Tag Archives: God’s stuff

‘The Giant Dormouse'(2017)

Image result for images of giant dormouse

Islands make for funny ecosystems. Big animals wind up a lot smaller, and small animals a lot bigger.


I’ll have to go back and check this, but if memory serves, the Bible speaks of ivory that comes from Cyprus–which (ahem) Reputable Bible Scholars Inc. pooh-poohed until later on in the 20th century, when the abundant remains of pygmy elephants were discovered there.

Alas, the giant dormouse is no more; but that doesn’t take into account God’s promise to restore His whole Creation.

Why I Love Reptiles

Henry Lizardlover's Iguana Behavior, Body Language

It’s easy to understand why anyone would love a cat, a dog, or a bunny. They’re cuddly, they can love us back, they can be trained to perform useful work, and can even play with us.

But I love lizards and turtles, too. I’ve had many different kinds as pets. You can’t teach them to do jobs, I’ve never known a lizard to play, it’s hard to be cuddly when you don’t have any fur, and as for loving us back–well, I’ve had a few lizards and turtles who did a pretty good imitation of it, and maybe it wasn’t an imitation after all.

Dogs and cats, rats and bunnies, goats and horses–they’re mammals, like we are. That means we have a lot in common. We can get into each other’s heads, as it were. You can understand what your cat wants, even though she can’t tell you in words. Your dog can understand what you want, etc.

But what about a lizard or a turtle? (Those of you who are wondering why I’ve left out snakes–well, I’ve had no experience with snakes.) These are very, very different from mammals. No parental care: the eggs hatch and off they go.

But I’m here to tell you that you can win the trust of a lizard or a turtle. They will lose their fear of you, certainly seem to enjoy it when you handle them; and if they’re big and smart enough to be allowed the run of the house, they’ll often seek you out, and seem to be happy in your company. And if treated kindly and gently, they can learn to do things that they’d never ordinarily even think of doing! You should have seen my iguana cuddled up with his doggy and catty friends. Unthinkable, really. But he’d been around long enough, and thoroughly hand-raised from the time he was a tiny little green thing, to be able to adapt to many unusual situations.

To me a bond with a reptile feels special because I know how different they are, I know what a great gaping space a turtle and I have to bridge before the turtle wants me to tickle the top of his head and the underside of his neck. A turtle in the wild who allowed anything like that would have to be totally crazy. To have the little slowworms (legless lizards: charming little souls) scooting over to me to get fed and petted–well, really, that made me feel like something very fine was happening to them and me. It felt like a glimpse into God’s restoration of Creation.

When I had an art class to teach, I used to take my iguana to school because the kids liked to draw him, and feed him wild strawberries. He behaved himself all day, with perfect manners. He had a bond of trust with me that he extended to most other humans. He and Patty hit it off from the git-go. He and Patty’s dog were instant friends.

Reptiles are capable of much more than we expect from them; and to have had a role in bringing it out–well, what can I say? I love it when that happens!

More Adorable Birds

God has blessed us with all sorts of creatures that can be our companions–all different, but also with important things in common. Like the ability to play with you; even the ability to love you. Many mammals have those qualities. And a lot of birds do, too.

We’ve got more than our usual ration of bad news, these days; but I think these birds will cheer you up.

And someday I’ll try to tell you why I’m so fond of reptiles, too.

More of God’s Stuff (Another Log)

I don’t feel like writing about the coronavirus any more today. You don’t need me for that, do you? Some of God’s stuff instead–

Here’s a tree chewed down by beavers in Nova Scotia, falling across a marsh to make a bridge. And we have another trail-cam in place to film the various critters visiting the log and using it. Trust otters to turn it into a playground!

‘The Log’–It’s More Than Just a Fallen Tree

Aaah! This is more like it! Much more like it.

Our friend “Unknowable” sent us this video last night, and we’ve just got to share it with you: all these different animals using a fallen tree-trunk as a bridge across a stream. I especially loved the little duckling who decided to do it the hard way, climbing over the log when he could have much more easily swum under it.

This is God’s stuff, and it works. All the time.

‘God’s Stuff: Water Striders’ (2015)

Let’s step back for a moment from National Emergency and have a look at a bit of God’s stuff. Water striders.

If He takes care for them, He will take care for us.


God’s stuff always works. It’s our stuff that doesn’t.

‘Mr. Nature’ (2013)

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I don’t know how I got elected “Mr. Nature.” It just happened. Maybe on account of reading Mark Trail throughout my childhood.


I dassn’t tell you how long it took me to realize “Mark Trail” was a pun.

Anyway, I never outgrew my interest in animals of all kinds, from the water bear to the ancient short-faced bear. And if you have no idea what those particular critters are… you need Mr. Nature!

We can celebrate God’s stuff together.

Mr. Nature: The Biggest Dinosaur

It’s hard to say which was really the biggest dinosaur, but Sauroposeidon, from Oklahoma, is a strong candidate for the tallest.

When it comes to the biggest dinosaurs, mostly what we have are bits and pieces. Sauroposeidon’s remains, for instance, were originally mistaken for fossilized tree trunks. The problem with these gigantic creatures is that when they died, their carcasses were too big to be fossilized easily and they mostly broke apart.

But if that picture up above is accurate–and the scientists have done their best, with what they had to work with–wow! Can you imagine seeing an animal anywhere near that big? Oh, the work of God’s hands! When I interviewed the famous paleontologist, Bob Bakker, some years ago, he said he imagined the Lord took a special pleasure in creating these giants.

Obviously they’re not here anymore. God has removed them–where to, we don’t know.

But I suppose there will be some spectacular surprises waiting for us when we get to Heaven.

Mr. Nature: Spring Peepers

Spring is well on its way; and that means these little frogs, spring peepers, will be coming out hibernation and calling for mates. This is Mr. Nature: and for this safari, some of you will only have to walk out to your back yards.

My brother, Mark, and my editor, Susan, are privileged to live in neighborhoods where peepers abound. One or the other will phone me, from time to time, so that I can hear the peepers, too.

The march of the seasons, the calling of the peepers, the tulip bulbs by our door putting out shoots–all part of God’s stuff, and it all works just fine. All the time.

P.S.–For those of you who collect crepuscularities, Chef John (“Food Wishes”) perpetrated one today: “My wanton use of egg glue cause my wontons to fall apart.” You can catch him on Youtube–one of Patty’s favorite cooking channels.

The Amazing Lyre Bird

Jambo, Mr. Nature here! Today’s safari takes us to southern Australia, to visit the lyre bird–probably the most incredible mimic in all the world.

You name it, he impersonates it. Perfectly! All different kinds of birds, car alarm, motorized camera, chain saw… The real kookaburra is inspired to reply to what he is sure is another kookaburra.

How does the lyre bird do it? Search me!

God’s stuff is just so cool.

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