Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Life

Come in!

      A large round thermometer hangs nailed to the tree outside my library window. The temperature this early morning hour shows almost 60 degrees and it looks like snow is falling, but instead, the white star magnolia flowers are falling from the tree in a warm breeze. There's an east wind causing all the flowers to land on one side of the tree. The white is in stark contrast to the freshly-mowed green lawn. I'm sure you noticed how exceptionally bright the green grass is in the spring, no matter where you live or if it is just crabgrass.

      Yesterday, I mentioned to my husband the leaf buds on the red horse chestnut tree were swelling with life. This morning I see the first leaf popped open. There's no stopping them now. Next comes the big red flowers.

      It is such a pleasure to watch the progress of life returning to our personal paradise here after a cold winter. Have you ever watched a leaf open? It's like watching a baby being born—it takes time. 

      I wonder what I miss on days I think I'm too busy to relax and gaze out my library window?

      Time for another cup of jasmine tea.

      Let's talk next week after I return from Boise.

Your friend, Juanita

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Redhead Comes to Visit

Good morning, nature lovers!

He decorated our holly tree, but I never caught him at work. Isn't the design intriguing? So precise, too! This pattern appears strange work for a woodpecker since they drill holes, so who is guilty of making rows of squares?

I barely contained my excitement this week when I finally saw him near the path to the old barn. Wow! He can peck fast and move quickly around the tree, making it difficult to take a satisfactory picture. He wasn't in the mood for posing. He preferred dining on holly sap.

Patience paid off. After a zillion clicks, I managed to capture a few clear shots of this amazing bird for you to enjoy.

Yesterday, I was in the library when our bird flew into the large picture window. Wham! Scared me and him too, I imagined. I opened the window to get a better look and there he lay on the ground, not moving. I feared that he broke his little neck. This usually happens when birds try to come in without asking me to open the window first. I quickly called my husband and we both stared down at him and exclaimed together, “ Ohhh”! 

We were so sad! My new discovery looked dead.

We decided to go outside for a closer look. The bird's eyes were open and I noticed he blinked, so Craig gently picked him up. He didn't struggle, probably nursing a headache. What a colorful red-breasted sapsucker! Craig held him and I stroked him.

We enjoyed talking to him for a few minutes, then the bird appeared ready to fly away, pooping as he went.

“ But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. . . .”    Isaiah 40:31

Let's soar together!

Happy birthday, Susan!

Your friend and bird watcher, Juanita

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

On the Wings of a Dove

As I destroyed the nasty spring weeds in my garden today, I heard you crying. So mournful, so sad! You hid among the branches in the cedar tree. Why were you crying? Had you lost your mate or were you remembering your fate so long ago?

You had been sent on a mission to find dry land, but it became a difficult assignment. You returned from your first flight discouraged, finding no place to land. Later you returned with an olive branch in your mouth. How surprised you must have been to find plant life after more than 190 days adrift in an ark on the high seas.

Occasionally, I see you walking under the bushes with your mate. You run fast, then fly away. Next time, please stay longer. I promise not to hurt you, I only want to share a candid picture of you with my friends.

In ages past, you were used as a sacrifice of worship and purification by the poor of Israel, but you were also honored as a symbol of the Holy Spirit of God. In the first century, the early Christians designed a drawing of you as a secret code. Today, you represent Christianity and peace.

King David wished he had wings like a dove, so he could fly away and rest in the quiet of the wilderness.  Psalm 55:6.    Like David, I could use a break. Yard work is tiring for this old lady. The minutes have turned into hours and it certainly is time for a much-needed rest!

I always look forward to the music of your sad, but peaceful song. I hope to hear your cooing again tomorrow.

Sincerely, Juanita
Happy Birthday, Vicki !

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Greetings

Are you visiting in the afternoon? In the library, I will be serving the infamous Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies with your choice of tea or coffee.

From the window, we can see the royal pageant rose bushes with their little copper-colored leaves beginning to uncurl. The new leaves give me faith in its promise of many fragrant flowers of a blend of rich apricot and golden yellow to open in the summer. Here in the valley, it's amazing how quickly the naked, thorny canes develop tiny new leaves, seemingly overnight.  Before we know it, there will be flowers to pick and bouquets to arrange!  I won't mention the inch of hail we had this week.

This magic of spring gives me another thought. As winter is cold and dreary, we know warm weather will follow. Jesus gave a prophecy regarding world wars, earthquakes and famines. He called it the beginning of sorrows (winter), but he promised He would return from heaven with power and glory (spring), bringing everlasting peace (summer).

As we celebrate the Easter season, remember He promised to rise again. He did! He promised to return for us believers. And He will! Expect Him!

Your friend, Juanita

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