SUN.…Have you walked outside the air-conditioning and just felt the warmth of the summer sun on your face? There is something relaxing about drinking in the gift of God…bright, calming sun.
FLOWERS…Today we are going to think about all the beauty that summer brings…FLOWERS. My rose garden is a delight. When I reach for a new, glorious bud or an open bright, red bloom, I can truly say that all other thoughts leave my mind. They are perfection as they raise their long stems toward the heavens.
Oaks….The trees that shade us from the hot, summer sun and give the birds their perch…we honor you for you will probably still stand long after we are gone to God above.
BIRDS…The song of BIRDS are clearly heard each morning. Occasionally, I am at the right place and time to photograph a bird…not just any little bird…but the unusual, big birds.
BUTTERFLIES... Plant some seeds in your garden. You will be amazed at how fast they will grow into colorful blooms that the butterflies love. After they bloom, collect the old blossoms for the seeds. Shovel some dirt over the old flowers and watch them come up again. Giant sunflowers will do the same.
Rain that showers down the blessings of a fresh day. Filling our lakes and rivers that run into the oceans blue.
WAVES…If you love the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, the stretch of Beaches and the soft, smooth sand, you have found the perfect summer. Here, in Florida, we also have sand dunes. Once I encountered a 6 ft. alligator coming up the beach and slowly making his way into one of the sand dunes. He seemed to pay no attention that humans were sharing this lovely spot with him. THE JOY of SUMMER CAN BE ALL YOURS!
LOOK AROUND YOU AT GOD’S CREATION.
Enjoy the summer video below.
VIDEO FOR YOUR PLEASURE Turn up your sound
The truth of the butterfly is much like the truth of the Christian new birth. There was a time in my life when my senses about God and His Son were as dormant as it is in a caterpillar that doesn’t know it is to become something designed by God. Many Christians have this feeling.
The fact is that very caterpillar has to die before it can become a butterfly. The same is true with our old life.
Science tells us: “In order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it. And from this liquid essence, the butterfly starts to put itself together, from scratch.”
There are many different caterpillars that make a unique type of butterfly in color and design.
People are also different. God will take our special personalities and use us how He chooses. His plan is to take your life and mine and make us in his honor. Just as the butterfly, He unfolds a new life in us. The old life will pass away, like that of the caterpillar. God’s goal is to make every Christian’s life more beautiful than could ever be imagined. The butterfly is our example.
Will the butterflies of various colors be with us forever?
A German study gives some difficult news of fewer butterflies than ever before…down by two thirds:
“Our study emphasizes the negative impact of the conventional, industrialized agriculture on the butterfly diversity and shows the urgent need for ecologically sustainable cultivation methods. Additional field studies may aid in identifying individual factors responsible for the insect die-back and in implementing appropriate countermeasures,” (Science Daily).
It is difficult to think that such beauty could someday be extinct from the earth, as have many of God’s other creatures.
Will the Christian be always on the earth to see it through rough times?
Apparently not, for God has promised the most beautiful place that He is preparing for us. When this will happen, we do not know. We are only told to watch and be ready. We are not promised, however, that we will not go through horrific times on earth before Christ’s coming. We are only promised that He will be with us and courage will be ours.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
Can we imagine that all the perfect parts of nature will be in this new, heavenly place that God is preparing? We will also be joined by those we have loved on earth…including our beloved pets. We are told also the lion will lay down with the lamb in perfect harmony.
I can only imagine the heavenly gardens with all the colorful butterflies that only heaven can produce! A new heaven…and this new earth made perfect by God with no more sin, fighting, or tears.
As scientists warn about global changes, the Holy Scriptures also gives fore-warnings about the ways of the world. We are not to be caught unaware… as we watch our earth decline…scientifically and within the lives and actions of people and nations world-wide.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17; NIV).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:22; ESV).
God’s promise about heaven and earth to John in a vision on the Greek Island of Patmos, is recorded in Revelation 21:1-6
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
To the Butterflies…Thank you for your lesson of life to us.
Video: Background music for your special pleasure. Turn up sound.
We are happy to announce the publication of a fourth in a series of Christian devotional books.
RAIN ON THE ROOF is a perfect devotional for anyone who would like to increase in their faith or looking to find faith.
The thirty one days of readings include historical and real life stories, original photographs by N. Boyer, Holy Scriptures and selections from The Book of Common Prayer.
You may find this book available at the following locations: (CLICK to view)
God’s Holy Word tells us many things about the Beauty of the Earth and God’s creation:
For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And he is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations so that it should never be moved. … Psalm 104:1-35
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis1:31
God’s love for us through His Son should make in us a freedom that is not known through anything else.
This music is for your week’s pleasure.
Video: Peaceful music from Born Free by John Barry and the earth’s beautiful creatures. Turn up sound.
Our home in Virginia, USA, is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have deer strolling throughout our yard at most any time of day. They are beautiful and besides the fact that they eat our day lilies, we love them! Here is a picture of the most recent one. We’re not certain why she has a split ear, but she seems healthy enough Perhaps she got it caught on a barbed wire fence.
We’ve had rabbits, birds and a bear with three cubs during our time here. It is the deer that are graceful that is truly lovely to watch.
I’m sure that should one of them have a fawn in our yard, as did this man, I would not have the patience to see it through to adulthood…but I thought this video might brighten your day. It is somewhat lengthy, but it has a good ending…and worth the watch.
My growing up home place was in the Brushy Mountains outside Wilkesboro and N. Wilkesboro, N.C. Keep this city name in mind for there is a treat at the end of this blog.
After high school, I left with my parents to live in Florida. I never expected that I would one day go back to the mountains. Since Fall is my favorite season and unfortunately, in Florida, we only get a few brown leaves in mid-winter, we have to be in the mountains to enjoy that season. Don’t misunderstand for I’m not complaining about the beautiful green, citrus fruit, or warm weather in Florida. It’s still a great place even with the frequent hurricanes.
Riding just a little further up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, my husband and I felt it was a wonderful place to enjoy at least for a few months of the year. Winter is a little too cold for us “flat-landers”, as we are sometimes called. The time we stayed on after the Fall to see the first snow, we bundled up like we were in Alaska to take our dog, Gracie, out for her final evening bathroom break. She would stand and stare into the woods, sensing the deer were close by. Their eyes would sometimes shine in the dark…and the wind biting at our noses sent us racing back inside the house.
Nevertheless, I think that the “country girl” was still in me. Coming back to Virginia and North Carolina, it was evident that I had a great affinity for the way of life and the people of these mountains.
Why do I say this? I only know that the people have a warm disposition and a sense of humor that I have not found to such a degree anywhere else around the world. I have been fortunate enough to visit or teach in places like Mongolia, Guatemala, Ukraine, Switzerland, France, and Japan. Still, these hills and the valleys, where a person can look deep into a ravine, keep calling me back. Fourteen cousins and my Uncle John still call the VA-N.C. mountains and foothills their home…so it’s probably a genetic “family thing” as well.
The Blue Ridge has it all…steep mountain cliffs and valleys, rolling hills filled with vegetable crops and orchards of delicious fruit.
The bear, deer, rabbits, and other “critters” also make it their place of residence. The humming- birds fly to the sweet-smelling sugar water put out in the gardens and the rabbits help themselves to whatever… wherever. Speaking of bear, one came up to our front porch to push over and have her fill at our feeder. No longer do we provide such a delicacy.
From my window, I can hear the cows, donkeys and lambs in the fields. At night the stars are clear and brilliant. When the moon is full, the coyotes roam about making their distinctive sound while looking for something to bring back to their little ones in the den.
The Spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway is filled with wild-flowers and the white and pink rhododendron bushes line the road. Small barns, churches, and family graves stand as a testament to those who have lived here in generations past. Some mountain people with roots back to the Civil War, still proudly fly their Confederate flags and dare anyone to tell them that they can’t. They also just as strongly hold to their “guns and their religion.” They are a proud people, that I have found, will come to one’s help at anytime or any hour.
Someone may ask why I am writing about the Fall when it’s Spring and Summer is just around the corner? Perhaps I’m giving an invitation to make your plans now to see this glorious place. Not so long from now, the leaves will flutter about and turn to a deep orange and red. The pumpkins will lay over acres and acres of the hillsides turning the farms into a special hue of gold. The tractors will slowly make their way from the fields to the barns. Sometimes those same tractors take family or friends on flatbeds to enjoy the countryside. Visitors from far and wide stop and take in the breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It’s also the Fall that brings the people to these mountains.
Maybe my next book will be for all these visitors who come this way … to give them heads up and a little advice to what it’s like to visit or live in the mountains. I’m thinking it will be titled, “What Everyone Needs to Know Before Visiting or Planning to Live in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
This might be a part of this new book.
“Don’t come thinking that you’ll be treated like in New York City…or Paris…or somewhere. You’ll have to slow down, enjoy English laced with a warm, Southern drawl, and be greeted just like you are family. When you go to a small, family-run restaurant, walk right in, greet the people sitting there with “Hey there. How’s everybody? Got anything good to eat in here?” (Not “Hi There”…for it’s N.Y City sounding to their ears..and remember this is “Rebel” territory.)
They’ll know you aren’t from the Blue Ridge, but they’ll be friendly- like and greet you with some jolly response. Don’t worry if someone comes over to your table and asks your name or finds out what brought you to these parts. When you finish eating, look around, wave and tell everyone, “Goodbye…see you next time!” They’ll appreciate it.
When you drive back to where you are staying and a truck rounds the corner giving you a “one finger wave,” (NOT the middle)… just wave back. They aren’t flagging you down…but saying “Hello.”
Want to know more? Be looking for my book title sometime in the near future on the internet. As I close this blog, I think I will let the Kruger Brothers sing what it’s like to be in “Carolina in the Fall”….and I would also add… Virginia. Hope to see “Y’all” up this way someday.
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
For all you bird lovers…the elegant, bald eagles that we watched hatch and raise their two young eagles last year, now have another two eggs. My cousin, Kay, who lives in the VA-Washington area, informed me this morning about this new event. Below is the link to a live view of the eagles. Enjoy!
“Mr. President and The First Lady (Eagles) now have two eggs!!! Incubation to be around 32 days! Live cam up and running:” CLICK HERE http://www.dceaglecam.org/ You can choose A or B when watching and for best viewing, enlarge screen.
Many of my readers have been watching the hatching of baby eagles in Washington, D.C. They were little fuzz balls. Now they are teenagers. Oh, such an awkward age! Not so cute anymore as they were when they peeked out from under the parent eagle’s feathers.
© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG
We know that if the parent eagles do not teach the little ones the lesson of soaring, they will forever act like a chicken, groveling in the dirt…never becoming what God intended for them to be. This is the lesson of life that all of us must learn…that we were meant to soar and so were our off-spring.
Once we have been liberated from a life of dependency, it is up to us how we spend the next years. The lesson that the parent eagles give to their young is one of “tough love”. The lesson is for the young eagles to learn what it feels like to be lacking in order to become independent. The parent eagles may soar around a nest with food that they, themselves had hard-earned through their own efforts. As cruel as it seems, they often do not offer any of it to their young, who are calling from the nest.
No, there are no cellphone connections to the lake where they were catching fish. “Mom (or Dad), can you loan me a few dollars? I’m really hungry up here.” No, the adult eagles don’t respond to such cries for they know that their little eaglets were meant to eventually fly on their own and find their own food…to glide and soar in the beautiful blue skies…to dive for their own fish or prey. They had to be taught and it seems that God has put into their existence the need to pass this lesson on to their growing eagles. (It appears that our Washington Eagles may be at this stage for there is no food in the nest as there used to be.)
We in the human world find these lessons hard to teach. Withholding is very difficult for us as parents. If withholding was never in the “academy of life’s lessons”, dependency would always be the way of life, as it would be for the eagles. It may be hard, but teaching young ones to soar will have its own rewards. That is because “We were Meant to Soar.”
The lives of eagles can teach us some important principles.
Explanation: The video below has some information that may be more of a myth than the truth. Below video is a link explaining the actual life or rebirth of an eagle. However, the video is a good comparison to life. (If the reading is too quick, put it on pause for a few seconds until continuing.)
Click to Watch the Washington Eagles
The mountains of Virginia have been buried in snow and shortly the mountain will awaken to the warmth of the sun. I’d like to introduce you to Photography by Boyer. Throughout the summer, I will be sharing my photographic adventures. At times, it may even be a travelogue through pictures. If you are interested in photography and would like to be notified when pictures are uploaded on my photography blog, just send me an email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ) or follow on Photography by Boyer.
See the photography of the beautiful Blue Ridge during our stay in 2015 on this link:
Some things are just too much fun to pass up. Our Golden Retriever named Gracie looks just like the dog in this video below. She probably will never have the opportunity to frolic with a “Bambi”…even though many deer have come through our yard in Virginia. She is just as calm as this Golden and patient. Her mouth may not be strong enough to find a rock and carry it to shore since in “people years” she is about 92. If her eyes were not getting dim and her hips not so painful, she’d probably like to do a little dancing.
Nevertheless, Gracie and almost all Goldens that I have known are the most gentle and loving pets one could ever have. If you are a family looking for a dog for your children, consider the Golden Retriever. You’ll not be disappointed. Just for fun…enjoy this video and make your day brighter. You might even consider kicking up your heels abit. If not, most likely it will bring a smile to your face.
High in a tulip poplar, nesting bald eagles are carefully watching their baby birds hatch. This tree is in the United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. It is a wonder of nature that we are now able to enjoy. Click on Live Camera below. Decide on Cam A or B and then enlarge picture for best viewing. Watch as often as you’d like. ( Update: Now both eggs have hatched and the parent eagles are busy keeping them fed and under their feathers. If you watch long enough, you may see them at feeding time.)
Credits: © 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.
Tired and weary of the daily news? Politics: hearing the same talking points over and over… and man’s (or woman’s) inhumanity to man that pull our thoughts into the bad, the ugly, the terrible? So am I and that is why I decided my post on this blog today would be the absolute beauty of the world and the animals that inhabit it. We need a break.
The amazing photography of Joe Riis gives us a close-up view of what is often hidden from us. This particular video takes us out into the miles of land that migrating deer cross each year. It shows the obstacles that animals must navigate around as they enter our inhabited territories. Just for a brief few minutes, give your mind a rest and focus on beauty. Replay it if it goes by too fast. We all need a breather from the things that haunt our thoughts.
(for best viewing…enlarge picture and turn on sound)
Life making you a little wobbly on your feet? It seems that circumstances can make us feel that way. Everyone wants to be sure-footed….knowing exactly where to place the next step. We don’t like the idea of doing something we have not done before…or facing issues that we’ve not previously had to face. Sometimes when these things come along, it is nice to know that we can have someone to be there for us…someone to talk to…or to give us a little nudge. It is also good to have their experience and make us certain that “we can do this”.
Nature also give a little nudge when needed. We often wonder at the fact that there seems to be a built-in understanding of what has to be done. See below what I mean…and apply it to your situation. Look for those who can help you not to fall as you venture out.
God’s Handiwork! Sit back…forget the news for the day and refresh your mind to what beautiful things are on the earth.
Compliments of National Geographic:
VIDEO: This moves very quickly. Be ready to pause if you’d like to see something for a longer time. Turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing.
BOYER WRITES CELEBRATES 5 YEARS OF BLOGGING
THE VANISHING ANIMAL WORLD…and our Connection
We are human. The animal world is vanishing…ever so slowly…or rapidly, in some cases because of humans.
The savagery on elephants for their tusks may bring a generation soon that will not see an elephant in the wild. As they die off in the zoos, they also may be no more. One of God’s most beautiful creatures is at great risk.
The big cats of the world remind us of our own domestic cats. There is no such thing as a truly tamed lion even though it may appear so as we watch the inter-action and inter-connectiveness between man and animals of the wild. Sometimes this comes from knowing the animal from the moment they are born. Other times it is the special talents of men who get up-close and personal as shown in this video.
We share with you an up-close view of animals that must be saved. (Compliments of 60 Minutes)
I heard their loud calls this morning and knew the Sandhill cranes were strolling through my yard. Most of the time the high-pitched call is to warn the others that something or someone is close by. I have found that if I am quiet, that I can walk up to them with no problem. They do not seem to fear the human as other birds do. Here in Florida, these birds can be seen walking through the neighborhoods in a slow, methodical style. Often one can see them in large numbers in a more rural setting.
The Florida Sandhill Crane is far less common than cranes in other states. Only about 5,000 are remaining. Building projects drive them out of their areas for reproducing. However, in Florida, they are protected. Anyone harming them will receive a huge fine. Their species is under protection of state and federal law.
“Since the loss of habitat is a somewhat controllable cause of a declining population, habitat preservation is a valuable management measure. The current outlook for the Florida sandhill crane, if it can be maintained on the protected habitats, is good. Transplanting wild birds, as well as introducing captive-reared birds into suitable areas where crane numbers are low, appears to be a practical technique in the management of this threatened species. It is hoped that these management strategies, plus continued ecological research, will prevent the Florida sandhill crane from reaching a more critical status.“
Sandhill Cranes can be found from Alaska to Florida with journeys in areas in between. So you are not certain if you have seen a sandhill crane? I have a treat for you filmed in Alaska. It is an interesting story about a goose that thought he was a sandhill crane.
For your viewing enjoyment, I give you the elegant sandhill crane…and a goose: