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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 14:52

Well, it’s been an eventful week. In photos, at least.

I seem to find the most interesting animals in parking lots. You may remember my porcupine experience last August, at the local Whataburger. Well, the sweetest man in the world and I were leaving our favorite restaurant the other day, and I spotted this little guy across the parking lot.

 

Killdeer_Parkinglot

The sun had already set, so it’s not the best picture. But it’s true what they say, the Killdeer are indeed a shorebird you can see without going to the beach! We actually have these on our property quite often, and someday I hope to share with you a better shot!

Speaking of that sun that was setting, I shot this on the way out . . .

 

Sunset

I mentioned last week that the Hummingbirds are back. I just love spending time with these little wonders. Consider yourself duly warned, you will likely see pictures of them here on this blog, weekly, at the least!

Here is a series I shot of a female, pretty sure it’s a Black-chinned Hummingbird, as I haven’t seen any Ruby-throated males yet this year. The females of both the black-chinned and the ruby-throat are nearly impossible to tell apart.

This little gal seemed almost as interested in me as I was in her. What I love about these captures is the detail of her feathers.

FemaleHummingbird1

FemaleHummingbird2

FemaleHummingbird3

 

We had a bit of excitement on Sunday, when I got a call that some peacocks had been spotted on the property. Did I want to get some pictures of them? Does a bear have hair? LOL

These aren’t the best shots. With the wind gusts of 20mph, and the birds not really interested in posing for me, getting a crisp shot was impossible. But I wanted to share them with you none-the-less.

PeacockPairLaying

Peacock_Pair

Peacock_Pair2

PeacockFront

Their jeweled necks simply glowed in the sunlight. I was hoping for the coveted tail shot, but I guess they were too nervous to do any fanning. These are big birds and I wasn’t interested in provoking them!

Here is a link to a pretty cool, interactive series on fancy males that Cornell put together. It really is worth checking out: http://biology.allaboutbirds.org/features/fancymales/fancy-males

The moon has been rising in the afternoon and I was able to get this shot of it waxing gibbous, about 79% illuminated a couple of days ago.

WaxingGibbous79

I think a lot of my shots could benefit from the use of a tripod. I’m in the market for one, if any of you have any recommendations or insights, please share in the comments.

That’s my week.

What have you seen through your lens this week?

 

Blessings,

June

 

 

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Inspired by . . . The Triumphant Entry: A Palm Sunday Reflection

 

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your king is coming to you;

righteous and having salvation is he,

humble and mounted on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zec 9:9

 YellowCallaLily

 

Reading Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem always leaves me with mixed emotions.  I wonder if Jesus felt the same. Not to say that I can identify with Him, but because He can identify me.

He knows what is in the hearts of men. He knows my heart.

 

But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them,

because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man,

for He Himself knew what was in man. Joh 2:24-25

 

I rejoice over the picture of Jesus riding on a young colt. To see Him coming in humble majesty fills my heart with JOY.  I can picture His mother watching. Thinking of another time, years before, when she bore Him on the back of a donkey.

Despite the shouts of the crowd, Jesus still comes quietly.

This is no picture of a conquering king. 

And yet that is what the people wanted. That is what God's people have always wanted. {1Sa_8:5-6} I wonder if that's why their hearts turned so quickly against Him. They wanted a king to rule them, to save them from the Romans.

But Jesus came to save them from themselves.

 

CallaLily_kk_tuesday

kk_tuesday

 

He comes the same way today.

It pains me to know that the same crowd that shouted, "Hosanna!" on this day, shouted, "Crucify him!" just a few days later. It pains me because I love Him.  and because I know if I'm not careful, I can do the same.

For us, Palm Sunday is all sunshine and shouts of praise. But as our Savior rode into the city, He saw the shadow of a scourged and beaten man carrying a cross pass by. A man Whose heart was heavy with the sting of rejection, and Whose ears heard cries of hatred.

This account, found in all four gospels, reminds me to be careful. It reminds me to question the motives of my fickle, human, heart.

Am I looking for a King when I really need a Savior?  Do I reject the blessing when it doesn't look the way I thought it would?

 

PurpleCallaLily

 

These are good questions to ponder. Questions that shed Light in dark places.

Because just as Jesus died and rose again, there are things in our lives that have to die before we can take up our cross and be made more like Him.  Luk_9:23

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Heb_12:4

 

As we travel the road to the cross this week,

may our steps take us deeper into the

heart of our Savior.

 

Shalom,

June

 

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Inspired by . . . a month in photos: March

 

March has been a lion! And with only two days left this month, I’m hoping it does indeed go out like a lamb. Looking back over the month, I can see why I’m so tired.

I wanted to post this yesterday. But we were gone all day, and so here I am posting on Palm Sunday when I should be talking about other things. Events that happened over 2000 years ago, that I’m processing anew today. So I’ll write about them later. And maybe that will be okay.

March was, again, a month of settling into the new. Accepting grief. Learning it’s boundaries. Testing them. I know that makes it sound like a tangible thing.

Some days it is.

But March was also a month of digging deeper with God. Using His word as the Lamp on my path. Continuing the journey.

Finding JOY. Every day. Deliberately seeking it out.

Spring arrived somewhere along the way. I reJOYice as I watch God dress-up His world in new frocks of green, and paint the roadsides and meadows with orange, blue and yellow. He’s still hard at work, He has only just begun.

So here is March. From ice crystals to the return of the Hummingbirds.

 

MAR_Collage

 

Favorite photo of the month:

HouseFinchMale

Male House Finch

 

In all things of nature

there is something of the Marvelous.

~Aristotle

Sprinklings of God’s mercy and grace:

1. Fish therapy - we have a new aquarium - so tranquil

2. Sunshine and blue sky

3. Planting pansies - love their happy faces

4. Quiet walks

5. Inspiration and encouragement from His word

 

When you look back at March,

what do you see?

Blessings,

June

#oneword365

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Inspired by . . . Oreo Cookie Cows and Hummers

Last week, in the midst of a rather difficult day, the Hummers returned.

 

Hummingbird_Feeder_Rain

 

As you see the weather was not the most accommodating, but they are formidable little creatures!  The black-chinned hummingbirds are gracing my humble abode once again, and  my heart delights!

 

BlackChinned_Hummingbird

 

The ruby-throats will arrive, probably in another month or so, creating a war zone for a time. But they will move on north, to visit some of you, while the black-chins remain. If the Phoebe is my winter JOY, the black-chins are indeed my summer JOY. I never tire of watching them and have been known to burn dinner because I was watching out of the window rather than over the stove!

 

Hummingbird_PurpleProse

French Kiss Texture Purple Prose and crackle overlay

But what is a bit of burned food to these tiny miracles! {I think you know my opinion on the matter!}

Something else that happened last week, was that I finally got pictures of the Oreo Cookie Cows! I’ve been trying for three years, quite literally, to get these shots, and while the cows were not as close as I would have liked, I could not wait another moment to share these with you!

What are Oreo Cookies Cows, you ask? Well, see for yourself!

 

Belted_Galloway

 

Yes, I am having a bit of fun. As some of you may already know, these are actually Belted Galloway cattle. But I like to call them my Oreo cookie cows, just for fun!

 

Belted_Galloway_Impressions

French Kiss texture Impressions

 

As you see I’ve been playing around with some new {to me} textures and overlays. If you’re interested in textures and fun stuff like that, Leslie offers several as a free download for new members. You can check it out here.

And finally, I’ve been trying for awhile to get a good shot of the sweet chickadees that grace my feeders year-round. They flit about and move so fast, it’s really quite a challenge! But, I finally captured one and had some fun applying a grunge texture, then a blend mode, and then masked out the bird itself.

 

Chickadee_GloriousGrunge

 

He’s sitting on a branch of the crepe myrtle tree in my front yard. This was just taken just a few days ago, and today I see that the branches are budding!

 

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Blessings,

June

 

 

Sharing inspiration here:

Wild Bird Wednesday   Saturday's Critters_2

Little by Little

Monday, March 23, 2015

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 13:52

 

When I’m feeling especially sad, I often go outside and talk to the trees.

Actually, I talk to God more than I talk to the trees. God talks back. And, so far, the trees have not. Although, it is possible that they are just speaking a language that I do not yet understand.

Lest you think me completely off my rocker, I was delighted to find talking trees mentioned in the Bible recently when I was pondering some of Jesus’s words in Mark 11 (more on that in another post). Oh, the talking tree? You can find it in Judges 9, if you want to go look it up.

 

OakTree

 

I was blessed in the reading of this quote, from Arabah Joy’s Trust Without Boundaries, earlier this week:

 

"When we wake up and walk weak,

we need to be men and women who remember the gospel,

a rag-tag band who preaches it to ourselves."

 

I’ve been walking weak lately, in this season of grief. I have needed to remember the gospel, and preach it to myself. Arabah reminds us that although we have the blood of Eve (fallen humanity) pumping through our veins, the “antidote to being a daughter of Eve is the all-sufficient, perfect blood of Christ. His blood supersedes the blood we inherited from Eve.”

 

Agarita

 

God is speaking Truth to me in this season. Through His word first and foremost, but also through His children, like Arabah, and others. God is awesome like that.

My God-talk is interrupted by the incessant bleating of a goat. I look up and see a small herd, some distance off. Zooming in with my camera I can see one little kid darting to and fro amongst the larger adults. Poor thing, he must have lost his mother. But his bleating brings to mind the words of the prophet Samuel to King Saul in 2 Samuel 15:14.

 

Goats

 

I think of my own disobedience and wonder if it resounds like the bleating of sheep in the ears of my Lord.

The bleating stops suddenly, and along with the silence a peace settles over my soul.

 

Baby_Goat

 

I remember my Redeemer.

I have been put to death with Christ on His cross,

so that it is no longer I who live,

but it is Christ who lives in me.

This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God,

Who loved me and gave His life for me.  Gal 2:19-20

 

Barbedwire_Fence

 

There is no sound of bleating sheep in my Lord’s ear.  By the precious blood of Jesus, I have been cleansed of my sin and made right before God. Just as the pear tree has put on a new frock for spring, I am clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  (Col 3:12)

 

PearTree_Spring

This is the Truth of the gospel. The Truth I must remember today, and every day.

And today, live as one redeemed.

 

Shalom,

June

 

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