Driving from Florida to Virginia, it was evident that winter was almost over. The snow is gone in the sunny south and Spring is just around the corner. The tiny buds on the trees make a sea of different shades of green. Driving up the Blue Ridge mountains, just over the North Carolina border into Virginia, the trees become less green with the change of altitude. Nevertheless, the trees show their leaves are breathing to be free… bringing into view their glorious shades of color and new growth.
It is hard to imagine that not so many years these mountains were stripped bare by logging. It might be good to remind ourselves that magnificent trees throughout our country were cut with no regards to the multitude of years that it took for them to grow. An example are the redwoods shown below.
The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of VA and NC
Trees are probably the most resilient of living things. Their life cycles go on and on with some into the hundreds, if not thousands of years, until one day they crash onto the carpets of the forest bed.
They breathe life to everything around them. They bring rain and moisture to the earth. Birds love them as do the tiny creatures that make them their homes.
In fact, people love them so much, they build homes in them.
Trees provide shade, a place to rest and food.
Further up the mountain, the dogwoods are starting to fan out their pink or white crosses of Easter, which we know is to be a continual spiritual season.
Under the trees are wildflowers blooming along the roadsides. God’s beauty is certainly upon the earth. Take time today to have a good long look at the trees around you.
Your life will be calmer and happier than it was before you looked.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ) 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.
He lives in our town in Florida. Woody Blevins is turning 101 this year. Over the years our small town of Howey in the Hills has watched Woody get up each morning; work his ornamental garden, care for the flowers and make his town and ours a more beautiful place. His lovely wife, Leah, who is a excellent pianist, has worked in the garden along side of Woody.
Let’s take a lesson from a dear man who just wants to leave this world “a better place.” Happy Birthday, Woody!
Click to hear Woody at 101 ( Turn up your volume to hear Woody better.)
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)
More recently I wrote about The Mountain Way of Virginia and North Carolina. The history is fascinating and the people hardy, but the mountains are a marvelous beauty! This week I spent driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and visiting some of the small towns, like Floyd, VA. The towns vary, but all have the Mom and Pop restaurants with home cooking: grits, country ham, fluffy biscuits with or without a rich, brown gravy.
It seems that “outsiders” have found the mountains, as I have run into a Greek restaurant owner; a Colorado sign maker, and Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd has invited musicians from the Czech Republic and a pianist from Russia. Yes, Blue grass music is widely played, but it is not all that is part of the mountains.
Rich in history; proud of their past…one will see memorials to the Civil War dead and those who fought the elements to live in this beautiful place…like Ed and Lizzie Mabry who built their Mill…now preserved for all to enjoy on the Parkway.
Today, you are going to have a visual experience. As you look, thank God for all He has created and share it with friends and family that may not have a mountain experience.
Standing at my kitchen window, I can see our back yard and a meadow behind our fence. Suddenly, a rainbow appeared very close to the ground.
My camera was close at hand and I was able to get two pictures before it disappeared in seconds. Friends that I sent the picture to have commented on how unusual and my 92-year-old uncle said, “Perhaps God is telling you….” I pondered that for a while because I have been trying to focus on the beauties of nature here in the mountains of Virginia and not on other concerning matters. I decided to look up what the Holy Scripture has to say about the rainbow. There was one interesting thing I found:
Bible Question: What is the meaning of the rainbow?
Bible Answer: The Bible tells us that the rainbow did not occur until after Noah’s flood. God gave it to us as a promise that He would never destroy the earth with a flood again.
“And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (NASB) Genesis 9:11-15
The rainbow was not only a promise from God but it was a reminder of how rain fits in the Scriptures.- a scientific fact – when we realize the Bible tells us that there was no rain before the flood (Gen. 2:5 and Gen. 7:4, 12). When God caused the flood to occur, He also brought the first rain. Then God caused rainbows to start appearing in the sky when rain occurs. This is consistent with science since rainbows only appear when water droplets are airborne. We can see rainbows in water fountains and in the midst of a rain storm…even in our water sprinklers.
When rain or mist is present a rainbow can appear. When it does appear, it is actually a full circle. A rainbow appears when sunlight reflects off the inside of a water drop. The full circle cannot usually be seen from the ground but only from above the earth. Someone in an airplane can see the full bow.
It is also interesting to discover that rainbows contain all the colors of the spectrum with the inner part of the bow being violet and the outer red.
The Bible did not say the rainbow occurred before rain starting appearing on the earth but afterwards. Clouds did not appear before the flood but after the flood. God’s design for a rainbow requires rain…and as we know from scientific study.
Food for thought: Why did God place violet in the inner portion of the rainbow and red in the outer portion? Is it possible that God uses red as a reminder of Jesus’ blood which was shed when He died and violet as a reminder of His future eternal Kingdom? Whatever the reason, God has created a wonder in the sky to remind us of His faithfulness.
Other rainbow pictures to remind us of God’s promises:
The fact is that we can look around us and see all the colors of the rainbow in the abundance of nature which God has made for our pleasure.
The restfulness of a flowing stream gives moments of peace. Take time to relax this weekend. Look at the new leaves and the flutter of the birds and the opening of a new flower.
God’s creation is a thing to cherish.
If one has ever gone to sleep near the ocean, the sounds and movement of one wave hitting the shore one after another gives the serene calm that is needed in this stressful world. For your listening pleasure, Boyer Writes presents music and the sounds of the ocean. Whether you want to listen while you read, work or sleep, may it give you a totally relaxing experience. Happy weekend!
(Since the picture is the same throughout, we suggest that you enlarge the picture and simply listen.)
For your weekend listening pleasure….the sounds of the violin and the beauty of nature.
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.
The world’s largest cave is in Vietnam. It was explored first in 2009 and has been a source of fascination to those who have actually seen it. This particular cave is located in the caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang. Hang is part of the underground system connected to more than 150 different activities in Vietnam, located near the border with Laos.
The Huffington Post published this about the cave:
The Hang Son Doong Cave is over 5.5 miles long; has a jungle and river and could fit a 40 story skyscraper within its walls…The newly discovered cave has been touted as the largest in the world, although other caves vie for the title of longest (Mammoth Cave in Brownsville, Kentucky nabs that title with about 400 miles of passageways) and the deepest is Krubera Cave in the nation (not the state) of Georgia. A local man discovered the cave entrance in 1991, but British cavers were the first to explore it in 2009.
Mark Jenkins wrote for National Geographic some history of the cave: Two decades ago, the leaders of this expedition, Howard Limbert and his wife, Deb, became the first cavers to visit Vietnam since the 1970s. Back then, the country’s caves were legendary but unexplored. In 1941 Ho Chi Minh had planned his revolution against the Japanese and French in Pac Bo Cave north of Hanoi, and during the Vietnam War thousands of Vietnamese hid from American bombing raids inside caves. The Limberts, experienced cavers from the Yorkshire dales of northern England, made contact with the University of Science in Hanoi and, after obtaining sheaves of permits, mounted an expedition in 1990. They’ve made 13 trips since, not only discovering one of the longest river caves in the world-12-mile Hang Khe Ry, not far from Son Doong-but also helping the Vietnamese create 330-square-mile Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which now attracts a quarter million Vietnamese and foreign visitors a year
One amazing thing is that deep in this cave, there is a rain forest. It appears that part of the roof of the cave has collapsed and because the light of the sun has been able to shine through….the beauty of life in plant form began to develop.
Our video #2 below explores just this aspect…light and growth… which leads us to once again to think about what was meant when God said, “Let there be light!”
Light is all important. It is the source physically and even spiritually. We consider evil in the world to be in darkness…and finding truth and salvation in Christ to be brought into the Light! How beautiful is this analogy. Truth is always so simple and clear. We are to bring “light” into this world, which turns into something wonderful. Let’s take a look at Hang Son Doong Cave and marvel.
Video 1 Exploration of the Hang Son Doong Cave in Vietnam
Video 2 The Hang Son Doong Cave grows a rainforest
Most people have not heard of Howey in the Hills, Florida, USA, but they are quite familiar with Disney World or other theme parks around central Florida. Howey wishes you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
What is this small town like? The deep, red sun rises each morning over the lake with no snow or ice. The cypress trees blow gently and the birds from Bird Island parade overhead. An occasional alligator can be seen and the cranes wade through the grasses. Yes, it is a special place. It is a wonderful, small town where neighbors know each other; dogs are welcome and people stop to chat as they walk them along Little Lake Harris. The police and fire departments are appreciated; the schools are honored, and the small businesses and residents are asked to take part in a great Christmas parade. Where else would one find llamas dressed to welcome such a great holiday? Take a look below.
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At this Advent, may our eyes be opened, Lord, to all that you have around us.
May we be aware that You never slumber or sleep, but You see even the smallest sparrow. Your plan was to bring your Son, Jesus, to the earth that we might have not only salvation, but a newness of life. Eyes that see….a heart to care….and especially at this time….JOY on earth….GOODWILL toward all men, women and children.
Turn on your sound and click to see through the eyes of God’s creation.
The first snows are beginning to fall in the northern areas of the U.S.A. We remember each season with its beauty and praise of God’s handiwork. Boyer Writes invites you to join us this weekend with the beauty of nature and the music of Vivaldi.
(Turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing)
The sounds of a waterfall….. There is nothing more in this video but sounds…so close your eyes and relax. It may be the best few minutes that you have spent this week for it is in the “small still voice” that God speaks.
Nothing can improve on the beauty of the earth and the creatures God has made. Relax and enjoy on this Sunday morning.
Enlarge screen for this excellent video by National Geographic
Most of us do not have a great deal of patience. It is difficult to wait for a ride; stand in line; stand-by for a phone call…and much more. We want things to happen immediately…if not sooner. We have heard the saying “Patience is a virtue” and a virtue is defined as moral excellence.
Most people would not consider their morals as excellent….unless it is the fact that they take the high ground concerning violence, honesty, morality control and the like. Patience is not what we think of as part of being a moral person, but it is in many ways. Probably one thinks of it more as an attribute. The person who pushes the elderly lady out-of-the-way because he/she is impatient or belittles a child because one does not want to be interrupted is bordering on the immoral…because those very acts are closely related to a lack of patience and human selfishness and arrogance.
Our dog, Gracie, has learned patience. She knows that “You have to wait” means that she cannot go or do whatever it is she wants. Often on hearing these words, she will lay down but constantly watches to see if the time for waiting is over. If waiting becomes too long, she may raise her head; cast her eyes back and forth…and wait some more. Children have a harder time with waiting. This may be because the parent gives in to a look, a cry, or a whine. Actually, I sometimes have trouble with this myself where Gracie is concerned. There is something about those pleading, big eyes…well, you know!
Giving in, however, does not teach the patience virtue where people are concerned. We have much to learn from our animals. Oh, if it were easier. Perhaps blood pressures would be lower; stress would not be a problem and we might all live longer.
At this point, you may be saying to yourself, “When is she ever going to finish this writing?” Aye, my friend, your patience is to be rewarded a little further with a visual of animal’s patience with their human masters.
To immerse one’s soul in a quiet place…whether it is a walk in the woods or simply looking at a leaf or twig very closely…very, very closely is my challenge to you today. Below are some slide presentations that I made a few years ago, while examining up close and personal some parts of nature not seen by many. Since photographing these, they have been blown by the wind…kissed by the rain…never to be the same again.
SLIDE PRESENTATIONS IN NATURE: (Scroll down to see all the slide shows)
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EYES TO SEE THE BEAUTY OF NATURE
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SEED VAULTS AMAZING CLOSE UPS
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NATURE AND CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY BY N. BOYER
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BONSAI…IN NORTH CAROLINA
FLORAL BEAUTIES…ORCHIDS AND MORE
When you were born, you had a mother. She may have been a good mother who gave you the attention and love that you needed. For some, unfortunately, mothers do not always fit that description. A child has to fend for his/herself and try to make some sense of life.
For those who had mothers who said too many times:
- Be home on time
- Call me to let me know exactly where you are and who you are with
- Eat your vegetables
- Wash behind your ears and brush your teeth
- Calm down
- and much more
I am sure some of you paid no attention to this advice, but went your own way…or paid part-time attention to these words of wisdom. However, as we grow older, we realize that mother often was right about many things, whether we believed it or not at the time. She may have saved us from some problems…accidents…and more.
Recently, I saw a video which proves without a doubt that “Mama knows Best”. Even an animal knows when her little one is in danger….and will go to great lengths to save it from the dangers of the world… especially those made by man.
Thank you to Ricky Forbes who photographed this in the Kootenay National Park in British Columbia
If it were possible, would you want God to speak directly to you? We read in the Holy Scriptures that God spoke to many people at different times. We now have the Word of God to read, but does He do more than that? Do we let things that are directly from Him go unnoticed? This video is a blessings being sent your way. Perhaps it will answer a few questions.
A video we want to share with you, as we approach NEW YEAR’S 2014, says “Happy New Year” in such a beautiful way. We wish for all of you from around the world….a Happy and Blessed New Years.
We started keeping track of all the times that you clicked in to us since Oct. 2011, which is 64,641 views. In 2013 we started a new map that shows over 8,000 visitors this year. (See map at right). We will start a new map in 2014 and hope to have many of you return and read.
We would also love to hear from you and get to know our readers better. Our email is http://www.boyerwrites.wordpress.com
God’s blessings to each of you.
From Boyer Writes.
Auld Lang Syn , sung by Sissel
It is not usual to hear of a young couple today who decided to find life their way. Such is the story of Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz who look for little things…old windows…hinges….used wood…and have built themselves a house in the beautiful countryside of West Virginia. It isn’t a big house…or a fancy house…but a house with natural light. Even their heritage plays a part in their decision as Lilah learned how to make her own clothes from her mother….and finds enjoyment in continuing this tradition.
Life for this couple, with a vision, is a great contrast to the hurried world of the young city dweller. They have decided to look through many windows to let the sunlight and moonlight into their lives. A stroll in the woods; setting up a camera and developing the film…making life as they want it…at a much slower pace. The view across the lake brings nature into their home; dogs run freely and life is less stressful. Maybe it is time for all of us to think of making life a little more simple.