Life Verse:

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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Three Inspirational Quotes on Friendship to End 2014

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

"Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend."
― Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You 

"We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered."
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quote of the Day - 12/30/2014

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
~ C. S. Lewis 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Year -- New Things

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
-- 2 Cor 5:17 (NKJV)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Quote of the Day - Christmas Eve 2014

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” ~ Bob Hope, American film actor and comedian.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hike Lakeshore Trail Swayback TOLA

Hike: Lakeshore Trail, Swayback TOLA, Saturday, 12/20/2014, 08:50-12:15CST
Distance: 6.7 miles  Rating: 4.5/5  Difficulty: Easy 
Conditions: Mostly cloudy.  Comfortable (upper 40s to low 50s). Calm.  Trails wet from recent rains.  Some standing water but conditions not too muddy.

Lots of thoughts and prayer time about Liberty Church.  Serving there as Interim Pastor again.  Praying for GOD's design and direction.

Mostly tranquil hike.  A few gray squirrels scampering about but no whitetail deer observed.  Passerines were largely quiet. 

Hiked the complete Lakeshore Trail (in reverse).  One of my favorites.

Ramblr link for the hike

Friday, December 19, 2014

Quote of the Day -- 12/19/2014

"Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value." 

--Albert Einstein

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quote of the Day - 12/18/2014

"Maybe I can't stop the downpour, but I will always, always join you for a walk in the rain." 
- Unknown

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Yellow Trail Swayback TOLA -- Hiking in the Rain

Hike: Yellow Trail Swayback Trail of Legends, Saturday, December 6, 2014, 10:06-12:10CST
Distance: 4.7 miles  Rating: 4.5/5.0  Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Cloudy with Sporadic rain showers.  Upper 60s to low 70s.  Calm.  Trails in good shape - some standing water after the rain.
I might be a little weird (okay maybe more than a little) but I enjoy hiking in the rain.  The sense of solitude is palatable during a forest downpour.  This time of year, the rain drops fall almost unimpeded to the leaf-covered floor raising a beautiful cadence.  Something about that sound is so soothing to my spirit.

A few birds were braving the rain to sing and at least one squirrel was scampering about after the rain slacked off.  Otherwise I had the trails to my self.

I couldn't help but appreciate the lyrics to Neil Sadaka's "Laughter in the Rain" playing on Sirus/XM as I left the trialhead.

Thank YOU, LORD, for the joy of YOUR creation; the new beginnings; and the refreshing of YOUR rain.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Quote of the Day -- 12/4/2014

But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

 ~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Elk Mountain Trail, Wichita National Wildlife Refuge OK, Wed., 11/26/2014

Hike: Elk Mountain Trail, Wichita National Wildlife Refuge OK, Wed., Nov. 26, 2014, 12:15-14:15CST
Distance: 3 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Moderate due to elevation and boulders
Conditions: Bright blue sky.  Temps in mid 50s with brisk wind, especially near the summit.  Trails mostly dry with a few small puddles.

Wonderful area to hike and explore.  Igneous rock mountains rise abruptly from the Oklahoma plains.  The boulders of all shapes and sizes add an other-worldly landscape to any hiking adventure in this refuge.  Most of the basalt/granite rock is "grippy" making bouldering (scrambling) a bit easier.  It can be rough on your finger-tips though.

Post Oaks are mostly "scrubby" due to rocky, thin soil, little rain, and windswept mountain faces.  They were in their "Fall" coats of brown and red.

The lower temperatures eliminated the problem of bothersome insects and there were no snakes to be seen.

Used my iPhone as a camera with good success.  One less item to take up the mountain.

Roxie (Rob and Diane's dog) really wanted to go with us, but this trail is not one for canines, too rocky and steep.

Ramblr App for hiking data again worked well:  Ramblr Elk Mountain Hike

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fall Hike at Swayback

Hike: Portions of Red and Black Trails at Swayback Trail of Legends, Wetumpka, AL, 11:00-12:10CST, 11/15/2014
Distance: 5.2 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Sunny.  Mid to upper 50s.  Wind mild to moderate.  Trails dry.
Wonderful day for a Fall Hike.  Just reinforced what I already knew... that the Fall is my favorite time of the year!  The myriad colors, crisp mornings, smells, and sounds of the forest are so welcoming.  I relish hiking through the carpets of brown, gold, and rose leaves.  Red sumac stands vivid against the deep green of Lake Jordan.  Cast off brown and gray Big Leaf Magnolia leaves look like stones strewn along the pathway. 

Birds, passarines and raptors, are busy about their day.  No water birds made an appearance.  Insects were scarce (thanks to cooler temps).

Tried the Ramblr app for mapping and recording hikes on my iPhone.  Seemed to work fine.  Link below is to my ramblr archive:

Ramblr Archive

Worship song on my mind throughout most of the hike:  JESUS, YOU're My Firm Foundation

Jesus you're my firm foundation
I know I can stand secure
Jesus you're my firm foundation
I put my hope in your Holy Word
I put my hope in your Holy Word

I have a living hope (echo)
I have a future (echo)
God has a plan for me (echo)
Of this I'm sure, of this I'm sure.

Your Word is faithful (echo)
Mighty in power (echo)
God has delivered me (echo)
Of this I'm sure, Of this I'm sure

You're my firm foundation
You're the rock of my salvation
You're my firm foundation

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quote of the Day -- 07/24/2014

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily." – Zig Ziglar

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Mtn Creek Hike - Sat. 7/5/2014

Hike: Mountain Creek Park, AL, Saturday, 7/5/2014, 09:30-11:30CDT
Distance: 4 miles  Rating:  4.5/5  Difficulty:  Easy
Conditions:  Dry.  Light wind.  Hot & humid.  Met a young family leaving the trails as I was entering.  No other hikers.

Only one photo from the hike -- I was quite aggravated at myself when I realized I left the SD card in the reader rather than in my trail camera!  

Black-eyed Susans were in beautiful display (as evidenced in the cell phone picture) in the Pine Upland area.  The soothing sound of the wind rustling through the forest canopy accompanied the passerine choir throughout my hike.  This is perhaps the quietest, most peaceful, place that I routinely hike.  The trails are not long but it is a refreshing experience.

My companions today consisted of 1 cottontail rabbit, several squirrels, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies, a ground wasp (i.e. Cow-killer), and numerous other insects.  Birds are always in abundance at this park and their combined chorus was as beautiful as ever.

It is easy for me to "be still" in this place of peace and solitude.  I hope you have a place too.

10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! -- Psalms 46:10 (NKJV)

Friday, July 04, 2014

Independence Day 2014 Hike

Hike: Portions of Red & Black Trails, Swayback Bridge TOLA, Wetumpka, AL, Sat. 7/4/2014, 09:30-12:30CDT
Distance: 8.7 miles  Rating: 5/5  Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Mostly sunny.  Low 70s to upper 70s by end of hike.  Wind light.  Trails mostly dry.  Humidity lower than normal for this time of year.

Insects had the spotlight on this outing.  Dragonflies (my favorite insect) of green, blue, and black were my trail companions throughout most of the hike.  Blue Damselflies were present though not as prevalent as their cousins.  Several female Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (the dark version) graced the path.  (They almost never stay still long enough for a photo.)  Rounding out the roll call of insects today were June Bugs, wasps, hornets, gnats, and big black ants.

I met three special hikers on the trail -- all belonging to Canis lupus familiaris (dogs).  Brandi was a white Jack Russell terrier with a pink backpack!  She passed me a couple of times because she changed her mind and back-tracked once!  The other two (a beautiful black and tan German Shepherd and a brown mid sized mixed breed) were on-leash and well behaved.  Meeting these three made me miss hiking with Gracie.  

Mimosa perfume was a pleasant surprise along the shoreline portion of the hike.  Most of the Persian Silk Trees have passed their prime bloom time, I was not expecting this familiar and favorite scent.

Gray squirrels and chipmunks were busy doing what they do -- scampering around the forest floor.  A small otter was playing in the shallows of the big slough.  Countless small fish (bream and bass) can be seen in the bright morning sun as they hover near overhanging trees.  Usually the Blue Heron is here fishing, but I did not see him today.

Hikes are a time of worship and reflection for me and today was no different.  Two songs kept running through my mind... "We Believe" and "Write YOUR Story".

"Write YOUR Story"
They say
You're the King of everything
The One who taught the wind to sing
The Source of the rhythm my heart keeps beating
They say
You can give the blind their sight
And You can bring the dead to life
You can be the hope my soul's been seekin'
I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I do, that You can make me new, oh
I'm an empty page
I'm an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark
Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won't You write Your story on my heart
Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won't You write Your story on my heart

"We Believe"
In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only one foundation
We believe, we believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only one salvation
We believe, we believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He's comin' back again, we believe
 -------12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Psalms 33:12 (NKJV)

Happy Birthday America!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Solstice Hike - Barred Owl Sighting

Hike:  Portions of Red and Black Trails, Swayback Bridge TOLA, Wetumpka, AL 06/21/2014, 0830-1100CDT
Distance: 6 miles  Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Hot (low 90s) and humid.  Wind: light & variable.  Trails were mostly dry.  Encountered a few mountain bikers near end of hike.
Summer in the Southeast means bugs (lots of bugs).  Used 40% DEET to repel mosquitoes and ticks (though I have never known ticks to be a problem here).  Had several gnats fly into my eyes.  The drone of flying insects was a constant chorus throughout the hike.  The ubiquitous trail-spanning spider webs were easily handled by my trekking pole.  Insects can be a worrisome distraction this time of year, just prepare (mentally, clothing, & repellent) before venturing into the woods.  

Gray squirrels and chipmunks were observed throughout the day scampering around the forest floor.  The drumming of a woodpecker greeted me at the beginning of the hike.  Small lavender wildflowers were the flower stars today... taking center-stage all along the trails.  I am not certain of their identity, though they resemble the mint family with small clustered lavender blooms.  Did not notice a particular fragrance associated with these blooms.  Yellow daisies, Black-Eyed Susans, and Mimosas added the additional colors from GOD's palette. 

The greatest surprise was a large Barred Owl flying through the forest canopy within 60' of me and perching in a tall hardwood.  Silence accompanied his swoop through the tree tops.  Owls are rarely observed during the day.  This may have been only the third time I have ever observed diurnal behavior in an owl.  He was not close enough to get a quality photo, but certainly close enough for me to enjoy such a wonderful sight. 

12 "For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12 (NKJV)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hike Down Memory Lane - Friday, 6/13/2014

Hike: Portions of Red and Black Trails, Swayback Bridge TOLA, Wetumpka, AL, Fri., 6/13/2014, 09:30-12:00CDT
Distance: 6 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Cloudy.  Sporadic sprinkles.  Low 70s.  Light wind.  Trails wet but not too muddy.
Today was a hike down "Memory Lane".  The Mimosa Trees were resplendent with their soft pink and white puffs and delicate fragrance.  Any time I am near one I think of my grandmother, Mama Teal.  The Mimosa in the corner of her yard was a welcome respite for a little boy from summer heat as well as a treat for the eyes and nose.  Hiking along the lake shore, drinking in the delicate fragrance and pouring over the countless silken blooms, I cannot help but smile.  Even though I am physically hiking here at Lake Jordan, I am also back at Mama Teal's house playing under her giant Mimosa.

Birds song was provided by an assortment of avian choirs during my 2 1/2 hours on the trail.  A large Blue Heron was fishing along the bank and did not appreciate my interruption.  The chance squirrel or chipmunk got my attention as they scampered across the forest floor.  There were no otters or white tail deer in attendance this day. 

I fashioned a hiking staff from a fallen limb.  The Gerber Big Rock Camp knife accomplished this task quite easily.  The most important task for the staff today was breaking spider webs.  I do not mind the webs until they sweep across my eyes -- that is a serious distraction!

GOD, YOU, are glorified in YOUR Creation.  It shows YOUR majesty, wisdom, creativity, knowledge, and skill.

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
Psalms 19:1-2 (NLT)

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Hiking Chimney Rock Trail - National Trails Day - 2014

Hike: Chimney Rock Trail (Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail), Sat. 6/7/2014, 09:00-11:00CDT
Distance:  3 miles  Rating: 4/5  Difficulty: Moderate
Conditions: Very warm & muggy.  Temps in low 80s.  Light wind.  Trails wet from recent rains.  Some small limbs (blowdowns) from thunderstorms but no serious trail blockages.  Encountered no other hikers today.

Only one cell phone picture today -- I left the SD card out of the camera!

The forest was humid and damp from the last several afternoon/evening thunderstorms.  Reminded me that this is a humid subtropical forest.  The Braken ferns, Big Leaf Magnolias, and numerous mossy areas conjure up images of some primeval forest.  The large boulders strewn about the landscape would provide ample protection from some prehistoric monster!  Several of the boulders seem thrown together almost like a fort.  My brother and I could really have made these wonderful fortresses had we grown up in this area.

Insects (mosquitoes, gnats, various flies, and ticks) thrive in this environment.  Bring your DEET repellent if you plan to venture into the Southeastern summer forest.

Serenaded by birdsong throughout most of the hike.  Also spent a lot of time removing spider webs from my face.  It seems that spinning your web across the trail is a favorite past-time of many spiders near Lake Martin!  Perhaps you did not realize that one of the functions of a hiking pole/staff is to break webs before you walk through them.  :)

Lake Martin was a gorgeous aquamarine color.  The lapping of waves stirred up by several ski boats, sounded a rhythmic cadence as I hiked lake-side.  I noticed several trees tenaciously clinging to the shoreline, their foundations slowly and methodically undercut by the lake's wave action.  They will soon join their submerged kin providing underwater habitats.

Thank YOU, LORD, for the beauty and peace of YOUR Creation.  YOU are glorified in it.

Get out and Enjoy GOD's Great Outdoors.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hiking The Lost World -- 5/26/2014

Hike: "The Lost World"  aka portions of the Black and Red Trails, Swayback Bridge; Mon., 5/26/2014, 09:00-12:00CDT
Distance: 7 miles  Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions:  Mostly sunny. Calm.  Temps climbing to the 80s.  Trails dry.


Enjoyed my hike through the forest and lake shore of Lake Jordan this morning.  It was much needed and appreciated.  The bright sunlight filtering through the forest canopy and playing across the forest floor was mesmerizing.  Even though it was a holiday and there were other users of the trails, most of the morning was peaceful -- the forest is a special place of peace, reflection, and rejuvenation.  The little boy in me could easily believe he was hiking in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World.  The Big Leaf Magnolia groves, fern glades, and dragonflies only needed Pterodactyls, Triceratops, Raptors, and Tyrannosaurs to complete the transformation.

Hiking is a worship experience for me -- not worship of any article of creation, but rather The CREATOR.  To be surrounded by HIS handiwork and not marvel at HIS splendor, majesty, glory, and wisdom is unthinkable.  I feel HIS presence here among the oaks, pines, and poplars as readily as in any other sanctuary.

The strains of Aaron Shust's song "GOD of Brilliant Lights" spun around my mind as I considered the light playing out across Lake Jordan and the forest canopy...

Sing it out, shout it loud
Cover all the earth
Let the sound of the saints
Everywhere be heard
Praise the GOD who has come
To cure every broken heart.

He is LORD over all
HIS reign will never end
Through the fire and the flood
He draws his children in
He's the light of the world
Brighter than the brightest star.

The GOD of brilliant lights
Is shining down over us
Breaking through the darkness
Covering all the earth
Oooh, HIS love is like an ocean
Oooh, forever overflowing
The GOD of brilliant lights is shining over us

Whether it's the majestic White Oak, massive Long leaf Pine towering into the sky, or the delicate fern unfolding at the base of the forest giants -- my GOD is The CREATOR of them all.

Sing it out, shout it loud
Cover all the earth
Let the sound of the saints
Everywhere be heard
Praise the God who has come
To cure every broken heart.

He is lord over all
His reign will never end
Through the fire and the flood
He draws his children in
He's the light of the world
Brighter than the brightest star.

The god of brilliant lights
Is shining down over us
Breaking through the darkness
Covering all the earth
Oooh, his love is like an ocean
Oooh, forever overflowing
The god of brilliant lights is shining over us
ing it out, shout it loud
Cover all the earth
Let the sound of the saints
Everywhere be heard
Praise the God who has come
To cure every broken heart.

He is lord over all
His reign will never end
Through the fire and the flood
He draws his children in
He's the light of the world
Brighter than the brightest star.

The god of brilliant lights
Is shining down over us
Breaking through the darkness
Covering all the earth
Oooh, his love is like an ocean
Oooh, forever overflowing
The god of brilliant lights is shining over us

Friday, May 16, 2014

Camping Cheaha / Hiking Pinhoti -- April 11-12, 2014

Hiking/Camping: Pinhoti Trail near Cheaha State Park // Camping Cheaha SP

Hike: Portions of the Pinhoti Trail near Cheaha State Park, 4/11/2014
Distance: 4 miles  Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Conditions: Beautiful weather.  Dry and mild temps.  Many limbs and trees down throughout the area due to the ice storms earlier in the winter.  Lots of damage in the state park and throughout the mountain top and ridges.
Some beautiful waterfalls and stream crossing in the 4 mile section of the Pinhoti near Cheaha.  Wildflowers graced the trailside throughout the hike.  Was shocked at the amount of damage from the winter ice storms this year.  Sad to see so many trees broken down.

Hike: Bald Rock and Pulpit Rock Trails, Cheaha State Park, 4/12/2014
Distance: 2 miles  Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions:  Ice storm damage evident in this area also.  Beautiful and clear day.
Retraced the steps Diane and I took many years ago hiking out to Bald Rock.  Diane was about 4 years old if I remember correctly.  After our short hike to the wonderful valley overlook of Bald Rock, I heard Diane say "Look Daddy."  She had climbed out onto one of the rock ledges.  My heart skipped a beat as I yelled "Do not move!".  Obviously, she and I survived the hike about 22 years ago...  Bald Rock was still as impressive and imposing as I remember.  Since Diane was not here -- I climbed out on the ledge to get pictures myself.

Camping:   Semi-primitive site near the summit of Cheaha Mountain.  I had the best "view in the park".

Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends - 2014-May-16

Hike: Swayback Bridge Trails, Sat. 5/16/2014, 09:00-11:50CDT
Distance: 6.5 miles  Rating: 4.5/5.0
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Sunny to Partly cloudy.  Temps: low 60s.  Wind: Calm to Light and variable.  Trails:  Wet and muddy in spots from recent rains.

Wonderful day for a hike and so over-due!  Serenaded with bird-song accompanied by a chorus of the wind rustling through the hardwood/pine forest.  Many wildflowers are already passed their prime blooms -- Spring is well underway.  The wild azaleas by the lake shore were still an unexpected treat!  I felt as if I were hiking through a tunnel of flowers.  If some of my girls had been with me I would have picked a flower for your hair (or your collar Gracie!).

Except for a couple of mountain bikers and one hiker with his dog, I had complete solitude.  Such times of introspection and worship are a welcomed respite amidst the din and confusion of our days.

Today was good for my heart.  Thank YOU, LORD.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014 Afternoon Hike - Swayback

Hike: Lakeside Trail, Swayback Bridge, Wetumpka, AL - Easter Sunday 2014 - 16:20-18:26CDT
Distance: 5 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty:  Easy
Conditions: Gloriously sunny and blue sky.  Upper 70s.  Wind Calm.  Trails very wet and muddy in spots from recent rains.
Enjoyed a wonderful Easter afternoon hike along the Lakeside Trail (one of my modifications of the Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends). Spring is in its prime -- much better here than at Cheaha last week.  My eyes were greeted to a myriad of wildflower blooms - white, yellow, gold, blue, indigo, pink, lavendar, and rose.  Cosmos, violets, phlox, iris, dogwood, and others I could not identify-- all graced the trail side and fields.  My ears were serenaded by birdsong throughout the hike.  What a wonderful way to end Easter?  Thank YOU, LORD,  for this special treat.  It is a sight that rivals the spring hike in the Superstition Wilderness of years ago

12 "For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
-- Isaiah 55:12 (NKJV)


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quote of the Day - 3/30/2014

Joy is really a road sign pointing us to God. Once we have found God...we no longer need to trouble ourselves so much about the quest for joy.

 –C. S. Lewis

Friday, March 28, 2014

Quote of the Day - 03/28/2014

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
- C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quote of the Day - 03/25/2014

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quote of the Day - 03/20/2014

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Quote of the Day

“Could I climb to the highest place in Athens, I would lift my voice and proclaim, 'Fellow citizens, why do you turn and scrape every stone to gather wealth, and take so little care of your children to whom one day you must relinquish it all?'” 
- Socrates

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quote of the Day - 02/20/2014

”People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” 

- George Orwell

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quote of the Day - 02/11/2014

"A person who is not inwardly prepared for the use of violence against him, is always weaker than the person committing the violence."

 - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1974

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Everything is Beautiful in its Time -- Swayback Hike 2/1/2014

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
Eccl 3:10-11 (NKJV)

Hike: Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends, Sat. 2/1/2014, 13:45-15:45CST
Distance: 5.5 miles  Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions:  Partly cloudy; calm; mid 60s.  Trails wet and muddy from recent winter storm but all areas passable.  Several vehicles at the trail head.  Encountered 4 other hikers, 6 trail runners, and several mountain bikers.


An unusual afternoon hike for me.  I am a "morning person" and normally prefer to get on the trails as early as possible.  Zac had a K-Laser treatment this morning, so hiking had to wait until after lunch.

I was surprised at the number of other hikers (4) and trail runners (6) that I encountered -- most in a single day.  Perhaps these trails are getting more popular with hikers/runners too...

The ubiquitous passerines were flitting about the canopy and forest floor.  Bird song was a beautiful companion along the trail.  No deer or squirrels observed today. 

Seeing the forest highlighted with the western sun was a bit novel.  Winter-time in Dixie produces open forest vistas.  One can see into and through the forest to little coves and secret spots that are hidden other times of the year.  It is always a treat.

Thank YOU, LORD, for the beauty of YOUR Creation.