While in Lancaster, PA, my wife and I toured the Amish area. Through our tour guid, we learned about the passion and purpose, which inspires these Godly people. Their Christian spirituality is the framework that sets their lifestyle.
The picture below show mules that are the power force to pull the plows, hay wagons, balers, hay cutters, and wagons through the acres of farm land.
Tractors often must be adapted for off-road use only, lest they provide the opportunity to go too far from home. This usually means steel tires rather than rubber.
The Amish look to God for help in this dangerous world. When they are face with problems, their first instinct is to pray rather than to seek a quick fix. They learned patience; they feel demanding a quick fix signals a lack of trust in God.
I hope you enjoyed this little article and have an opportunity to tour and visit an Amish community.
When looking at the Angel Oak Tree, it’s like a walk through a mystical time period. Spots of hazy, heavenly, light shows its beams through the leaves onto the branches. I expected nymphs and winged fairies to flitter under the huge canopy of the massive oak tree. This centuries-old tree continues to grow near a dirt road that leads to the Angel Oak tree; which is surrounded amongst many Low Country trees.
The Angel Oak tree is located on St. Johns Island, about twelve miles south from downtown Charleston, NC. When I saw the Angel Oak Tree in 2019, it is free admission. There just aren’t many free places to stop, and this is one that is definitely worthwhile.
This peculiar tree is said to be one of the oldest living oak trees east of the Mississippi River. Arborists estimates the Angel Oak tree is 400 to 500 years old. Several reasons for the Angel Oak’s longevity is its natural hardiness, long taproot, and widespread root systems, that anchors the tree deep into the ground. This is how it has survived natures elements of winds, storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes through-out the centuries. It does show scars from natures elements; but the old oak tree still stands strong and brave.
The uniqueness of the tree is that it grows both up and out. Its massive, twisted, and gnarled branches reach out like tentacles from a giant monster. It’s said, by tour guides, the tree stands 66.5 ft (20 ml), the trunk measures 28 ft (8.5m) in circumference and produces shade that covers 17,200 feet (1,600 m2).
Local folklore tells of another source for the name of the tree; ghosts of former slaves are said to appear as angels around the tree.
In her Ghosts and Legends of Charleston, Denise Roffe interviewed a woman descended from the slaves who toiled on the island’s plantations. She recounted the legends of the tree, including that it was once home to huge birds (likely vultures) who fed on the bodies of lynched slaves. The old woman continued saying that many people were buried under the tree including Native Americans who met under its shady branches. She stated that these spirits still gather around the oak and that they also work to protect the tree.
Recorded history traces the ownership of the live oak and surrounding land to year 1717. When Abraham Waight received it as part of a small land grant, the tree stayed in Waight’s family for four generations, and was part of a marriage settlement to Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel. The Angel Oak tree is now owned by the City of Charleston and has become the focal point of a public park.
Many weddings and engagements take place under the canopy of this beautiful historical tree.
There are many ways for people to refresh. Some like going to the beach to feel the sprays of the water and lay on the beach to enjoy the suns’ rays. Others like to surf the waves or enjoy the massaging therapy of the water.
Have you wondered how the ducks like to refresh? These cormorants enjoy to slide on the surface of the water for a splashing cool down. I know we have learned much from God’s creatures. Could it be, we applied the ducks’ technique of surfing to surf boarding?
This particular duck is a double-breasted cormorant. It measures 30-35″. It feeds on fish, snakes and other reptiles. They swallow the fish head first. They do it like that so it is not easy for the fish to escape. I am glad you enjoy the photo. I photographed these birds off the coast of Virginia on the James River.
What if the ducks learned to surf board from humans.?
I thought you may enjoy and have a little chuckle. Take time and enjoy God’s creation.
I know those footsteps by the impression it makes as you lead the way. I feel and hear you breathe. Your breath is like a feathery touch as it blows gently against my skin. The slow back and forth sway of thin branches creak with each inhale and exhale of your breath. A beam of white light spreads above the darkness on the horizon. Patches of light fog filters the white glow. As the sun rises and the fog lifts, a bright, clear, new day begins. You are smiling and happy to see me.
I smell the sweetness of life flowing as you move about. The potpourri of pines, persimmons and the musty scent of rich soil permeates the area. The morning freshness is like a splash of water on my face.
The choir of birds sing their chorus of melodies of joy as their day begins. It is like angels singing praise and worship as you watch over your children. Thank you Lord for my life, it is a pleasure to serve you and follow your footsteps.
Out on a limb or holding onto the twigs of a limb for dear life, this squirrel is some 40 feet above the ground. His only vision is to chew on the new budding twig of the Spring season.
Spread eagle or I should say spread squirrel clutches onto every branch within its reach. Even the fresh green twig he is chewing. After he finished, he did squirm for a way out. I think if it could cry out he’d say “Help me, Help me. I can’t let go or I will fall.
The below photo is his friend on another tree sits securely as it chews on a small pine cone. He looks at him and thinks no way will I risk my life. He’s on his own.
This Wood Thrush not only sings but dances; He wants to impress his mate who at this moment is flying away. It was fun to photograph this bird as it did its mating dance and call. He didn’t give up he flew after her.
After a scorching summer, today is a blessing. The heavy overcast clouded sky sprayed a light mist throughout the day. I stepped outside, and a chill hit me like you’d feel when you first jump in the water. As I walked to the river, I became more aware of my surroundings.
Squirrels noisily scampered over the fallen leaves to search out the fallen acorns. A crisp autumn day displayed its colors like an artist’s palette of reds, yellows oranges, and browns. Leaves of oak, maple, and elm laid among the musty rich soil of last year’s decaying leaves. The once vibrant green leaves still cling to the limbs, are now withered and spotted with age.
I inhaled deeply and smelled the smoke of burning cedar from the chimney of a nearby house. A fishy scent permeated the air as I came closer to the water. Like steam from a boiling teapot, cloudy vapors hovered on the waters’ surface. Drops of rain pelted the water like bait fish jumping in and out of the water.
In the distance, I heard fog horns bellow out their low blaring signal. Out from the waters cloudy vapor, I could see the silhouette of a crab boat. As it got closer, crab baskets stacked 4 high seem to overflow the boat’s tiny deck. The boat cut a deep wake making its way to the pier to offload its daily catch of the day.
In these days of technology and fast paced time, we no longer take in the beauty of nature and hear the sounds of joy. Although the day was dismal and dreary, I found happiness and pleasure in capturing the various senses of my surroundings.
Below is a photo of a red-headed woodpecker. My goal is to photograph each species of woodpeckers within my community. I have four out of six.
This red-headed woodpecker was an unusual surprise. I am accustomed to seeing a woodpecker pecking the trunk of a tree in search of food. This woodpecker decided it is easier to swoop and fly for that parcel of food. He flew in, turned sideways picked up the bread and flew off. It was a touch and go maneuver.
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.