Tag Archives: God’s stuff

A Little Bit of God’s Stuff

F/9.0, 1/1250, ISO 400. Downy Woodpecker Teacher: Bob please point to America on the map. Bob: This is it. Teacher: Well done. Now class, who found America? Class: Bob did. Interesting Fact: Woodpeckers don’t sing songs, but they drum loudly against pieces of wood or metal to achieve the same effect. People sometimes think this drumming […]

via Dont Mess With Me, I Can Peck You Up! — Through Open Lens

Here’s a little bit of God’s stuff, courtesy of “Through Open Lens”.


Our First Flowers of 2018

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It’s quite cold here this morning, and we have a snowstorm heading our way, according to the weather forecast. But today we have flowers–little white snowdrops, a tidy little crop of them, out on the front lawn. And next to our door, Patty’s hellebore has just pushed up its first shoots.

This is God’s stuff. This is His way of telling us, “God is nigh.” Telling us we’re not alone, He’s still here watching over us: nature carries on according to His plan.

We ought to love the Father’s handiwork. When He made the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, He pronounced it very good: as indeed it is.


A Very Cool Critter, the Hellbender

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with the biggest salamander in the Western Hemisphere–the hellbender.

All my life I’ve wanted to handle one of these. As a boy I spent many an hour turning over rocks in streams, trying to find a hellbender. But they don’t live in New Jersey. I guess I was hoping for a stray. The only salamanders I ever found were little ones; but the hellbender can grow up to two and a half feet long.

Hellbenders need fresh, clean, cold, swiftly-running water–which is getting harder and harder to come by. I know some of you don’t like cold-blooded slippery critters, but these salamanders are something special. Their only close relatives are the giant salamanders of China and Japan, which are several times the size of a hellbender. Now that would really be something to see!

Not all of God’s stuff is cute and cuddly; but it’s all way cool.


A Peek into Paradise (Cats & Babies)

Is it just me being sappier than usual, or is there something especially sweet and beautiful about this video? What gorgeous cats! What sweet little babies! Just about brought tears to my eyes. I think we’re getting a look at something that’s a foretaste of what God has in store for us who love Him.

I’d better go wash some dishes.


A Herald of Spring

I was talking to Susan on the phone this morning, and she told me, “Spring is on the way–the frogs are calling.”

The wood frog, with its characteristic black raccoon-mask, is almost always the first critter to come out of hibernation. These little guys can really take the cold: you can even find them in Alaska. Sometimes they can almost freeze solid during hibernation–but not quite. As long as they don’t die, they’ll thaw out all right. They want to be ready for when God gives them their cue to come onstage.

God’s stuff: world without end, Amen. And this is Mr. Nature, signing off.


What Happens to Fish When the Pond Freezes?

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Hi, Mr. Nature here, trying to answer a question that a lot of people have.

See that frozen pond? There are probably fish in it. Live fish. You may be able to see them through the ice.

As the weather grows colder, wild fish stock up on food and their metabolism slows way down. The pond freezes over, but there is still some unfrozen water under the ice. The fish stay alive in that unfrozen water, eating little, moving around very slowly, and trying to hold out until the spring.

But if the pond freezes solid, clear down to the bottom, the fish freeze solid with it and that’s the end for them.

But what about all those stories you hear about frozen fish coming back to life?

Well, I know several people with goldfish ponds who say those are just stories. I had a little pond when I was a boy. It froze top to bottom and that was curtains for my fish.

There are a few fish species living in Arctic or Antarctic environments that seem to be able to survive being frozen. But the trick is, they’re not frozen solid. Their blood contains a chemical that works like antifreeze, and as long as their blood doesn’t freeze, the fish can survive if they don’t have to wait too long for the water to thaw.

If you have a goldfish pond, you have to feed your fish special high-calorie food in the fall and then find a way to keep the pond from freezing solid in the winter. And if you do everything right, your fish will be there to greet you in the spring. And they’ll be hungry.

Pond fish in the wild have to prepare as best they can and then hope their home doesn’t freeze all the way down. But God has created them with what they need to keep their species going.


Cardinals in the Snow

This is what I saw when I came home from the Y today. Well, not a whole crowd of cardinals, like in the video. Just two, Mr. and Mrs.

When I see something like that, I know that God is with us.


The Friendly Octopus

When it comes to creation, the Lord Our God has a lot of cards to play. He doesn’t have to confine intelligence and sensitivity to creatures who have fur, feathers, and skeletons.

Think about it. Mammals, birds, reptiles, even fish–they have a lot in common. But an octopus? No bones. No skull. Nothing cuddly about it. But an octopus does have a brain; and, by all accounts, a fairly good one. See how this octopus interacts with the human beings who rescued it from stranding. A lot of the scientists who work with octopi, I’ve read, wind up liking them–and always being fascinated by how smart they are.

God’s stuff: you can’t put a limit on His creativity.


The Four-Eyed Fish

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a very unusual little fish that lots of people have never heard of: Anableps, aka the four-eyed fish. I met this little creature in a Mark Trail comic in the Sunday paper when I was a small boy, and never forgot it. Not that I was ever going to catch one in my net in Tommy’s Pond. The four-eyed fish lives in ponds and streams in Central and South America.

Does it really have four eyes? Well, just about! Its two eyes are each divided into two different parts so that the fish can see above and below the surface of the water at the same time–something I have tried to do with a swim mask on, but no dice. So this otherwise unremarkable fish has a highly specialized eye, unique to its kind.

This is God’s stuff, marvelous to behold. None of this pfud about the fish’s eye “evolving” from one form to another–it’d be pretty useless at the half-way point; and if a chance mutation resulted in a couple of four-eyed fish hatching out of the eggs of an ordinary two-eyed fish, that’s not much to build a viable species on.

I’m Mr. Nature, and I can end my sentence with a preposition if I want to.


The Giant Ape

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Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a really cool prehistoric creature that ought to get at least a cameo appearance in a Bell Mountain book. Maybe the next one.

Gigantopithecus (“Giant ape”) lived long ago in Southeast Asia. About a hundred years ago, some of its enormous teeth were discovered in Chinese drugstores, where they were sold to be ground up for medicine. To this day all we have of its remains are a bunch of teeth and some bits of jawbone, but the reconstruction is hopefully somewhere near the mark, because these pieces strongly resemble the corresponding pieces in modern great apes. Only much, much bigger! Scientists believe a full-grown Gigantopithecus probably stood ten feet tall. Shades of King Kong.

For a while it was believed those teeth once belonged to gigantic human beings, albeit of a primitive form. Well, that’s Evolution for you. But as Gertrude Stein might say, “A Gigantopithecus is a Gigantopithecus is a Gigantopithecus.” God doesn’t create living things that are on their way to becoming something else. They’re all right just as they are. And all we can say for certain is that there probably aren’t any more of them. Probably.

What must it have been like to see one of these coming your way down a path in the jungle? I don’t think you’d easily forget it!


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