Reminders

Those days that bring rain and sun. The days that can weigh me down but also bring sweet blessings. Reminders that even surrounded by storms that hope endures. And God’s promises never fail even when I cannot see around life’s challenges. A love note written by God Himself just for me and you.

Life’s Little Wonders

What is it about birds that draw people in? We faithfully put out bird seed, water, and houses for them in any weather. We come together in groups to watch and document their behavior. We LOVE to photograph them. People who love birds are passionate to the core about them. Is it their beauty, their soft feathers, their amazing ability to survive? I think it is that and more. They are incredible little blessings that inspire us. They don’t have to do anything special to earn our loyalty or time. They just come as they are and leave as they wish. Even Jesus was moved by them… “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:26-27. These delicate yet furiously tough creatures of our skies, singing and flying about make our lives better just by being. I wonder, could I be like them one day?

First Blooms

I can always smell them first. They always surprise me when they start showing up. Winter Honeysuckle! A good 20 years ago a friend gave me this plant as a native addition to our yard. I had no idea what a joy it would be. It smells so amazing and bloom first right along with the Snowdrops. It is a wonderful gift to me and our little hummingbirds that winter through. This year we have had some very early blooms. Starting in January! I am celebrating an early spring at our house!

Watering the Earth

I was drawn to this part of the woods because of the stream. The stream that usually meanders and trickles through the trees. This time I could hear its rushing force from way above. I just wanted a glimpse of the magnificence. Leaning over and taking in the beauty of it all was incredible. I tried to figure out a way to capture it all in a photo, but it was too much. I didn’t do it justice. So I backed up and took a second look. What was there that I could photograph? The tree I was leaning on was very wet. The moss was like a sponge holding water at every corning and end. There at the tip of a dangling moss strand was a droplet hanging over the frothing stream. Just one little drop, added to another and another, day after day, making rushing waters come to life! Just a droplet that waters the earth and makes our land green and beautiful.

Snow?

What is this white stuff? In the Northwestern part of Oregon snow is fleeting. Some years we get a bunch but most years we get just a few inches here and there. When we get it life stops as we know it. No one can drive in it and no one wants to go about their regular schedule. It is exactly like a holiday. Those of us who take pictures go out in droves no matter how stinking cold it is. I took this photo thinking it looks a bit like Christmas, except those Hawthorne berries are looking pretty aged and ready to drop off the tree. Ahh well, I love the contrasts of colors and textures. The frozen drop on the bottom of the middle berry is very nice. Here is to snow, our mini winter has come.

Beautiful Secrets

There in the woods they wait. Trees slowly growing taller spreading their massive branches towards each other, moss growing thicker, ferns and streams making their home. Life and vibrance all around. Waiting to become their very best in just the right amount of time. Damp and sometimes dark…but not lifeless, never lifeless. There is such a beauty that it breaths life into those that might take time to notice. A little white mushroom along the side of a tree in the rain with dim light glowing through its gills. Beautiful secrets.

The Delicate

There is this amazing thing that happens in a specific longitude and latitude at a certain temperature with particular kinds of decomposing tree branches. It’s common name is Hair Ice. This incredible creation grows from the damp forests of Oregon on the icy mornings before the sun creeps out for the short days. It grows out of a fungus on Big Leaf Maple branches that lay about the conifer forests. It is beautiful. I love finding it, like treasures kept by the trees just for me. On days that are cold and bleak, I have this to look forward too! What gifts.

Christmas

Merry Christmas! The day that is so prepared for, anticipated and celebrated. Tucking gifts away to surprise our loved ones, sacrificing money, time and patience. A time to make things about others more than ourselves if we choose. And a time to remember why we celebrate this day. Honoring the gift that was given thousands of years ago. The incredible selfless act to bring us to our Lord personally. I pray peace and joy is yours this day. Being thankful for every small and big moment. Our days go quickly and being thankful makes them so much more worth while.

~That’s No Partridge~

Flying a flocks back and forth from our suet feed to the neighbors feeder. Moving fast, yet oddly uncaring of where I am in the mix. Tiny little gray birds are flitting about. I am pressing the action button on my camera as often as it will let me taking six shots in seconds. They aren’t Kinglets or Pacific Wrens but close to that size. Smaller than an Oregon Junco but much quicker. I get back to the computer to look these little guys up. I find out what we have here is a Bushtit, one of those names that make me giggle every time I come across it. This little guy was passing from one feeder to another and stopped at our neighbors pear tree. So the title of the photo is “A Bushtit in a Pear Tree.” Merry Christmas everyone!
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