What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day Photos

Yes, Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who have fallen in service to our country...I believe it started after the Civil War, to honor the memory of all those who sacrificed their lives in that terrible war between our states...and then of course there were subsequent wars, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan...did I leave anyone out? Too many wars...too many sacrifices...but Oh! How we thank those who gave their all for us, so that we can continue to live in freedom and peace. May we never forget...and may we always work to protect these freedoms that many take for granted and don't truly appreciate.  I watched a documentary on North Korea this afternoon, and it made me really stop and give thanks to God that we live in the United States of America, the "land of the free, and the home of the brave!"  I saw on the news that one family in North Korea, including a 2 year old child, were put in prison because they were caught reading the Bible. I am sure they are not the only ones, but can you even begin to imagine such a thing? And yet, if we are not diligent to protect our freedoms, that could be our nation.  May we always remember the motto, "In God We Trust"...and never let anyone, whether from outside our country or from within, take away that great freedom to put our trust in God and be able to read our Bibles openly and share God's Word with anyone. 
We were blessed and happy to celebrate this day with our church family at what has become a new annual tradition Memorial Day picnic:

Lots of great food and fellowship...

Happy people having a good time together

What a blessing to have the freedom to gather like this! Again, may we never take these freedoms for granted!

Back on the home front, we have a lesson going on in Nest Building 101:

Mrs. Bluebird has been very industriously bringing straw and grass and pine needles to build a new nest in the bird house again...

I believe this is the same couple that already had a brood of babies in this same house earlier this spring. This will be their second batch for the year!

But Mrs. Bluebird seems to be having some difficulty in fitting the nesting material through the door...

Maybe she is still a bit new at this...perhaps I'm wrong about it being the same couple as before and also from the last couple of years...she really is having a time with these grasses...

She looks around for Mr. Bluebird as if to say, "Where's a man when you need him??"

She keeps trying to figure it out...

"I don't remember having this much trouble the last time!! Maybe I need to get a different kind of grass!"

"Let me get back up here on top of the house again and look this situation over!"

"Okay, I'm going to try one more time! Maybe if I just plunge right in it will work out this time!"

"Success!!! I got the straw in the house!! Now to go find some more! Where is that man of mine anyway???"

"Oh, there you are!! Where were you when I needed you?"  LOL.
"Okay, now we've got to get busy and get this nest ready! I think it's time to lay some eggs!"

Meanwhile, down below the birdhouse in the butterfly garden, there's a beautiful visitor:
This is a Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly, enjoying the Lantana flowers that I planted in the garden.

This may be picture overload, but how often do we get to capture pictures of these beauties before they fly away?

Oh, look, a bunny with a nest and eggs...!

Must be the Easter Bunny, but he's a bit too late for Easter!  Actually, those are two bluebird eggs that did not hatch from the other birdhouse. I cleaned it out yesterday since that family had fledged a few weeks ago, and was surprised to find these two eggs still in the nest.  That happened last year too. Sometimes not all the eggs are viable and so they are left in the nest.   I like to put them in the garden for as long as they will last. 

One last picture of the beautiful butterfly before he flew on to other places and flowers...

Meanwhile, the Sand Hill Crane family came by for a visit:

Yes, those last two are Pat and Val, our "St. Patrick's Day" colts...They are two and a half months old, and you can barely tell them apart from their parents:

They still don't have the red head, and they are still a little more tawny brown than gray, but they are just about as big...

We do see them using their wings more often now and flying short distances. I am not sure if they can fly quite as high as their parents yet, but they are definitely getting stronger every day.  This was the last view of them as they waded on around the pond and then back to their nightly nesting place for bedtime.

All the while that I'm enjoying watching nature at work, there is also another kind of work in the treetops going on around us:

Our neighbors have rented a big lift truck for the weekend (they are in construction business, and they know what they are doing), and they are trimming back lots of trees from around their house.
As we get into the hurricane season, which starts in June, they are concerned about a lot of branches that were too close to their house and hanging over their roof.

Some of the trees are actually on our side of the fence, but the branches hang over onto their side and over their house.  They volunteered to take care of them, but just asked our permission to do so. Of course we said sure, as they were not asking us for any money to do so and they are doing all the work.

These trees below were water oaks, and they were quite dead inside the trunk. They said when they cut into them water just poured out of them, because once they start to die, they rot from inside out and they fill up with water.  Although I will miss the shade of these trees in our side yard, I am thankful that we don't have to worry about them falling on our neighbor's house.

I guess that's all I've got for today.  Here's a pleasant view of some pretty pink wildflowers along the shore of our Still Waters Pond...

And it appears that this female Cardinal is bowing her head in prayer at the close of this wonderful Memorial Day....maybe we should join in...

I do thank you all for your very kind comments on my previous post.  Your thoughts and prayers made this time a bit easier for us to bear.  We have had some other things going on in the background that I won't go into, but God knows all about it, and we always have to remind ourselves that God is in control always.  

"But I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day..." 2 Timothy 1:12

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I hope you have had a blessed and peaceful Memorial Day weekend.  And praise be to God again for all those who gave it all so that we could have so much to be thankful for.

Remember that Jesus paid it all for all of mankind...

I hear the savior say
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and thine alone
Came and changed the lepers spots
And it melt the heart of stone

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

And when before the throne
I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save
My lips shall still repeat

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow


Friday, May 26, 2023

Friday Foto Friends~Memorial Day Weekend

 Happy Friday everyone.  I've been a little out of touch the past couple of days, so trying to get caught up.  Memorial Day weekend has crept up on us...I guess summertime is here...and we have one of our Bluebird couples getting their nest ready to start another family!

I believe this is the same family who keep coming back to this birdhouse each year. This will be their second brood this spring...(summer)
Daddy (above) and Momma (below) are setting up housekeeping again...

I'm glad I had cleaned out their previous nest from the spring.  The only thing is there's a resident lizard who likes to live in that house when it's empty.  I guess he's having to find a better place to stay for now.

So I will keep you posted on the progress of this couple as things "develop".

One day earlier this week we took a little ride down the road a ways to one of our favorite places, Big Lake Kerr.  (Click Here for one of my previous posts from this location, Early Morning Splendor)

Over the past several years we have enjoyed the views from this vantage point and so we like taking this little ride now and then to have time to clear our minds and just relax a bit.

Nothing too spectacular, but it was peaceful and we had the place all to ourselves, which was nice for a change...

As we arrived, a squirrel was busily trying to get to these cat tails...I guess for a snack. His equivalent of a hot dog on a stick I guess. LOL.  We surprised him when we walked up and he got out of there quick, so no pictures. 

But we did see a beautiful Cardinal flitting around enjoying some early morning treats

I would like to ask that you keep our "kids" in your thoughts and prayers. We took Noah and Dawn up to the Jacksonville Airport yesterday to fly back to Maine in order to pick up Dawn's vehicle and drive it back down so they will have two vehicles available.  It will be a whirlwind trip back down, and so prayers are greatly appreciated. I am glad they are waiting a few days for the Memorial Day holiday traffic to die back down before traveling.

Memorial Day weekend is always a bit difficult for us, as it is the anniversary of when our son passed away after his 4 year battle with cancer. Yesterday, on May 25th, marked nine years since he died. It hardly seems possible.   But his loss is greatly felt by our family, even if we don't talk about it that much...the impact of his life and his death have left a big void.

This was one of our last visits with Matthew and his family in Maine. (Oct. 2013)
Hubby John, me, Noah, Matthew, and his wife Nicole.

And now here we are recently, with our grandson Noah and his fiancee' Dawn. 

Time marches on, and life goes on. We are thankful for having our grandson and his beloved spending time with us. But again, the impact of the loss of Noah's father and our son is greatly felt.

I know Memorial Day is meant for those who died in service to our country, but it is also for remembering our loved ones who have gone on before us who also made great sacrifices for their families.  
We are not able to visit our son's grave because it is in Maine, but we will continue to honor his memory and give thanks to God for allowing us to have this dear son for 41 years.

And we pray that his son will be able to carry on his legacy by living in such a way to honor his father's memory.

Philippians 1:5-6 NKJV
5 "for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you 
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Some photos from Still Waters Pond and the Memorial Garden this rainy morning...
You can see that the rain has really helped the pond to be replenished! Praise God!

And on a happy note, our beefsteak tomatoes are growing!

And may we all honor our Heavenly Father by living in such a way to bring honor to His name.

 "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
I Corinthians 10:31


Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend.

John 15:12-13
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.