God in all things, Photography, Scenery

Questions and Answers

This is another photo from Sweet Arrow Preserve, taken 2 weeks ago. The flower is a Wild teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris). According to Wikipedia, the name “teasel“ comes from the use of this flower to brush (tease) cloth. Sadly, it is probably an invasive species in the park.

I found the name of the species using an app (PlantSnap) that identifies plants and trees directly from a photo. I have another app for identifying birds but you have to manually enter the distinguishing characteristics (rather than it happening automatically from a photo).

It’s tempting to think of the Bible as a spiritual version of Wikipedia (or the plant/bird apps). Have a question? Just look up the answer! While I definitely believe God communicates with us through the Bible, it’s not quite so simple as just “looking up” answers. Discernment is required. But that is not a bad thing!

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery

About to rain

This photo was taken a little over a week ago at Sweet Arrow Preserve. We had checked the radar and forecast before we headed out to hike and it looked like the rain was going to hold off for a couple of hours. Less than 30 minutes into our hike, it started raining. And then raining harder. And then it let up a little. We stayed mostly on the wooded trails and didn’t get too wet… until we headed to the car. Then we got soaked.

The thing is, with the hot weather we have been having, it actually felt good. Sometimes, we avoid experiences that we know will be good for us. Sometimes, we dread what is about to happen only to realize it really wasn’t that bad. Thankfully, God knows what is good for us.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Seasons

This is a photo from Glacier National Park from September 3 years ago. I enjoy seeing photos from the park on their Facebook page. Sometimes, it brings back fond memories. Other times, I’m struck by how different the park looks at different times of the year. In different seasons.

I’ve only recently come to recognize our lives as having seasons. With children who are now adults and grand children who are growing up quickly, the cycle of renewal has become much more obvious to me. How fitting that we have been described s as God’s vineyard.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Hidden

I find water lilies to be intriguing. I’m not sure why but I used to think they were completely floating in the water. I learned from Wikipedia that is not the case. It seems obvious that they must be anchored to the bottom of the pond or lake, since they more or less stay in one place. I also learned there were about 70 species of water lilies. Genetic studies have shown that they are among the oldest flowering plants.

There are so many things in life that are “obvious” once you know them. There also are so many things that are “hidden” that we make assumptions about. Often without realizing we are making those assumptions. This seems to apply to racism. It is not obvious until you see it. Then you wonder how you could have not seen it before.

(Photo: Indiana Dunes National Park)

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Obstructed View

This is a photo near Berea, Kentucky. It was taken while looking out through an opening in the trees. The trees were not quite dense enough to create a “tunnel” view, but they definitely made it difficult see everything along the hike. In other settings, we might talk about an “obstructed” view. Or even “blinds spots.”

Recent discussions have shown me how many of us have blind spots regarding racism in our society. The reflection from Jesuitprayer.org this morning reminded me that as followers of Jesus, there is no “neutral,” in the face of injustice. There’s only racist or anti-racist. Taking action requires moving (being open) to a different point of view to see beyond our “obstructions”.

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