Hi, Mr. Nature here–with an animal that possibly lives in your own back yard without your ever having seen it: DeKay’s snake, aka the brown snake.
I know, I know, quite a few of you are afraid of snakes. But these are very small, totally harmless, and of a very meek temperament: I’ve caught many of them by hand, and not one has ever tried to bite me. Anyhow, they couldn’t hurt you if they wanted to, and they seem to know it. Most of them, when caught and handled, calm down in a matter of seconds. They used to be pretty common in my neighborhood, but what with the perpetual war on nature that goes on in New Jersey, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen one. I miss them.
These little snakes live in leaf litter, where their small size and generally brown or greyish coloration helps them blend into the background. They eat bugs and slugs and grubs, and the occasional earthworm–in fact, they eat a lot of things that any gardener would want them to eat.
Again, they never try to bite when you pick them up. No self-respecting Northern water snake would ever let you get away with that. DeKay’s snake is not a very exciting snake–which is the way I like them.
So there you have it, more of God’s stuff–a little animal that’s pretty to look at, easy to handle, and does no harm whatsoever. It deserves the right to go about its peaceful little business unmolested.
Here the sun is shining brightly on a smooth blanket of pure white snow, under an azure sky streaked with cottony clouds: this is my Father’s world.
I’ve been posting a hymn every day now for a year–or is it nearer two years?–and it seems to be that I’m more moved by them, emotionally, instead of less I find the sky and the snow more moving, too, along with everything else out there: my Father’s handiwork, all of which speaks softly, “God is nigh.” And I know they speak truth: I can feel it.
You feel it, too, don’t you? And if only we knew how to express it!
Okay, I think I’ve got it figured out. Cats will attempt to do the improbable, and sometimes succeed. Dogs will attempt to do the impossible, and seem not to care whether they succeed or not. And birds like to show off.
You’ve gotta love the God who created thee. (Gee, I meant to write “these,” but somehow it comes out better as “thee.”)
Hi, Mr. Nature here–and this is a baby fruit bat getting petted, and loving it.
You don’t think of bats as creatures that will respond to affection, but obviously they do. I think you can say that of most animals. And I think that tells us something about God’s Creation, and our own place in it. Another kind of animal, under unusual circumstances, might form a bond with a bat. But only a human being, for all our faults, will seek out a bat for that very purpose.
Incidentally, the oldest fossil bat ever discovered was already a full-blown bat, rather like the little guy in the video. Darwin himself worried that his theory would fall apart if no fossils were discovered of any animal on its way to evolving into a bat. His followers are not that honest.
It’s a grey, dreary, drizzly day today; and as I enjoyed my cigar outside, I thought of a pet I had many years ago. A mouse.
Her name was Sleepy, and she was about the lovingest little creature you ever saw. Her babies took advantage of her, mobbing her for nursing well after they were too big to need it anymore. She used to climb up onto the water bottle and chatter at them.
I used to take her downstairs, lie down on the floor, and let her run around the living room. She would run a little ways and then run back to me, a little farther each time, until she finally made it to the wall–but always back to Daddy. I took it as a lesson in prayer: make a lot of little prayers during the course of the day, just to maintain my connection to my Father in Heaven.
Mice make wonderful pets, they’re incredibly intelligent; but I don’t keep them anymore because we have two cats. Besides which, a mouse will only live for two years or so, and it breaks your heart to lose one.
True, wild mice invading your granary, that’s not good. But God has also created them with loving hearts–and that’s another thing we never would have thought of, in His place.
For those who haven’t seen this video, which Linda has shared with us in a comment, or who can’t get the link to work, here it is for everybody.
Watch the baby’s smile unfold like a flower. Seriously–if you were creating the heavens and the earth, in God’s place, would you have ever thought of giving us animals to love, that love us in return? How many eons would have drifted by, before we thought of that? But God did!
That kitten’s love, and God’s love, will bless that baby all his life.
Thanks to Erlene for suggesting this: In His Time. I don’t know who sings it, but whoever selected the photos deserves a round of applause.
Why butterflies and flowers? Like Mr. Nature says, it’s God’s stuff, it always works, it’s good for us–and it’s God’s way of letting us know He’s never farther than a prayer away. And sometimes even closer than that.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, introducing the spiny orb-weaver spider. They come in all sorts of bright colors, there are many, many different species of them, they’re found in warm climates all over the world–and the very biggest of them are about the size of a quarter, although most are much smaller than that.
They like to stretch out their webs in gardens, where they eat a lot of bugs that would otherwise eat your plants. They’re related to the big, bright Araneus spiders that we have here in New Jersey. All these spiders build big, showy webs, especially impressive when beaded with the morning dew.
Mrs. Nature and I once had an Araneus spider that decided to go on vacation with us, down to the shore, hitching a ride on my car. Every night she built a new web, anchored on the door and side-view mirror. When a fly or a mosquito flew into it, she pounced. When I had to open the car door she got quite upset. So I tried to avoid opening it at night, but we could hardly abbreviate our vacation on account of a spider.
Even so, it was our turn to be upset when, on the next-to-last evening of the vacation, our spider got blown out of her side-view mirror nest, never to be seen again. We were looking forward to her coming back home with us–which, after all, was where she came from in the first place.
God’s handiwork: you can even get to enjoy spiders, if you let your mind open up a little.
This has just gotta be so good for a baby! Well, my doctor says it leads to a stronger immune system, and he should know. But it must be wonderful for a baby, spiritually and emotionally, to love and be loved by some big, warm, cuddly critter.
Be honest, now–if it had been you instead of God creating the world, would you have thought of this?
Hi, Mr. Nature here–with a male dobsonfly that has seen better days, but still looks scary.
Legend has it that this insect got its name from a Mrs. Hortense Dobson, who discovered one inside her jump suit and invented several energetic dances while trying to get it out.
When I was 12 years old or so, I found a box on the ground with an enormous dobsonfly in it. You don’t forget that!
Despite their fearsome appearance, these critters are completely harmless and their larvae, called helgrammites, are highly esteemed as fish bait. The larvae look even scarier than the adults.
Isn’t Creation wonderful? God never runs out of ideas.