“Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pour them all out, as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” Dinah Mulock Craik
Practicing the Presence of God
He is always near you and with you. Do not leave Him by Himself. You would think it uncivil to leave a friend by himself who was visiting you. Why abandon God and leave Him by Himself? ~Brother Lawrence
"How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers." Mother Teresa
My Favorite Photos
Mother Teresa Quote
Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity. If you learn this art of being thoughtful, you will become more and more Christlike, for His heart was meek and always thought of others.
"Do you think you could make some strawberry shortcake for our Father's Day breakfast?"
You got it !
We did celebrate a few days early this year because Keven has bravely taken on the role of chaperone for a van full of teens attending the Franciscan University Youth Conference in Steubenville this weekend. I can't think of a better way for Jackson to spend Father's Day with his dad!
As awesome as Saturday's bird outing seemed, it just didn't compare to Sunday's. We spent the afternoon at Little Pine State Park with plans to bike, boat, swim, and fish. Watching two bald eagles for over an hour wasn't on the list, but most welcome. They share a nest with two small eaglet occupants. What a majestic sight!!!
Photo taken 6-10-07 on the bank of Pine Creek by L.A.P.
"Did you know that birding is the number one sport in America? According to US Fish and Wildlife Service, there are currently 51.3 million birders in the United States alone, and this number continues to grow!"
I have never been a member of a group of birders. Any knowledge that I have of birds has come largely from growing up in a family that loves nature. I have, however, always wanted to become a more proficient birder.
Saturday morning, Amy and I joined some other fellow birders for an early morning walk through the preserve to look and listen for common resident summer birds…and some that are not so common.
We ventured out with binoculars, field guides, notebooks, backpacks, bottled water and cameras. Amy had far less birding necessities than I had…I wanted to be well prepared. It wasn’t long before I realized that all of those necessities weren’t really necessary. For me, the binoculars were awkward to use while wearing glasses, the notebook was handy but a bit too large, the backpack was just plain cumbersome. But, the camera...I just don’t go many places without it!!! Of all the things I had hanging around my neck, I found my camera most prized.
We had only walked several feet before sighting our first spectacular bird, the Baltimore Oriole and it’s nest. The “oohs” and the “ahhs” came as a chorus from everyone watching.
We proceeded down the trail and within an hour and a half we had spotted, or heard the call, of over 25 species.
Photographing birds in flight is going to take some practice. Until then, these pictures taken from the internet highlight the species we observed.
Common Yellow Throat
Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Red Eyed Vireo
Eastern Wood Pee Wee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Rufus Sided Tow Hee
...and many more including a Red Winged Blackbird, Tanager, Cat Bird, Goldlfinch, Nuthatch, Yellow Bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, House Wren, Robin Indigo Bunting, Fish Crow, and Cardinal.
I’ve picked up some helpful hints that will make my next bird outing more efficient and pleasurable. · Keep notes of markings and behaviors to help identify the bird long after it has flown away.
· Often, a bird is heard before seen. Thick foliage makes spotting birds difficult. Luckily, many birds are identifiable by their song alone.
· Once you hear a bird call, remain still, focus on where the sound is coming from and then try to spot the source.
· Keep a birder’s diary that maintains detailed records of sightings.
My desire is to become versed in various birdsongs. I’ve been informed that it’s like learning a new language!!!
Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that a quiet conscience makes one strong. ~Anne Frank