A Dog and Bunny Paradise

This is one of those glimpses God gives us into His ultimate plans for Creation. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain…”

The dog is not going to eat the bunnies.

The parakeet is on hand to supervise.

Spring Has Sprung

Dead nettle Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Our new dead-nettles

Overnight, a host of brilliant yellow dandelions have bloomed all over our lawn, punctuated by a crop of brilliant purple dead-nettles. The squirrels have not eaten our tulips, so we have a dash of bright red, too. Is it any wonder that most people love the spring.

And then the bells of St. Francis, across the street, chimed in with For the Beauty of the Earth.

The flowers tell us: God is nigh.

‘This Is My Father’s World’

It’s positively freezing, up here in Jersey-land; and yet all the trees are suddenly in bud, and even our ancient dogwood tree has opened up its blossoms. God’s stuff is on the move.

Here’s a new rendition of a classic hymn, This Is My Father’s World, performed by Keith & Kristyn Getty… with plenty of beautiful things to enjoy.

Suddenly It’s Spring

62 Types of Purple Flowers with Pictures | Flower Glossary

As if by magic–but it’s God’s magic, no one else’s–we have all kinds of little wildflowers springing up around our building. Our tulips are coming up, too; and I’ll have to take care to put a cage over them to keep the squirrels from biting off the buds, a bad habit of theirs.

We have these little purple things, bright purple, suddenly visible–where were they yesterday? And crocuses, daffodils, and these tiny white flowers that are everywhere, and Patty’s Lenten roses… they’re all over the place.

And it makes me think, yes, God renews His creation every spring. He is not remote from us, He is not an absentee landlord: He is right here, with us, all the time. That’s what all these flowers are telling us. They are hymns of color, hymns of life.

For which we give thanks in Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Stuff: Spring Peepers

Before I get into any low-down, dreary nooze–if I get into it at all today–here’s a sure harbinger of spring: you can hear the spring peepers.

My editor, Susan, has a patch of boggy ground next door; and when the peepers come out of hibernation to mate and lay eggs, Susan calls me on the phone so I can hear the peepers singing.

God has not troubled Himself with giving them a calendar; He has created them so that they never miss their time.

God’s stuff always works. It’s our stuff that has all the problems.

Mr. Nature: The Giant Dragonfly

Meganeura, a hawk-sized relative of modern dragonflies that lived during  the Carboniferous : r/Naturewasmetal

Jambo, Mr. Nature here–with a dragonfly that has a two-foot wingspan. Sometimes a little more.

Meganeura is prehistoric, so don’t worry about one flying into your car while you’re driving on the highway. Once upon a time, some insects grew to spectacular size (although not to the degree celebrated in assorted 1950s monster movies). Scientists think it was possible for them to grow so large because there was more oxygen in the air then than there is today. Mixing the air is God’s prerogative.

Dragonflies, totally harmless to humans, eat mosquitoes. As far as I’m concerned, we can never have too many dragonflies.

I Won’t Touch the Nooze Today

Scarlet tanager's startling red flash like fireworks in the forest | On the  Wing | bayjournal.com

Instead of getting my hands dirty with the nooze, which will still be there tomorrow–and they will have added to it–let’s have a look at something beautiful. A scarlet tanager, for instance.

I have seen this bird in the wild only once in my life, when I was 12 years old at Y camp. Its range supposedly includes New Jersey, and you’d think such a vividly colored bird would stand out and be easy to see–nevertheless, I never see them. Mostly we have sparrows and starlings.

In an odd way, I’m kind of glad the scarlet tanager so rarely takes the stage. It’d be a shame to take something so beautiful for granted. If I see a goldfinch once a year, I count it a blessing. And I have yet to see a bluebird.

It’s something to look forward to: and nothing in the nooze can match it.

Mr. Nature: Ringing Rocks

One of the coolest, most intriguing places I’ve ever visited is the Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In this video you’ll see and hear that some of the rocks–but not all of them–emit musical notes when struck with a hammer. While I was there, another visitor worked out how to play “Happy Birthday” on the rocks.

There are not many of these sites. Ringing rocks are always found in boulder fields. If you break off a piece of one, it won’t ring anymore. There are all sorts of theories to account for this, but the long and short of it is, we don’t know why they ring. Why don’t they all sound the same? We don’t know that, either.

Secrets of nature–never let it be said that God is not a wildly inventive Creator.

Special Video Treat: Red Pandas

There’s butt I could kick today, nooze I might cover–but I think it better to try to relax into a sabbath day of rest (if your sabbath is Saturday, that’s fine, too).

So! Has God ever made a cuter, prettier, more smile-raising creature than the red panda? Yes, we’ve learned to call them pandas, although scientists say they’re not related to the giant panda. Scientists can make up their minds about what animals go into which families.

Odd panda fact: Most animals–think mammals, reptiles, fish–are lighter-colored, or even white, on the bottom and darker on top. with the red panic, the opposite is true. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

‘Just In: Is This Shark 500 Years Old?’ (2017)

Greenland shark is world's oldest

The Greenland shark, up to 20 feet long, lives in really cold Arctic water, sometimes under the ice, occasionally venturing up the St. Lawrence River. Not much point being afraid of them! You’d die of exposure before the sharks could get you.

Anyhow, certain scientists now believe these Greenland sharks can live preposterously long lives–up to 500 years.

Just In: Is This Shark 500 Years Old?

I have written thousands of posts for this blog. Would you believe that this thing about the shark is my all-time best-liked post? Well, OK, it only had to get 18 likes to do that.

But the important thing is, How old is this shark, really? And if there’s a trick to it, Heaven forbid anyone in Congress ever finds out what it is.