Sunday, November 6, 2011

Falling Back

Well, today we have officially fallen back onto standard time. In my family this usually is synonymous with autumn being over, and winter setting in. 

As I gaze out my window on an unusually clear November day, I see major changes in the landscape from two weeks ago when I shot the double day woodland  walk series.  Most of the leaves are now off the trees...any that remain are brownish hues that seem to blend in with the bark and twigs of the bare trees.  The grass and fields that were vibrant green two weeks ago are yellowing.....the only thing to look forward to now is a nice blanket of snow to cover it all up!

But while there may not be that many grand colors or landscapes in November's drear, I hope to be able to find some lovely aspects of this season to share.   The sunsets, although they happen in the late afternoon this time of year, offer a totally different color palette.  Also, I think the night sky is beautiful in the cold months, and I hope to try my hand at some shots that point heavenward at God's handiwork in the stars. 

But for today's post, I will fall back on some more photos from my woodland walk with my kitty, when the forest was still glowing yellow with leaves.  I also hope you enjoy the readings selected for this Lord's Day post!

By C.H. Spurgeon:

Let every tree in the forest bless the Lord, let each one yield boughs with which to strew the way before the lowly prince. Fruitful trees and all cedars, praise ye the Lord! Adown the fir trees' pillared shade let the soft murmur of praise be heard; and beneath our island's giant oaks let the glorious gospel be proclaimed. Praise ye the Lord ye elms, as peace sports adown your ancient avenues; praise him ye far-spreading beeches, as beneath your umbrageous boughs the flocks feed in plenty; and you, ye pines, for ever clad in verdure, join ye the song. 


Let not a single herb be silent, nor even the hyssop upon the wall be dumb.   

The meaning of the whole seems to be this, that wherever saints are they ought to praise God for redeeming love, whether they climb the Alps or descend into the plains; whether they dwell in the cities or walk in the quietude of the woods.

Excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s Biography
By W.Y. Fullerton

Dr. Wayland Hoyt says, "I was walking with him in the woods one day just outside London and, as we strolled under the shadow of the summer foliage, we came upon a log lying athwart the path. 'Come,' said he, as naturally as one would say it if he were hungry and bread were put before him, 'Come, let us pray.' Kneeling beside the log, he lifted his soul to God in the most loving and yet reverent prayer. Then, rising from his knees, he went strolling on, talking about this and that. The prayer was no parenthesis interjected. It was something that belonged as much to the habit of his mind as breathing did to the habit of his body." 

Dr. Cuyler bears a similar testimony. In one of the Surrey woods they were conversing in high spirits when suddenly Spurgeon stopped and said, "Come, Theodore, let us thank God for laughter." That was how he lived. "From a jest to a prayer meant with him the breadth of a straw."

My assistant tugging my leg to get me to pet her instead of take photos! 

Our newest hound  experiencing his first autumn.  I took this photo before my walk in the woods.    Houdini seems to think that most things, from leaves to shoes to toilet paper to the kitty's house on the porch...are all chewable toys for him to play with!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birds in the Woods

A nuthatch with a bite to eat

 Well, it is officially November (for those of you who have not glanced at your calendar lately).  Bird watching get pretty good this time of year, because the various trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers put forth a veritable smorgasbord of flavor for our avian friends.   Berries, seeds, thistle, name it!  The thinning foliage makes spotting these guys a lot easier, and since they are very active as they beef up for winter, it is the perfect time to keep your eyes and ears open. 

Although I did not get to capture every unique bird I saw on camera, I did see and get a shot of a Cedar Waxwing.  I have longed to get a chance to photograph one of these sleek beautiful birds for years, but they never seem to visit my yard.  Not the close-up I always dreamed of, but I was delighted to get a couple fun shots none the less.  I also grabbed a couple distant shots of a few active Blue Jays, whose bright blue plumage jumped out against the yellow hues of the woods.  So here is what I was able to catch, hope you enjoy!

Cedar Waxwing
Excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s book  “The Treasury of David” Psalm 143

Verse 5. I meditate on all thy works. Let us look for God in the future more earnestly than we have done in the past,—look for him in vineyards and orchards and harvest fields,—in the bright plumage of birds, and the delicate bloom of fruit, and the sweet gracefulness of flowers,—in the dense foliage of the forest, and the sparse heather of the moor,—in the rich luxuriance of fertile valleys, and the rugged grandeur of the everlasting hills,—in the merry dance of the rivulet, and the majestic tides of the ocean—in the gay colours of the rainbow, and the splendour of the starry heavens,—

in the gentle radiance of the
 moon, and the gorgeous light of setting suns,—in the clear azure sky, and the weird pageantry of clouds,—in the snow mantled wintry landscape, and the brilliant effulgence of a summer's noon,—in the virgin loveliness of spring, and in the pensive fading beauty of autumn,—let us look for him with an earnest, eager, and unwearied gaze, till we see him to be a God of wisdom as well as power, of love as well as sovereignty, of beauty as well as glory.
—A. W. Momerie, in "The Origin of Evil, and other Sermons," 1881.

Are you looking at me?

Of course, I had my trusty side kick with me.  This may have played a small part in the birds not getting to close....a predator was afoot!