must hope that this admiration was directed toward the lady of his choice, and not a desperate attempt to gain the attention of any females in the vicinity. At any rate, he did have a fine voice.

From the rushes to my left came a unique call that can only be described as a combination of a creaking noise and a rippling scale. It seemed probable to me that the individual producing the sound was as enigmatic as his song. Doubtless he sang of a life of adventure and thrill, though without being very particular about the details.

Directly at my feet was the Scientific Suitor. All I heard from him was a series of beeps, emitted mostly at regular intervals, with an occasional pause. Quite possibly it was a form of sonar, and he had to stop every so often to listen for an echo. Clearly he did not pretend to be romantic like his one neighbor, or imaginative like the other; his policy was to present himself in a predictable manner which would most efficiently attract a lady of sense. Hopefully the said lady had better eyesight than I, for although I was quickly able to localize the origin of his voice, I could not by peering into the weeds, discover him.

And so, they flattered and trilled and beeped away, each at the top of his lungs, and it was really quite impossible to predict which would be the most successful with regard to the females, who no doubt were tittering and giggling along the sidelines. Personally, I thought that the combination of the three songs was the most enchanting.


If someone were to ask you, “What picture from nature best describes or depicts the Christian life?” what would you think of?

After the other evening, I know what I would answer. I had stepped outdoors into an evening that sang of spring. Peepers and other frogs trilled away in the pond, birds called goodnight to one another joyously, and the wind sweeping through the pine branches was warm and refreshing. The evening felt clear, but there were dark clouds in the western sky, between which the sun was playing hopscotch.

Then I saw two great birds soaring low over the hills. Their great wings were spread out, and they were catching the wind, leaping on top of the invisible columns of rising air, swooping with the ever changing currents, and looking overall like they were having a splendid time. I thought how wonderful it would be to be one of them.

But then, I looked toward where the sun was setting. A gigantic column of cloud, dark and majestic, rose towering into the air, breaking the sun’s rays into scores of lighted columns, which reached all the way to the ground. It was hard to believe that the cloud was just a collection of water droplets; it all seemed so surreal, like the pictures of nebulae in space. It seemed like the closest thing possible to a representation of God, in all His glory and majesty. The picture hardly begins to capture it.

I gazed in awe—and then I saw something more beautiful still. One of those birds was up there, right by that cloud, right by the golden rim where the sunlight burned a white hole in my vision. No longer did it seem like a great bird able to harness the power of the wind. It was only an insignificant speck, utterly incomparable with the power that surrounded it, but fearless and free.

Doesn’t that picture one aspect of the life that God wants us Christians to have in Him? No power in ourselves, no match for the winds of life, no comparison to God Himself, and yet living a life of victory, freedom, and perfect security. The winds were so much stronger than that bird, and yet it had no reason to fear them because God has given it wings, and in fact the wind only serves to lift the bird to greater heights.

Life on this earth is hard; the days often hold monotony, sorrow, disappointment, and frustration for us. Often we don’t feel like a soaring bird, but more like a Canada goose, beating its wings endlessly, day after day, heading for a goal that seems so far away. Like the geese, we work together, one breaking wind for another until he wearies and they trade places. Life is a lot of hard work. God allows that. But He also calls us to mount up spiritually on wings like an eagle, facing the hard things in life but not wearying because He has given us wings to ride the wind. It’s the rest of being so weak that we have to rely utterly on Him. Of realizing that apart from Him we can do nothing, and trusting Him to do everything. It’s the joy of the bird who ceases to beat its wings, only spreads them out and, resting on the wind, soars up to meet the sunset.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Springtime Scenery

A few more miscellaneous pictures that I've taken lately. Yesterday the clouds were moving quickly, creating interesting lighting and shadows.
Robbie the cow dog was in the right place at the right time. :)

Isn't the background interesting in this picture? It's the reflection of the clouds and sky in the rippling pond.

The two things that mar the reflection in a pond are debris and waves...an interesting analogy for us who are believers in the Lord Jesus, seeking to reflect the beauty of Christ in our lives. Reminds me of a verse from one of my favorite poems:
"Be all at rest, my soul, O blessed secret,
Of the true life that glorifies thy Lord;
Not always doth the busiest soul best serve Him,
But he that resteth on His faithful Word.
Be all at rest, let not your heart be rippled,
For tiny wavelets mar the image fair,
Which the still pool reflects of heaven's glory--
And thus the image He would have thee bear."
~Freda Hanbury Allen

I took this the other morning; it's a sign of spring when only the highest places are frosty!