Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sometimes you gotta go with Plan B

Hike: Mountain Creek, Sat. 2/28/2009, 10:41-12:43
Distance: 4 miles Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Cloudy. Fast moving clouds. Many strong t-storms earlier in morning (some tornadoes east of us). Several blow downs in the forest. Windy. Temps in upper 50's to mid 60's. Pleasant day in the forest.


Was planning on spending Fri night through Sat evening with Dad & Mom but severe weather kept us close to home. Went to Mountain Creek after squall line of storms had passed our area to spend some time on the trail. Hard to be still and listen today for some reason - not sure why.

Many passarines about - getting ready for Spring. Wonder if they realize it is supposed to snow tonight/tomorrow morning?! Got quite close to some sparrows and thrashers on the Hickory Hill Trail. Several gray squirrels busy scurrying around. Vocal crows and high flying vulture. One species of hardwood is blooming already in the bottom land. It is a quite stunning, soft red bloom. Not sure of the species yet. (Maybe a red maple?) Most water I have seen in the small creek through this park! Verse on my mind, Psalm 121. Speak to me, LORD I desire to know YOU better and follow YOU closer.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

C.O.M.E. #9 - Barton's Beach Nature Preserve

Hike: Expedition #9 Barton's Beach Nature Preserve, Perry County, AL 2/21/2009 09:25-13:25
Distance: Estimated at 4 miles (pedometer did not function correctly)
Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy. All trails were flat. Little to no elevation changes throughout the area. Some blow-downs to negotiate but bushwhacking required was not a problem.
Conditions: Absolutely gorgeous day! Bright blue, clear sky throughout the expedition. Temps started out around 40, but warmed up to low 60's by afternoon. Breeze was light to moderate and except for the sound in the tree tops was not noticeable in the forest.
Martha, Jon, Nathan, Charlie & Cynthia (their first expedition) joined me for Expedition #9 to Perry Lakes & Barton's Beach Nature Preserve. We had a wonderful time, though we did miss some of our regular ones. Hiked Ridge Trail, Round Lake Trail (did a little bushwhacking through slough trail area), and climbed the 100' Birding Tower (views were amazing here and the wind was more noticeable up top). Also hiked the Beach Trail and Secret Trail. Spent some time on the white sand beach of the Cahaba River. The white sand is truly amazing - almost as pristine as one would expect on the Gulf beaches. We picnicked together and shared a devotional from Romans 1 and Psalm 1. A great time and, as Martha said, "This is one to do again."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Beautiful Day Hike @ Mountain Creek

Hike: Mountain Creek, Sat. 2/7/2009, 08:00-11:30
Distance: 4.7 miles Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Bright blue sky. Calm to slight breeze. 40 degrees at start, warmed up nicely.
Many passerines in the forest today: cardinal, tufted titmouse, blue jay, eastern blue bird, American robin. Pileated woodpecker in high top of poplar tree - with his red pointed hat highlighted in the morning sun, he looked like a monarch surveying his kingdom. Many gray squirrels. Thoughts on Chiz, Great Western Expedition, and Crestview. I desire YOU, LORD GOD; to seek YOU. Please guide my steps. Be my TrailGuide.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Love of Nature's GOD

From my youth I have loved “getting outside” – hiking and observing nature. As I move away from the noise of “civilization” and into the solitude of the forest, desert, seaside, or mountain, I am enveloped with a gentle quietness that is hard to describe. The demands, deadlines, and disorder of the daily drudgery just evaporate as I hike deeper into the woods. The cacophony of the day is gradually replaced with the alluring song of various passarines, the buzz of the numerous insects, or one of the other living sounds of the forest. The rustle of the wind in the trees or through the broomsage is a caress on my spirit that reminds me of the gentle care of the CREATOR, HIS care not just for Creation in general but for me as well. Along the path HE places special little jewels to remind me of HIS love – small woodland violets (my personal favorite), majestic sycamores or oaks, vivid autumn leaves, a dogwood in full bloom, a brightly colored and inquisitive bird, a small babbling brook, sweeping panoramas of mountains or valleys, or the unexpected view of a coyote, fox, or bobcat. I never know what treasure awaits around the bend or over the hill – even on trails that I have covered many times. Such is the love and care of my CREATOR.

I hope that you know HIM too. I hope that you also experience this wonder and awe as you “get out” and “get away”. HE is waiting to meet you there.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Three New Species Discovered on Deep-sea Voyage

Man is still discovering new creatures and new things that GOD has already created. We serve an awesome and creative GOD! This news piece from ScienceDaily is a prime example. We are excited to discover these "new" creatures, but they have been there all along. We just didn't know it.

Get out and see what GOD has done! Spend time with HIM and see what HE will do.

(Click title above for link to entire article.)
ScienceDaily (2009-02-04)
-- Scientists have returned from a month-long deep-sea voyage to a marine reserve near Tasmania, Australia, that not only netted coral-reef samples likely to provide insight into the impact of climate change on the world's oceans, but also brought to light at least three never-before-seen species of sea life...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Excellent Resource for Alabama Environmental Info

Pat Byington does an excellent job of compiling information and calendar events for environmental events germane to Alabama in one web location. If you're curious about what environmental events are coming up around the state or if you're looking for that special place in GOD's Creation you have not visited yet, then check out Bama Environmental News.

The current (calendar) edition can be found here.