Thursday, June 23, 2011
My friend and I know better than to think we are ever in a place where there is nothing to see. We keep watch and so many times are led to see amazing things in unexpected places. These three photos were taken in the backyard of a garage sale right in Evergreen. The woman and young man told us about a bee hive that had collected on a limb in the back yard. I saw a single bee close by on the flower, but it was awesome to see the number of bees altogether hanging on the limb, They were not aggressive, and I had a telephoto lens, so proceeded with caution to get a photograph.
There are always things going on around us, but we must keep vigilant and quiet ourselves to hear and see them.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
My Colorado friends have taught me much about simple elegance. They don't have lots of things, yet the way they serve each other and their guests is nothing less than simple elegance. Dale puts love into the preparation of fish for the grill, or making us a fire to enjoy the millions of stars seen after it gets dark on the mountain. Lessy knows how to add the finishing touches to her meals with a flourish of decoration or simply delicious sauces and dressings for veggies, salad, and pasta.
One of our traditions is to exchange prezzies (presents) upon my arrival to their cabin. They are never very expensive, but often found at garage sales or second hand shops. But they bring squeals of delight upon opening. We anticipate the reaction of the other as much as the anticipation of what our treasures will be.
I learn how to be a servant with a glad heart, and also a child in receiving with delight and gratitude the simple gifts we exchange. One of the prezzies I received this last trip was a set of delightful cloth napkins with a moose in the corner. Upon returning home I found two green pottery dishes at a garage sale that had an orange clay rim that matched the napkin. When I served my husband dinner tonight with the cloth napkin and the plate filled with baked chicken, baked potato, and sliced avocado he got a big smile on his face. It made him feel special.
We all are. You know, special. When we take a few extra minutes to find ways to serve others we glorify God. We can take joy in completing jobs and blessing others. It is the secret of simple elegance. And I believe God smiles in pride as He sees his kids maturing and sharing love in these simple, serving ways.
If anyone wants to be first,
he must be the very last,
and the servant of all.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
These small wonders are SUGARBOWLS. I have seen them usually farther north than Colorado. However, this time the forests and meadows around Evergreen seemed to have an abundance. I saw them in colors ranging from dark blue, periwinkle, shades of purple, and maroon. They are called sugarbowls because the sepals flare outward and give the flower a fancy Victorian sugarbowl appearance.
I think some of my fascination with these beauties is their feathery plume and silvery hairy stems. The fingerlike leaves stretching in beautiful lines remind me of beautiful ballet dancers. The last photo, in particular, almost brought me to tears. I caught this lovely dancer on an early morning walk through the meadow. It seemed as though she was just waking up, and in her graceful stretch allowed me to photograph her in an upright position. It evoked a small writing which I put on a note to myself on my cell phone...
'Stretch, Lady Sugarbowl. Awake to let your cup be filled by the sweetness of the Son! Dance with your Maker, and celebrate the Life He has given you!
A quite proper way to start the day, before our feet hit the ground, is to acknowledge and be filled by the sweetness of our Lord. It is indeed sweetness for God to use such a small wonder He brilliantly designed to remind me of how to wake up!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
each one tells stories of your mighty acts.
These photos were taken at Lake San Cristobal near Lake City, Colorado. I had seen the lake from an overlook a couple of times on previous trips, but never traveled around its perimeter before. The scenes of peaks, water, grasses, and trees were intoxicating.
There were lots of inlets and grasses extending into the lake to provide places for wildlife. I spied this family of Canadian geese from afar, and slowly made progress towards them in hopes that they would stay close for a photo op. I saw the parents scoot their youngsters toward the water, where they embarked for a swim. The youngsters were surrounded by their parents as they left a beautiful "V" of waves behind them.
My blog is about telling stories of the Lord's power and majesty. As I stand before mountains, wildflowers, waterfalls, butterflies; wherever He sends me, I an indeed in awe of His work. I especially love to see generations of wildlife. I have been privileged to see moose, elk, deer, bears, buffalo, fox, marmots, and waterfowl with their young.
As these particular youngsters found themselves surrounded by their parents, I hope you will have a hunger to travel alongside God and your hearts will increase in love for Him and your fellow travelers, including all the wonderful animals that have been put on the earth.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
A short distance off a main road near Lake City brought a view to the incredible canyon and waterfall in these pictures and those of the previous post. The composition and majesty equalled that of the falls at Yellowstone. The added benefit was that NO ONE else, but my friend, was there at the same time. Such beauty and raw power of tons of water cannot elicit more response than simple praise and awe of what God has done, and is doing.
He leads us beside still waters, but does not leave us as we find ourselves in the rushing waters of life. I feel like, after a non-rushed, quiet time on back roads in Colorado the re-entry into Texas traffic and heat has been brutal. But a day trip yesterday with my two girls helped provide a little bubble of retreat that was so good for us. Laughter, lunch, trying on and buying funny hats: all added to the lightness and time together that becomes a special memory.
Whether we be along still waters or rushing waters, God is Good All the Time!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I took these two photographs, one after the other, of the same place near Lake City, Colorado. The first one showed just a smidgen of the vista in front of me. The other showed a more complete composition of the immense scene.
I felt the stirring of heaven as I looked upon this sprawling beauty. Just the mountain by itself was amazing. Then the aspen grove added its magic. As the valley fell away to the canyon and rock outcroppings, it was nearly more than I could take in. On my next post I will reveal the astounding waterfall that was just to the left of this incredible scenery.
We can only see a part here, but can only imagine the stunning and thrilling love and beauty that is our eternal home. It gives me hope to look upon scenes like this. It reminds me that He holds me close and gives me daily strength to finish the race. As I stand before such grandeur, I long to hear as I stand before my Father in Heaven, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Give your entire attention
to what God is doing right now,
and don't get worked up about
what may or may not happen tomorrow.
Matthew 6:34 The Message
That advice is pretty easy to follow when you come upon a scene like this. We had taken a road veering off from the southern part of Lake San Cristobal. We found ourselves in one scene after another of unbelievable beauty. This one may be a scene I will hold in my heart and mind when I center for prayer. It calls you to sit in the chair at the edge of the water and breathe in the amazing creation of our Lord. It paves the way to relax in His loving sovereignty.
While on a walk near the cabin of my friends I heard the familiar sound of a hummingbird. I soon found myself being circled by it for nearly a minute. He was not aggressive, but stayed in his circular path for enough time that I was amazed at his interest. Perhaps it was my bright blue jacket?
My dilemma was whether to put my hand out, hoping he might land. But I did not want to injure or startle him. The other dilemma was that he was too close to photograph. I just had to BE STILL and enjoy the encounter. As he finally lost interest I was able to photograph him a few yards away as he got busy in the dandelions.
I find that, even when I am still, I am fidgeting. Just ask my family when we sit down together to watch a movie. lol! Or my husband when I am sleeping. Always moving.
The hummingbird gave me the gift of making me be still and just enjoy him; a good lesson.
Be still and know that I am God.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Last week I was able to take my spring girl trip to Colorado. We slipped away from her home and husband to revisit a wonderful ranch south of Lake City called 'The Oleo.' It refers to itself as 'The Poor Man's Spread.'
We were in a different cabin closer to the entrance, so the walk down to the trail heads was a longer distance than I had walked on previous visits. I left my friend, by her request, to sleep in as I left to take my morning walk. When I had finished the long trek to the trail heads I turned back towards the cabin. The morning light on the huge valley with a wide swath of stream and willow down the center was a sight to behold. I was hoping to spot a moose amongst the many interesting colors and shadows playing around the rippling stream's course.
Due to the extreme size of the valley I decided to walk closer to the fence that kept the horses in. I heeded my husband's request that I watch where I am stepping. The stones and snakes could pose a great danger if not careful. I would take four sure steps while watching my feet, then pause to look up and scope the willow. On one upward glance I saw a few of the horses gathered at the fence. The next glance up I saw another horse had joined them. Quickly, my identification was changed to the new guy being a MOOSE! He headed toward the fence and easily cleared it. I clicked the camera and he looked at me. Mind you, I was quite a distance away, but he heard it and turned his head to look straight at me. I stood still, amazed as he turned back and sauntered uphill into the forest.
At about the time the gorgeous moose entered into the forest my friend came driving up just in time to get a glance. I was short of breath from the altitude of 10,500 and the fact that my heart was racing and the adrenaline from seeing the moose was freshly coursing through my veins. I was glad to get a ride back to the cabin, and delighted that we had both witnessed such a beautiful animal!