Life Verse:

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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Crisp Morning Hike - Mountain Creek

Hike: Trails at Confederate Memorial Park, Mountain Creek, AL - Sat. 11/27/2010 09:00-11:00
Distance: 4 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Gorgeous!  Completely clear, bright, and sunny.  Sun felt warm in the chilly morning air.  Trails in good shape.  Frost lingering in the shady spots.  Recent rains and dampness made the forest floor soft and silent.  Temps in high 30s to low 40s.
No one else on the trails today.  Had a wonderful time to soak up the sun and commune with The SON!  Good time to talk to HIM and think.  Observed several woodpeckers, one was hard at work inside the hollow of a dead, standing pine.  His pecking was slow and methodical.  Sounded like he (or she) was taking great care to "get it just right".  Thought I heard a turkey at least once (though never did see one).  Squirrels busy about their business (as usual).  A little bit of color still left in the forest - mostly yellow and gold, with just a touch of red.  A beautiful and serene place.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hike Saturday - Alabama Wildlife Federation Nature Center, Lanark

Hike: Hilltop Pass and Turkey Ridge Trails, Lanark, Millbrook, AL; Sat. 11/20/2010 08:30-11:30
Distance: 4 miles  Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy 
Conditions: Partly cloudy.  Cool, but comfortable.  Little breeze.  Trails in good condition.  Few other people met on the trails.
Hike Saturday with Jon, Amber, and Kathy.  Greeted by two whitetail deer as we entered the Nature Preserve!  Hardwood trees in regal form - mostly golds and yellows in this forest.  A few reds and purples.  White Oaks were especially impressive to me on the summit of Hilltop Pass.  The "camo color" of mixed brown and green leaves is beautiful against the blue sky and their own gray shaggy bark.  Observed a Yellowhammer among the White Oaks near the "pass".  The tree-top boardwalk was enjoyable as always.  Was surprised that we did not observe more birds or squirrels in this area.  Didn't see any turkeys this time either.

We were greeted to a special bloom display along the Turkey Ridge Trail, as some old camellia-type bushes were covered in fragrant lavender blooms.  The bees were loving these bushes!

After 4 miles of trails and some stomach grumbles, we stopped at the Lanark Pavilion to eat our picnic lunch and share a short devotional from Psalms 19 and 99.  We serve an awesome GOD and HE is magnified in HIS Creation.  We just need to look!

Finalists | New7Wonders

Finalists | New7Wonders

How could you choose between these 28 outstanding examples of GOD's creative work? There are some that I would have included that did not "make the list", but it is worth taking time to see these treasures. This organization is attempting to let people decide on the New 7 Wonders of the Natural World. Quite a list. The only one of these (so far) that I have personally visited is the Grand Canyon. But oh how I would so like to see most of them.

What about you? Which one(s) would you want to add to your "Life List".

Monday, November 08, 2010

Nature Photo of the Week: Stormy Sunrise

Nature Photo of the Week: Stormy Sunrise: "

One of those "perfect" settings. How I would love to be on a kayak on this crystal clear lake to experience this sunrise in person! Just had to share it with everyone. Enjoy. +lwt+

Postcard-perfect photo taken by Flickr user Bill Swindaman at Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Fall Hike Mountain Creek

Hike: Mountain Creek Sat. 11/06/2010 08:45-10:45
Distance: 4 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Bright and clear.  Very cool ~ 39 degrees F at beginning of hike.  No one else on the trail (human that is).  Light to moderate breeze.  Light frost in the darker, shaded areas.
A very crisp and bright Autumn morning greeted me as I started my hike at Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek.  Guess it was too cool for most people to be in the park and I had the trails to myself... well at least there were no other humans.  There were many passarines and squirrels in attendance and I was joined on the first half of my hike by a Samoyed.  I had seen him before in the area - believe he lives at the house adjacent to the park.  He tentatively walked up to me as I was getting ready for the trail.  He wasn't sure if I was safe or not.  (Though he weighed almost as much as me -- he was a BIG dog.)  After I spoke softly to him, he decided I would be a good trail friend and he jogged beside me or ahead of me for the first hour of my hike.  Even though he didn't chase squirrels, birds, or rabbits he seemed to enjoy the morning as much as me.

GOD is so good.  Fall mornings such as this really drive the thought home for me.  The beauty, quiet, and harmony of the forest really speak to my spirit.  GOD is magnified in HIS creation.  I feel HIS presence and HIS love tangibly in places such as this. 

I thought about life issues and friends a lot during my hike.  It's great to be able to spend time in places such as this and open my heart and soul to GOD; to know that HE loves me and has plans for me. 

A friend of mine really loves the yellow and gold of Fall.  I took quite a few pictures of yellow and gold Hickories for them today!