A park pigeon an outdoor bird with luminous colors shine

Bird photography, Birding, Birds, Christianity, Daily Post, Life, Nature, Outdoors, Uncategorized

At the time I took this shot, I had no idea why I was photographing a typical park pigeon. But, when I brought it up on my computer I see what I didn’t see. When I truly looked at this bird, it is beautiful. The luminous green giving off a brilliant sheen, various shades of blue and grey, and the bright red eye outlined with a black ring. Even the markings create unique patterns and shapes on these stout body birds.   As with life, I sometimes tend to skim the surface and not take the time to see the true colors.

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How my prayer was answered

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My friend and I volunteer to paint murals on the walls through out the hallways of the Veterans Administration hospital. The hallways were painted an institutional drab tan. Now, with painted murals, it brings life, joy, and contentment for the patients, staff and visitors as they pass through the halls.

One particular morning, I asked God for His blessing on a mural my friend and I were to paint. I prayed for direction, help and assistance to paint this mural.

Unlike my friend who is a professional artist, I am a novice painter. As like most novices we don’t see our mistakes and faults as well as others see them. Throughout the painting, my friend Stan found fault. He’d say your lines are not smooth, you need more value, use more water, or you’re holding your brush wrong. This was one of those days, he was not himself. I was ready to give it up and hand the brush over to him telling him, “if you can do it better, then you do it.” But I didn’t.

I just stood aside and watched him paint. Inside me, I pouted and I started to put myself down. I was thinking I’ll never be a good artist.

When I got home, I realized that Satan was telling me all those negative things. But, God answered my prayer from this morning. I asked Him for direction, help and to assist me. He did it through my friend Stan who told me my problems and showed me how fix them.

It was then I realized God was there the whole time as I painted. I seemed to have given up not only in myself, but in my faith, trust and belief.

God was there the whole time. My lesson is to focus on God not on myself. I pray this story may help others.

Below are a few murals we painted at the Veterans Hospital

 

Hermit Thrush

Bird photography, Birding, Birds, Christianity, Faith, family, Nature, Outdoors, Religion, Virginia

20141212-Hermit Thrush

I get great pleasure in photographing birds. It’s not just to capture the detail, light, or composition of a picture. The enjoyment is the outdoors and to learn from the animals, in my case the birds. Like this picture of the Hermit Thrush, food is there for the picking. They eat what they need and leave some for others. Nature provides the material, source of nutrients and water for their survival.  Not only does God provide for all animals and insects, He is there for all who believe.

Golden-crown kinglet

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Golden Crown Kinglet showing his crown copy

This tiny bird known as the Golden-crown Kinglet must have read my mind.  I was thinking I’d like to get a good shot of its crown.  No sooner said, he leans down to show me his famous icon, the the golden crown.

White-Throated Sparrow

Bird photography, Birding, Birds, Christianity, family, Nature, Outdoors, Uncategorized, Virginia

This white-throated sparrow speckled in an array of earthly hues camouflaged with the help of fallen autumn leaves and broken twigs. At this moment in time, I am its’ predator, but only to be shot through the lens of my camera.

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A beautiful back yard bird

Bird photography, Birding, Birds, Christianity, Faith, Religion, Uncategorized

With the harsh weather that’s covered much of the mid-Atlantic this winter thoughts of spring might seem like an impractical idea.   Spring break will be happening soon. 

Here it is February.  I noticed crocus leaves have spiked through the frozen ground and swollen buds are showing on the limbs of trees.  Even the cardinals, one of the most colorful and abundant backyard birds has awakened.  Although their feathers are not as colorful presently, come early spring they will display their full mating suit of feathers as seen in this picture I shot in early spring last year.  This is the time the master artist displays His rainbow of colors. 

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American Goldfinch

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American Goldfinch (Eastern Goldfinch)

If the Garden of Eden still existed, the American Goldfinch would be the species you’d find in God’s paradise.  When I took this picture, it was a cloudy, grey day.  This adult male Goldfinch brightened my outlook on the day with its dazzling yellow body.  It seemed to spread happiness and joy as it flittered from plant to plant.  I noticed the Goldfinches favor the yellow and orange flowered plants for their pick of seeds.  It was of interest to watch these birds eat.  With their conical beak, it makes it easy for them to remove the seeds from the seed heads of a sunflower, purple coneflower or thistle plant.

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Parent and Young Barred Owls

Animal, Bird photography, Birding, Birds, Christianity, Faith, family, Nature, Outdoors, owls, Uncategorized

I captured this adult and juvenile barred owl along the Nolan trail in Newport News, VA.  The perimeter of the Nolan trail surrounds Lake Maury; which is within a mature, mixed forest of large trees of hemlock, maple, oak, hickory, and beech.   When I first spotted this fledging owl, it was roosted on the branch.  Normally, an owl will sleep during the day and are not very active.  But, this young guy was alert and constantly looking around.  I figured it was waiting on its parent to come back.  So I set up my tripod and camera and waited about two hours.  Finally, out of nowhere, the adult owl appeared along side the juvenile owl.  This was a great capture of a barred owl nurturing its young, the next generation of these beautiful birds.

Unlike human love, animals’ internal love appears natural.  Humans make the power of love so difficult.  Before God created man and woman, He created the animal kingdom.  Maybe we are to learn from the animals.  I see in this picture love, joy, kindness, compassion, and comfort.

By Richard Smith
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The Osprey’s Catch: One Fish at a Time

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April, the month the ospreys arrive from their winter range to begin the cycle of life. I captured the below photo in Newport News, VA at the spillway where Lake Maury overflows into the James River. Two hours before high tide the ospreys flock near the spillway to capture their bountiful food of herring, shad and other bait fish. As the tide moves in, the fish swim through the spillway into Lake Maury. In a tight circle, the osprey flies about 10 to 30 feet above the water’s surface. When the osprey spots its prey, it does an aerial dance. Its wings flutter to hold its position from the winds current. The ospreys yellow eyes are intense on its prey. With its wings folded it dives into the water. Within seconds the osprey swoops out of the water with a fish snagged in its talons.

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Written and photographed by:  Richard Smith

A Storm’s Kindness

Birds, Christianity, family, Nature, Uncategorized

My wife and I walked out on the back porch in midst of a bright, clear morning.  There was a little wind, but we could see the results of the thunderstorm.

In the back yard, patches of grass tips peaked above the water that flooded most of the yard.  Through out the yard laid twigs and branches.  Puffs of wind pushed the fallen leaves on to spots of dry land.

Natures’ symphony was at its best.  Cardinals, wrens, and sparrows chirped their sounds of various notes of their musical scales.  Seeds, nats and worms were of abundance for our feathery friends.  These little birds playfully dove, swooped and skittered to catch their cornucopia of food.

I said to my wife, “I am sure glad we were not outdoors through the storm.”  We walked down the porch stairs.  The soggy ground swished under our feet; it was like walking on a wet sponge.  The muddy water glistened like shaking Jell-O.  The sun light was getting brighter and stronger.

I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with the clean fresh air, and it felt good.  Storms seem to help clean, dust, and brighten Gods’ garden.  I guess it is His way of house cleaning.

By R Smith