Saturday, July 1, 2017

Natural Wonders of America

The U.S. Flag featured at some of our public lands for the Fourth of July
(uncredited internet photos)

Flag Raising:  Old Faithful
Yellowstone National Park, WY

Ft. Union National Monument, NM

Southern Swamps

USS Arizona Memorial, HI

Grand Teton National Park, WY

Avenue of Flags
Mount Rushmore National Monument, SD

Storms moving in...
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Zion National Park, UT

Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

Niagara Falls, NY

Devil's Tower National Monument, WY

Sagamore Hill Nat'l Historic Site
Long Island, NY
Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA

Half Dome at Yosemite Nat'l Park. CA 

Folding the Flag
at Ft. McHenry National Monument, MD
(where "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written)

Friday, June 2, 2017

More Backyard Blooms

GIANT Maroon & Yellow Sunflower
Over 6' Tall

Watermelon Blossoms
Intertwined with Squash and Loofa Vines

California Poppies

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Preach It, Brother!

This gentleman is a conservative Christian who believes in global warming & environmentalism.  I am a conservative Christian who also believes in climate change issues & environmentalism.  He, however, has remained a Republican and says his politics are otherwise conservative in the secular realm.  I have been an Independent Centrist for several years, now, over many issues. 

However, the overlap is great and makes for some good reading!

Why Climate Change Can’t be True (Even Though It Is)

Saturday, April 1, 2017


[from The Temple]

Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may'st rise:
That, as his death calcined*  thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and, much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art,
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews** taught all strings what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort, both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long;
Or, since all music is but three parts*** vied
And multiplied
Oh let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.


I got me flowers to straw**** thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.

The Sunne***** arising in the East,
Though he give light, & th’ East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes***** to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.******

--George Herbert, Welsh-Anglican Priest (1633)

*calcined:  Reduced to lime or other substance. (Oxford English Dictionary.) In this case reduced to our lowest commonest denominator, dust, of which we all are made.
**stretched sinew:  Christ on the cross.  Crucifixion stretches the sinews & ligaments horribly.  Herbert, a lute player, compares this to the strings of a stringed instrument.
*** three parts:  Most chords have only 3 different notes which are repeated, multiplied, at different octaves in different voices or instruments.
Note on Form: Herbert’s poems sometimes take a double-poem organization with two separate stanza forms. Because he played the lute and was familiar with popular songs of his day, he may have adapted this two-part structure. He may even have intended the poems to be sung.
****straw:  "strew", scatter without plan
*****Sunne/sunnes:  Old spelling for "Sun"
******The" Son" of God (Jesus) is the one and only Eternal "Sun".  (Cp. Malachi 4:2; the "Sun of Righteousness [Messiah] shall rise with healing in His wings.)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Flowers at Home

If this is how nature looks while it's "groaning"  (Romans 8; and we live in a desert, so we do see nature groan at its worst!), how much better will heaven be?

BACKYARD: Prickly pear cacti, African daisies, sunflower (another not blooming).
green bean plant (base of sunflower), pumpkin plant (foreground), marigolds (foreground)

OLD ROSE (bred for desert life):  Closer to "wild rose."
Related to fruit tree family (plum, apple, cherry, etc.)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

From St Patrick

God, my God, omnipotent King, I humbly adore thee.
Thou art King of kings, Lord of lords. Thou art the Judge of every age.
Thou art the Redeemer of souls.
Thou art the Liberator of those who believe.
 Thou art the Hope of those who toil.
Thou art the Comforter of those in sorrow.
Thou art the Way to those who wander.
Thou art Master to the nations.
Thou art the Creator of all creatures.
Thou art the Lover of all good.
Thou art the Prince of all virtues.
Thou art the joy of all Thy saints
Thou art life perpetual.
Thou art joy in truth.
Thou art the exultation in the eternal fatherland.
Thou art the Light of light.
Thou art the Fountain of holiness.
Thou art the glory of God the Father in the height.
Thou art Savior of the world.
Thou art the plenitude of the Holy Spirit.
― St. Patrick 

“For that sun, which we see rising every day, rises at His command… - Greg Tobin, The Wisdom of St. Patrick from St. Patrick’s Confession”

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Winter's Spring

The winter comes; I walk alone,
I want no bird to sing;
To those who keep their hearts their own
The winter is the spring.
No flowers to please--no bees to hum--
The coming spring's already come.

I never want the Christmas rose
To come before it's time;
The seasons, each as God bestows,
Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the snowstorm hing;
'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

I never want the grass to bloom:
The snowstorm's best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
And love it's piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

I love the snow, the crumbling snow
That hangs on everything.
It covers everything below
Like white dove's brooding wing,
A landscape to the aching sight,
A vast expanse of dazzing light.

It is the foliage of the woods
That winters bring--the dress,
White Easter of the year in bud,
That makes the winter Spring.
The frost and snow his poises bring,
Nature's white sporuts of the spring.

John Clare (1793 - 1864)