An Army of Sentinels

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Raked and rolled before the air turned cold and the days became shorter, these bales of harvest hay lay tall in the early morning sunlight awaiting the onslaught of man’s progress at the nearest property adjacent to them. Already foundation work has began, but these sentinels guard their field like it was their last stand..and it may well be. Urban sprawl pushes farther and farther outward, engulfing the natural terrain and man-made abundance contained within her.

 

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Regardless if there is a pasture of a hundred bales or simply a few, the significance is real. They are used as feed for livestock, ground covering for grass seed and even erosion control for the construction which will one day occupy this patch of green earth. In the meantime they will silently stand watch over the hallowed ground bequeathed to them for however long they have. For their charge to protect was without days or years. They will be missed when their job is over. They are worthy of our respect.

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Now that daylight extends beyond the darkness, companion growth accompanies the hay as if joining a symphony. Lilies of all sorts are cropping up pell mell and berry bushes are beginning to show signs of vigor. Trees are budding. Spring is certainly on her way. I’ve always lived in places with four seasons. I don’t know what it would be like not to. I suppose both have their pluses and minus’. Whichever temperate zone you live in, I believe there is a plethora of beauty to experience…so go to it !

Caught in the Light

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Took a walk in the woods yesterday afternoon. Stopped dead in my tracks by this tree.

Always on the lookout for one of nature’s surprises. Almost missed this one.

Split bark cedar tree with shafts of light illuminating her unusual essence of colors, curves and twists, and peeling bark. Even the brush which touched her was beautiful.

Soon the leaves turn from green to brown and will drop away.

Ah, winter causes her to hibernate, but not to die. She is too wild.

Spring will come again, as will new growth and a summer full of foliage.

This cedar lives on for whatever purpose the Creator has ordained.

I count myself fortunate to have seen her in this captivating light.

 

 

 

Four Seasons

Much has been written about the four seasons of our lives and of nature. Hence, even the calendar is based upon the stars and seasons: Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Vernal Equinox & Summer Solstice. I list these as they come at this time, and since summer is officially over (at least in the northern hemisphere) we enter the season of Autumn or Fall. Our lives correlate to nature’s seasons rather well.

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Actually, all life begins in the spring season when we are conceived, born and we begin our early years of development. I realize that some creatures begin their lives in different seasons, but I am basing my dialog on human beings. At this stage of the cycle of life we are filled with wonderment and often joy. I know, there are so many children whose lives appear to be anything but joyful. However, I have seen children in slums who find joy in the most dire circumstances. They inspire me.

Then comes Summer which welcomes the developing years of one’s life. This season is filled with activity, learning, and blessings. The later part of Summer involves adolescence and the challenges and excitement which accompany this season of life. Funny, how so many of us reflect upon this season most fondly as we grow older. Based on experience, please enjoy, but be careful as risks are often taken without any thought of danger…I am a living example!

Autumn comes next as these are the middle-aged years of one’s life. I now have two grandchildren who “knock my socks off” when I get to spend time with them. This is a joy-filled, and a reflective season, and is usually accompanied by many memories of raising our children. I believe it to be my most favored season …especially because I relate to nature so closely and the change of this season is so dramatic.

Winter follows and we experience the cleansing of new fallen snow and arctic blasts of air which cleanse the mind and spirit. It is also when we realize that this is the last season and we best make the most of it. Family and friends are most important during this time. Far too often we succumb to physical and mental illnesses which cause alarm among all who care. However, we were never promised an eternal life while enveloped in these bodies of flesh and bones.

This photograph was taken a few days ago and reflects nature’s changing personality during the season from Summer to Fall. I captured this image with my cell phone camera and admit it is nothing spectacular. Yet, I like it because it reveals an authentic representation of our reality, and of our seasons. So, whatever season of life you find yourself in, I encourage you to stop and enjoy it. As is so often stated, “Time flies”. There are no do-overs in life, only restarts!

Some Move & Some Don’t !

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I couldn’t resist the humor in these photos. The cast iron feeder with integral iron birds standing guard over the bowl, and the small songbird using one of them as a perch before feeding.

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Sometimes you just have to let yourself go and jump right into the fray…in this case a bowl filled with bird feed.

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One just never knows who may drop by. The bird feed is for Cardinals, but all we have seen eat of it are a variety of small songbirds…until Mr. Jay dropped in. I must admit he looks a bit perplexed.

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A closer look is needed to see if what’s in the bowl is worth getting.

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Once that decision was made, the Blue jay grabbed his share, stared down his iron relative, and then flew off not to be seen again.

Isn’t Spring wonderful !!

Visual Delight

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This is a blown glass sculpture suspended from the main lobby ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The famous American blown glass maker, Dale Chihuly, created this masterpiece entitled Fiori di Como. This photo doesn’t really convey the scale or intricacies of this work of art. One could stare at this sculpture for hours and still not capture all of it.

According to blog.lofty.com, here is a brief description of the sculpture: “Weighing in at 40,000 pounds, Fiori di Como is one of Chihuly’s largest, and most popular glass sculptures. The piece, located at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, is made up of about 2,000 pieces of hand-blown glass and covers approximately 2,000 square feet of the hotel ceiling. To create the massive installation, Chihuly employed a team of more than 100 professionals, including glassblowers, architects, engineers, shippers, installers and fabricators.” I recall reading an article about this particular sculpture which is valued at several million dollars. It took many months to install.

The reason for this post is two-fold. First, the blown glass reminds me of Spring which is generally associated with outdoors, yet the colors and shapes mimic some of nature’s most pleasant and unique features. Secondly, this art reveals the genius of man and the beauty he is capable of creating. Both are not by accident, but by Divine Design. Too often we are reminded of man’s ugly side and are told of God’s nonexistence or lack of concern for His children. Yet, we humans are his crowning achievement-warts and all. So, I am encouraged to exercise my creativity, and rejoice in His creation. And, I am pleased to join you in this endeavor, however minimal my contribution may be.