Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This Season's Thrill

This will be my last blog post for awhile. I will be taking a summer vacation, maybe posting a few readings every so often. I will be leaving you with "this season's thrill" of the less than three day old newborn fawn I got to photograph.

About 15 minutes from us in Cook's Forest there is the Double Diamond Deer Ranch. It houses three generations of deer, a museum of mounted taxidermy called "Buck Barn," a gift shop and some play areas for children.. You can walk around their fields and enjoy seeing deer up close and personal.

What's that lying in the tall grass? What every photographer hopes to come upon in his look for fawn. The first time I walked around the corral, I didn't see them. But the second time I found them.

Up close and personal I found Parker and Peggy Ann resting after some nursing.

I had visited that morning, but the fawn had just finished nursing and were down for rest and a good snooze. When I came back later that afternoon, I found them in the tall grass together relaxing.

The owner took pity on me and picked the fawn up so I could meet them and photograph them.

This has to be my favorite snap. Peggy Ann giving kisses to Mommy. You can see her pink tongue.

Looks like a good time to nurse.

I watched them for an hour and so enjoyed watching them around Momma and sometimes going off together.

The Buck Barn was loaded with exhibits. Bear, Caribou, moose, many small animals and lots of deer.

And these were some of the deer in the field.

They're posing. Must have heard something.

But, of course, my eyes were only for those two baby fawn. I got to pet both of them and see them up close and personal.

 This will be a thrill I will never forget. I hope you enjoyed seeing these two cuties.

Tummy time!

Yesterday morning I was out early and found some "wild" fawn. This is always a thrill too!

Enjoy your summer. Until next time . . . God's blessings to you.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Routine and Refresh

Was out and about Tuesday morning and saw doe and fawn three different times. Only got to snap one doe and fawn. A long way off in a field. Isn't great, but I can see it! So tiny. I'll keep trucking!

"The routine of life is like wrestling with a grizzly bear. You don't give up when you're tired. You give up when the grizzly bear is tired." Unknown

Yes, life can get very routine. Same old same old. Day after day. And it gets very tiring.

Thomas Kinkade said, "If I want my life to resemble a harmonious sunrise scene . . . I need to decide which activities are meaningful and important to me and invest the most significant aspects of my time and energy in these. I'm not talking about my work and responsibilities here. Just as important to my balanced life are adequate rest, healthful nutrition, regular exercise, and leisure activities that refresh and renew me." "Lightpost for Living"

In the routine of our day, there must be time to refresh ourselves. Routine can get very boring. And yet, routine is what most of us live with. A structured life is a productive life. Or so I've found.

But Carol gets very dull if I don't allow myself some time to refresh. Just a few minutes here and there to let my mind drift from the daily grind and consider other things. Like taking a walk outside with the girls and enjoying nature. Stopping to read a chapter or two in a good book. Calling a friend and chatting a few minutes. Writing a few lines to encourage another. Find my camera and look for a scene that refreshes my heart. Baking chocolate chip cookies. Find a fawn to snap!

What refreshes you? The sunrise? A bike ride? Sitting at an easel and drawing? Playing the piano? Washing clothes? Playing jacks with a child? Closing your eyes and listening to your favorite song? Talking to God?

Do you have a small room or alcove to go and be alone? Walking a city block among the crowd? Think?

Going after the cows. "I have never lost my childhood delight in going after the cows. I still slip from other things for the sake of the walk through the pastures, down along the creek and over the hill to the farthest corner where the cows are usually found. Many a time, instead of me finding the cows, on their journey home, un-urged, found me and took me home with them." Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." Ovid (43b.c.-a.d. 17)

Yes, life can get very routine. Don't forget to take a few minutes and refresh yourself.

Double Diamond Deer Ranch have two fawn, born on Monday. I'll be headed there Wednesday morning to get my own snaps of the girl and boy. Love these snaps that they posted on their Facebook page!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Another One Checked Off

Many of you saw this picture of the bear and two cubs that I posted on Facebook last week. It was a magical morning driving around first light and come across a bear. It was one of my wishes before I die.

Now I know most people call the list of  things they want to do before they die a bucket list. Because of the 2007 movie The Bucket List, starting Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, people started using that expression themselves. Merriam-Webster says "a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying." Bucket List is now tossed around because people somehow relate to it.

I don't. The expression doesn't do anything for me. We never heard it in the 20th century, then one day in the 21st century everyone is using it. It will always be "Wish List" to me.

I have more things crossed off my Wish List than I have remaining to do.

I did see a bear about 6 years ago in VA. Too far away and no picture. So I'm super excited to have seen this mama and her cubs. At least I have a recognizable picture to look at. Not great, but I know what they are.

It may seem like a dumb or crazy thing to wish for, but if you know me you know that I love animals, especially baby animals. And, of course, who hasn't had their own little teddy bear that meant the world to them. That's my teddy bear sitting with all my friends. I can make out Fabian on the lamp shade.

I enjoyed watching the DVD Knut about an orphaned polar bear and a Berlin zookeeper who took him under his wings. And I love looking through my book Grizzly: The Bears of Greater Yellowstone. I will never have the opportunity to take pictures of bears in the wild like I enjoy looking at.

So I now find myself in the wilds of Pennsylvania, bear, deer and turkey country. Elk aren't far away, about 1 1/2 hours. Not sure which back road I'll be taking next, but who knows what I may find to take a picture of. More bears I hope.

This past Monday morning I saw my first PA fawn. They are up and moving around. This doe and fawn stepped about 10 feet into the woods as I drove by. Thankfully they turned around so I could get this snap of both of them looking at me.

Can't wait for my next drive around!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Little Pencil

"Great works do not always lie in our way, but every moment we may do little ones excellently, that is, with great love." Saint Francis of Sales, 1567-1622

                     There are now four little eggs in the Robin's nest in the Rhododendron bush.

Malcolm Muggeridge writes about a challenge that Mother Teresa wrote to him: "Now let us do something beautiful for God."

"Very often I would feel like a little pencil in God's hand," she said. "He does the writing; he does the thinking; he does the movement--I have only to be a pencil and nothing else."

"A pencil," Muggeridge wrote. "Just a little pencil . . . When we are little pencils in God's hands, we see his work appear in our circumstances."

Mom was keeping a watchful eye on me.

What is your little pencil? It may be your mouth as it teaches Sunday School. It may be your hands as you drive the school bus. It may be your feet as you deliver the mail.

We all have the capability to do something beautiful for God. "I love the idea of being simply a little "pencil" in your hand. Write with me what you desire."

Muggeridge found the phrase enchanting, with a sparkle and gaiety. "Do something beautiful for God." That is why we're here. Why we've given our life to Christ. Why we have decided to serve Him.

We put up two hummingbird feeders this week. We have four coming around to drink. This is a favorite perch one of them flies too .

I actually use a little pencil. Well, a little pen. But your little pencil can be anything. It's your life. Do something beautiful for God.

This butterfly was enjoying the lovely flowers of the Rhododendron bush.

"All service ranks the same with God." Robert Browning, 1812-1889

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Half Price

Shutterfly did it again. They lured me into creating a new book during their half price sale. I put all of my hope bookmarks in with scripture that I love to read. Hope you enjoy it! Copy the link below and paste in your browser.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trees Talk. Can You Hear Them?

I saw this beautiful magnolia tree on the way to Lancaster a few years ago. It was alive with life and it's lovely blooms were a delight to behold.  
Today's post is from a devotion I read recently by Phillip Keller from his book, Songs From My Soul. In this beautiful month of May, I thought it would be a fine thing to think on.

"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar, O Lord almighty, my King and my God."  Psalm 84:3

                 Nothing quite stirs the soul as springtime when all nature comes alive with beauty.

"There are certain values in life that money and material wealth can never purchase. Gold and silver, stocks and bonds, bank accounts and investment securities are not sufficient to assure peace of mind or serenity of spirit.

"What price can be placed upon a life of simplicity, free from the fret and strain of trying to keep pace in a man-killing society? What will a person give in exchange for the quiet ecstasy of living gently in harmony with the seasons? What consolation can surpass that of the secure inner assurance that this indeed is my Father's world, in which He cares for me with intense personal interest?

 I saw many seasons with this tree as I drove back and forth to work morning and night. It was a sight I drank in as it stood in all it's glory, whether spring, summer, fall or winter.

"I am constantly reminded that this caring is not confined or directed only toward us human beings. It embraces and enfolds the whole world around us: the trees and shrubs, with their foliage shining in the sun; the soft, sweet, fragrant grasses and flowers that flourish on our hills; the birds that build their nests and rear their young all around us; the insects that hum in the sun and flit across the lake; the wild deer and mountain sheep and mink and beavers and bears whose realm we share. All these remind us that we are friends and neighbors. As the ancient Indians would say, we are all 'brothers beneath the sun.'

I can still hear the rustling of the leaves as they fell to the ground.
The vibrant yellows, red and rust were beautiful.

"We delude ourselves if we believe our Father cares only for human beings. His assurance to us is otherwise. It is He who clothes the flowers of the field in great glory; He knows when a fledgling falls. He's the Creator of all!"

If you've never read Phillip Keller's Lessons From a Sheepdog I highly recommend it.

                    A lone tree in the dead of winter. Enchanting. Mystical. The season of winter.

"If you have never heard the mountains singing, or seen the trees of the field clapping their hands, do not think because of that they don't. Ask God to open your ears so you may hear it and your eyes so you may see it, because, though few men ever know it, they do my friend, they do." McCandlish Phillips