A Photo a Week Challenge: Opposites

Nancy has challenged us with showing opposites. I agree that this is not my favorite tine of year and want to remember the fun warmer times of year.

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What we have now…

A relaxing afternoon at Vander Veer Botanical Park. Guess the plants need sleep so they can show us beauty in a few months. As you remember the warmth and the beauty of spring and summer, remember that kindness brings its own warm. So spread the warmth of kindness and watch the flowers grow.

kindness warm

 

 

 

The Deeper Gifts

As we look to end another year, we are reminded that this is the last two days of the month, the last two day of the year and the last two days of the decade. Pretty monumental. I have been busy and not on here much this month so its time to fire it back up again. I give you a poem on my thoughts for tonight with blowing flurries after unseasonable warm Christmas in the upper 40s.

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THE DEEPER GIFTS

There is a frightful howl that the wind makes

As it zooms through trees with no leaf brakes

When darkness permeates the early evening sky

Reminding us of this season, one, I’d rather pass by

Each season has it gifts that reflect the makers plan

This one requiring deep rest across the land you scan

But as you look across the beauty of each season that you see

You will find a beauty for each one created for you and me

From the cold death of winter with a purity of white snow

That turns to bloom in spring where it all wakes up to grow

The warm caress across your face of a warm summer breeze

It sometimes backfires on you and reluctantly make you sneeze

But then there is fall where the flowers all turn to fruit

Giving food for your table to prepare anyway you suit

As I sit quietly in thought tonight by a fire and the warmth it gives

I am reminded of each season’s beauty, the many gifts our maker gives

So as we close on this year, being a bit more profound than others

We must remember His best gift ever, in that we are all sisters and brothers.

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As you reflect on the beauty of this year gone by, remember the little things that were really quite profound and be thankful for the beauty of your year or if it was a bad year, be thankful for the grace in that you are still here.

If you can make a promise to your self for the coming year, remember the enormous value of kindness and try to always be kind.

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Escapist Coloring Prompt for June

Each month Linda Hill gives us a prompt for those of us who still enjoy coloring and now books, calendars and such have pages to color and enjoy. It is relaxing, as mine stays by the bed on nights when the brain will not shut down.

I think it very appropriate that my color page this month has a river in it as we are fighting the mighty power of water in a river.

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And in closing, I remind us to always be kind.

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Creation of Art by God, Butterflies

Spring is a time when things wake up as the quiet sleep of winter is gets wiped from our eyes. The trees are waking up and spitting out new leaves, the flowers are rising up from the ground and animal wildlife is poking out its head to see what’s new. I love watching the birds and get excited when a new one I had not seen before visits my feeder.

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Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker, Cardinal

The beauty of God’s artwork in nature is amazing. But the most fascinating color work to me is the butterfly. I do not have a any around yet, but I hope to once it gets warmer and drys out a bit. But Irene reminded me this morning with her photo of a beautiful butterfly just how beautiful they are and I thought I would share Butterflywebsite.com pictures since I can not go outside today because again, it is raining. So I share these few pictures for you to enjoy, then go visit their site for others. Truly amazing creatures.  They listed three specie/subspecie which I will share as these are the common ones we see. My favorite is the Swallowtails, Papilionidae, of which they have 11 varieties listed. I download two beauties.

These are the Black Swallowtail and the Orchid Swallowtail. The Black Swallowtail has always been a favorite of mine.

The next group are the Whites & Sulphers, Pieridae, of which they have 7 varieties shown.

The next group are the Lycaenidae, of which they list 3 subspecie, The Coppers which they have 4 varieties shown,

The Hair Streak has 3 varieties shown,

And then the last of the Lycaenidae group is the Blue, which there are 4 varieties shown.

And there are more exotic ones I am sure that I have not pictured but these should bring a smile to you if you are having a similar wet raining day or if not maybe you are just enjoying God’s handiwork. But did you know these creatures were also educated and know their ABCs and 0-9 numbers? Yes. They even have them imprinted on their wings. As scientist began studying butterflies they started noticing shapes in their coloration resembling letters and numbers and I have always thought that fascinating. God in his ultimate creative design combined with a sense of humor. I enclose the the collage below.

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Always remember to smile as nature smiles. If we look hard enough we can see that God is always there even when we think he forgot about us. Always remember to show the gentle, smiling, love God placed inside you to be brought out through kindness.

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Life Flashing By in 30 Seconds

Earlier today I posted a pictorial view of the flood waters in the Davenport Iowa area where we never really recovered from the snow melt flood to be now additionally inundated by spring rains with more to come. Today at 3:30 the levee barriers that had been erected failed and now flood waters are coursing through the lowers areas of downtown.

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Levee failure

The cars pictures above had people in them as they were doing their everyday tasks when in a matter of 30 seconds, they are surrounded so that they could not even drive out of it and had to run to safety. the people in the building which is now apartments had to be rescued by the fire department rescue squad.

Fortunately no one was injured which is the most important thing but this is a reminder to never try to drive through water. There is just too much that could happen.

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More damage

The picture above is an area just north of us where you see the entire town is under water not from the levee break but just the flooding and you see the main highway just to the north has been totally been cut off.

If you could please keep this area in prayer along with other smaller towns along the Mississippi that are really suffering with over 38 days of major flood stage over 20 feet. Some have lost their homes and now business’ are also unexpectedly being affected.

 

The Fun Side of Easter

We approach this new season with a lightness in our hearts. New life comes up from the ground as new flowers begin to show their faces. The air is warmer and we enjoy outside more. We open the windows to breath in fresh air and thankful for the brightness around us.

Where we have fun at Christmas while we celebrate His birth, the celebration of His rising at Easter brings us all new life, new hope and the strength to carry on. Even if you are not a believer in Christ, the understand of what it means is somewhat familiar to all. It is fun to share the newness of  life about the resurrection and be able to relate it to children with the newness of spring.

New flowers who have been dead all winter are not waking up to new life parallel with the resurrection story. The trees and bushes coming back to life with the new leaves of new life.

New wildlife babies are born representing the newness of life as created by our Father in heaven.

Then there are those who love to decorate their home to show a newness of life or the welcoming of spring, like door wreaths.

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This pair of purple house finches are the first to visit my feeder this year. They are really pretty.

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I also like to show off some of my mothers fun Easter stuff as it makes me smile and remember the fun parts of her. The silly waving rabbit family I painted for her when I was in college.

So while Easter is a celebration that should never be taken lightly for its true meaning, we can enjoy the newness of spring as it also bring us new life and new hope for the coming year. And as you take in the new life, let it send out kindness roots that spreads kindness seedlings wherever it goes.

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Always be kind

Fun with Poetry

As I play with my blog, I enjoy what others say, write and photograph. Today I saw a photograph that so inspired me that I thought again I would write about it. I have done this in the past and it is relaxing to me. After the wonderful day of 48 degrees (before it plummets back to single digits) I was able to get out and enjoy the sun so I think more fun is good thing to do. Irene of Heaven’s Sunshine takes lovely and fun pictures of nature and things around nature and today she posted a Leafy Heart. Do drop by her blog and enjoy her photographs. So below are my words to go with Irene’s Leafy Heart.

Leafy Heart
The Leafy Heart / The Autumn Leaf

The Autumn Leaf

The audible sigh of the leaf in fall as it begins to die

 Drops slowly from trees above like tears when you cry

We wait for them all winter as they quietly rest and sleep

Popping out at spring and stretching to soak up warmth so deep

As summer comes in to brighten their worth, they create abundant shade

For we sit and rest under them and block the heat that is made.

As changing season turns again once more to cooler fall

The leaves display their dying hues that are admired by one and all

The leaf hangs tight to its dear life as long as it possibly can

But winds of fall will toss them down to be crushed by steps of man

As other lives rush over them when preparing their own winter deeds

A spider crawls around them to see if there is anything he needs

But alas he leaves as nothing was found for him of the leaf to give

And he heads towards home and other things in hopes of his life to live.

                  -Anita Neal-

 

And always in closing I remind all of the extraordinary value of kindness and how if we can share that kindness with others, even when we don’t feel like it,  that may be the only kindness shared with that one person on that day.

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