Dancing sunlight~

​Sometimes, we find ourselves in just the right spot at just the right time to watch the sunlight reflect off the rippling river and dance back through the overreaching leaves and along the dark branches.    The only purpose of this post is to share a short video of just that…..

 

​I hadn’t gone out for photo therapy,  I didn’t have a “big” camera with me, so I captured this on my Iphone 6.  Y’all should know my motto about cameras:  “The best camera is the one in your hand.”   This video doesn’t do the scene justice, but I doubt any truly could, but I wanted to share the scene.   I hope you are able to enjoy these few seconds of light dancing along the underside of the canopy, and the chorus of frogs and crickets that, perhaps, were there watching the light right along with me.

Peace

 

 

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Saturday Snapshots along the Haw River

Today was one of those rare, cooler than normal summer days here.  The late July breeze seemed determined to dance with the leaves, swaying the green ones that held firm to their branches, and sending gold and red ones spinning through the air giving us a welcomed and refreshing reminder of autumn.  It was the perfect day to go take a stroll alongside the Haw River in Saxapahaw, NC.

A few steps down from the parking lot, and the trail awaits under a dense canopy of full trees.

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From this viewpoint, it seems a clear division ~ solid land and the trail to the left, steep riverbank and rolling water to the right.
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Somehow the sunlight finds its way through the dense canopy to reach the lower plants along the trail.

There are parts of the trail where the sky isn’t clearly visible directly overhead but today that didn’t matter at all, the reflection on the water shows the clouds moving in.

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A little blue sky – a little cloud cover all in the reflection of the mighty Haw River

Sometimes, the light shining through the clouds, then reflecting off the leaves and water makes the entire area, even the air, seem golden-green.  If today were a color, It would be this shade of green:

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Cloud covered, tree framed, mighty Haw River

A little further along the trail, the clouds have moved and a little more sunlight is reaching through.  Early hints of the coming autumn, golden leaves are hiding within the summer green trees, falling, and drifting downstream.

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Reflections ~ a hint of blue sky in the water and golden leaves hiding within the green.

When I was younger, this part of the river was heavily polluted with dyes from textile mills, both here on these banks and upstream. Environmental restoration began several years ago and continues still.  Much more information and details can be found on the Haw River Trail website.  It’s really quite interesting.

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The trail curves away from the river here, the river doesn’t mind, it just keeps rolling on.

On the return walk, near the end of the trail the silver reflection of the building clouds caught my eye once again.  There have been sporadic showers throughout the day, but despite their impressive appearance, the clouds haven’t delivered any severe weather yet.

The stroll was nearly over when I snapped this last photo.   Of all the scenes today, I think this one was my favorite.

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The return view ~ Building storm cloud, silver and blue reflections on the water and behind the trees

There are still quiet, peaceful, lovely places in this wonderful world where one can simply watch the river roll and the sun set, and be thankful to be able to appreciate such moments.

~ Peace ~

 

Remote Office Day

It’s Tuesday here, and during this time of the year I take advantage of the option to work from my remote office, aka my back porch.

The morning and early afternoon was spent with calendars, books, and websites, listing topics and lessons for this coming season in youth ministry.  It’s an uplifting exercise in planning.  Serious topics with positive reinforcements to help some of the best middle school age youth I know, try to grow in their relationships with one another and Christ despite everything that will try to dissuade them as they encounter more and more of this world.  I do this planning away from people, away from human chatter, away from news reports, I don’t even play the radio during this time.  Even so, it is far from silent here on the porch.

Today the backdrop for this task is one of tall, old oak trees with full branches of deep summer green leaves, appearing a brilliant gold shade in the morning sunlight and nearly black in the afternoon cloud cover swaying in the soft and much appreciated summer breeze.  It’s hot out on the porch, but it’s worth it.   My “office mates” on the other side of the screen are a pair of cardinals chirping sweetly at the turning pages and scribbled notes, a few finches peek in from time to time and a humming-bird hovers at the bushes and seems to be interested on what’s going on as well.

These happy and graceful birds, singing to and with one another through the heat and humidity draw my attention upward.   Away from the computer, away from the papers, they remind me to be still a few moments and experience the day.   Soon enough the rush of a more structured schedule will return, and perhaps I will recall these moments through these words. To stand and get the camera would send them flying away, and any still photograph would not aptly capture this day of most beautiful sights and songs. So, I will stay in the heat a while longer, planning for cooler days and soaking up these most joyful noises.

“Shout joyfully to God; all the earth” Psalm 66:1

 

 

 

 

 

Shade trees, green pastures, and a blue eyed baby horse named Surprise.

My cousin, who’s really more like a sister, called me this afternoon with an invitation to go see an almost 3 week old baby horse.  I think I actually said “Awwwwwww” on the phone.   A short few minutes later we were through the gate and being greeted by Miss Tia, the Mastiff, who accepted our head scratches as a sign we meant no ill-will towards “her” horses.

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That’s really how we do a lot of things in this family, last minute not really planned.  I don’t think the animals minded that we hadn’t made an appointment with them.

I view horses as beautiful, graceful, powerful creatures, I have a great deal of respect and a little dose of fear when I’m near the large ones.  Those are the ones I admire from a safe distance.

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Nuzzle Time

But the small ones, the baby colts are different.  They’re so sweet, a little goofy, just looking for some nuzzles, scratches, play time and food.

 

Venturing out across part of the pasture, Surprise looked up to see she was pretty far away from her mama and started running back.  If you’ve never seen a baby horse kick up its hoofs and run, please do yourself a favor and find some way to witness that.  It’s like witnessing laughter in motion.

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The baby colt’s name is Surprise. Look at those blue eyes!

Her eyes matched the sky behind the storm clouds rolling in.  Just gorgeous.

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Well, Hello There!

Close to her mama, she seems content to spend the afternoon enjoying the shade and looking at her human and her dog, which is nearly as big as she.

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Grazing under the shade trees

What’s the best camera?  The one you have with you.   These photos were taken with my Iphone 6 camera.  Perhaps one day soon I’ll take a different camera back and get a few clearer shots, but then that wouldn’t be spontaneous at all.  Those last-minute out of the blue calls seem to find me in the most amazing places with some of the most wonderful people I know.     Enjoy summer everyone, every single unplanned moment of it!

Peace.

The Monday Moon

The moon won’t be full for a couple of days yet, but looking up earlier tonight I couldn’t help but smile.  So, I put my coffee down long enough to pick up my camera and take a stroll outside.

It really is beautiful, and it’s lighting up the entire landscape like it doesn’t even care that it isn’t full yet.

Perhaps there’s a lesson for me from this not quite full moon.  Perhaps the subtle changes, along the way to any given goal, are moments to be observed and illuminated. Perhaps it’s a reminder to be bright at any stage of the journey.  Perhaps, too, it’s a wonderful reminder on this Monday night to keep looking up.

Peace to you all.

 

Hawks, Honey Bees, and Pear Blossoms in February.

The area hawks were especially chatty today.  If  hawks don’t want you to hear them, you’ll never hear them.  But today they wanted to be heard and were calling loudly for quite a while.  I finally grabbed my camera and ventured out to see if I could spot them.  Some days they play hide and seek, chattering from well within the trees so as to not be seen.  Today, however, they seemed quite social, playing on the unseasonably warm breeze most of the day, soaring high above the tallest branches and conversing amongst themselves in the most joyful manners.  They’re such powerful birds.  I absolutely love seeing hawks play in the wind.

I followed the hawks as best I could for a while listening to their chatter and trying to snap pictures in between sips of coffee.  The hawks weren’t the only creatures out making noise this beautiful day, though.  As I walked I was greeted by another sound,  the very distinctive, unmistakable buzz of bees.   Now, I’m not afraid of bees, and I’m not allergic to bees, but to hear what sounds like a swarm as bees work over a tree is quite impressive….. in a “maybe I shouldn’t get too close” kind of way.

I believe there is beauty and peace within every day.  Some days it’s hard to find, but some days….. Some days we get a personal invitation to glimpse some of the most amazingly beautiful yet absolutely ordinary moments anyone could hope to witness.

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Hawk flying through the February sky.

 

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New blossoms alongside the old bark and moss

 

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Honey Bees have found the pear blossoms
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I love watching hawks play on the wind.

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According to the calendar, there are still a few weeks left before spring.  I think, perhaps, the birds and bees disagree, at least in this little corner of the world.    Enjoy your week out there, and if you get a chance remember to look up.

“I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.” Psalm 50:11

 

 

~ Snow Day ~

It is a beautiful scene here as the snowflakes falling from the deep gray sky dance along the freezing winds, floating and spinning through winter branches before landing softly on an already blanketed landscape.  If winter prayers could be drawn or photographed, I believe they would be images of days like today.

 

Perhaps where you live snow is a usual winter occurrence, but that is not the case here.  Here snow is rare and celebrated.  We stop.  We advise people to stay home while secretly we want to go out and see the white-draped sites around the county.  We go out to play, hike, take pictures and comment on the freezing winds before retreating to the warmth of hot chocolate, coffee, and popcorn inside.  And if we get enough snow….there will be that wonderful creation Snow Cream!

It’s truly lovely, it will stay so for a couple of days as the temperatures remain below freezing.   And I will spend as much time as possible being grateful for the glimpses of quiet stillness and peace ~that different kind of silent beauty that comes only in the winter.

~ I wish you all peace and the perfect snow day  ~