With the advent of Autumn just around the calendar’s corner, all manner of night fliers are out gathering the last bit of nature’s nectar and insects. Last night as I opened the door to our deck, I witnessed this White-lined Sphinx ‘hummingbird’ moth feasting on the petunias in our flower basket. Some of these imposters can have wingspans up to five inches, and can look like the genuine hummingbird…this species not so much. However, at first glance I thought it was a hummingbird as it fluttered from flower to flower. As you can tell, the season for petunias is nearing its end.Another example of nature’s ever-changing dynamic is the proliferation of garden variety spiders which multiple toward the end of summer. I almost walked right into the center of this web this morning. Fortunately, I caught a glimmer of reflective light from one of the silk strands and stopped. My camera was nearby so I grabbed it and took a quick shot of this waiting predator and his intricate silken web. Amazing is an appropriate word for what a spider can create in a single several-hour period, and then repeat the same construction night after night. I’m fatigued just thinking about the amount of effort that went into creating this masterpiece of structural and functional design. It pays to be aware of one’s immediate surroundings. An added benefit to being a witness of nature’s unfolding drama is to have a child-like fascination for God’s creation. Such fascination enhances the experience…just ask a child what she is thinking when she studies a tadpole in shallow water or a little boy as he pokes at a turtle to make him move. They are simply amazed, as am I.
What is a masterpiece? Depending on the dictionary, one definition may read like this: any production of art which is created by one who is most competent in his or her trade, and whose work is most excellent in every way (my paraphrase of several choices).As I gazed into the afternoon sky a few days ago I realized that I was observing a flowing work of art which was being painted by the Grand Master himself. His canvas was the sky and his brush strokes left behind a trail of cotton colored clouds. His method is always facile and his boundaries limitless.Within a span of fifteen minutes I witnessed a hundred paintings. Each was unique and oh, so beautiful. I recall as a child the fascination that clouds held for me…laying on my back on a bed of grass, a warm breeze touching my face, and watching the sky turn into a playground of animals and people and things that went fast. Imagining was so fun.Even though I am a bit older (ha!) I still enjoy watching the clouds form overhead, as in a ballet of sorts. I marvel at how quickly the images on the canvas change. As much as I enjoy the art, it is the awe for the artist that really captures me. Isn’t that true of any great master…we celebrate the maker as well as his creations.Therefore, I leave you with this thought. Be conscious of what is above in addition to what is around you. Look up more often and spend less time peering down…the view is so much more spectacular!