Hi, I am glad that you stopped by. I have FINALLY decided to do a blog. It is not my intention to post here every day, but who knows, Lord willing, maybe I will.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a Christian Birder. Meaning that I am a Birder in every sense of the word. I will drive three hours just to see a life bird, or walk around in the freezing cold just to catch a glimps of a Golden Eagle. I own both Sibley's and Kaufman's Field guides to my neck of the woods ( BTW, I like Ken's pictures over Sibley's drawings...but that is just me. ;-) )

What makes me different than most but not all is that I look for God and His hand in everything. Why? Because it was his love that saved me from the depths of despair that I was in as a young...er man 20 years ago. So from the moment that HE saved me, it has been my honor and duty to give God the glory in everything.

One of my favorite passages is Matthew 10.29-31 which says:

"29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.
30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

That is the comfort that I have. When I am in the midst of tough times, I have a God and a savior that knows my needs, and supplies them on a daily basis.

The other thing about me is that I am is an amateur photographer. God has given me a Nikon D300 and a Tamron 200-500mm lens to explore the world around me. But I also have a wide variety of wide angle and macro lenses that I'll pull out from time to time. I will add new pictures of His creation whenever possible. Mostly birds, but maybe an occasional other nature/scenic shot. If it looks a little distorted then click on the picture and it will open up to full size.

So again, welcome!

Now on to the Blog!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

That Darn Cat! :-)

I have been TRYING to work on using my flash extender (a.k.a. Better Beamer) for upcoming birding trip. But my new CAT Buddy, has decided that before the year is out, he is going to snatch a Chickadee or Nuthatch...from my feeder...so guess what was NOT at the feeder and what WAS at the feeder...

(Click on image for full view)

Well I guess it wasn't a good day to take pictures of feeder birds. :-)

Ever have one of those days? When what you want to do doesn't pan out? It may be that God has a better plan for you that day. Look for those opportunities and let God direct you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This bird is a mystery to me. And to be honest, I hate flycatchers, they all look alike. You have to remember a lot of info to try and ID them; where they are, what they sound like, what time of year it is...it just goes on and on. This one can either be an Alder or a Willow Flycatcher.:

(Click on image for entire picture.)

We have a pair of these nesting in a local Wildlife Area. Although as a rule Alders don't generally nest in my local area; they generally nest 60 or so miles to the East. However this is an area that gets weird visitors from time to time and there have been reports in past years of a possible Alder nest. So it is possible. I have seen pictures from both species that are brown like this one and an olive color as well. What am I to do?

Well there are two easy ways to tell, one is a sure fire the other is not as reliable but will do in a pinch. The not so reliable way is to take a look at it's nest. An Alder as a rule is a messy nester. Where an Willow's nest is neater. like I said, it's not the best way but it will do.

The absolute best way is to listen. Their calls give them away. An Alder's song (according to Cornell University) is a harsh, ripping "f-bee-oo" where a willow is more of a harsh "fitz-bew" or "rrritz-bew,". Once your hear the calls and learn the calls, IDing is easy.

It's the same with man. I know lots of wonderful Christian believers that have messy houses and cars. But what let's me know that they believe in Christ is their speech. Proverbs is a great book that has a lot to say about a person's tongue; an example:

Proverbs 10:20-22 (NIV)

20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of judgment.

22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth,
and he adds no trouble to it.

A seasoned believer, will choose their words with the thought "Will this imitate/honor Christ? Will this glorify God?"

A nonbeliever/fool will just blurt out whatever is in his heart.

Christian, the world is watching you. Imitate Christ in word and deed, so that if a non believer sees you, they will say, "There goes a Believer." instead of "And he calls himself a Believer!"

Non Christian, the only way you can effect permanent change is to accept Jesus as your savior. Pray to God and ask for forgiveness, and ask Christ to come into you and change you.

As far as the Flycatcher goes...Another quirk about the species is that it doesn't respond to calls, or call out like other birds do. They basically clam up. Sometimes you get lucky and hear it's call. I and others have gone to the place at different times and days to no avail. I guess I'm going to have to wait till Fall and go check out the nest. :-D

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Warbler Action

I love These little guys. Warblers are cool. Some are high flying catch your food in the air type like this little this Palm Warbler.:

Others like this Ovenbird feed on the forest floor. You should have been there to see it eat the spider...way cool!:

Some like this Prothonotary just make great art. This male was defending his territory from other males while waiting for a mate. The picture was a reject because it was soft. But with a little Photoshop action, it turned into a great watercolor.:

Warblers live and breed all over North America. Almost all like this Yellow Warbler, pull up stakes in the Fall and make a 4000 mile journey down to South America to live for the winter.:

It's instinct...part of their genes if you will, eat, sleep, make babies, take a vacation, then come back and do it all again next spring. They are driven to do it year after year after year.

Like birds, we are driven. We have a desire to do our own thing, go where we want to go and do what we want to do. It was like that in The Garden of Eden and it is like that today. We are driven by the lust of the flesh to Sin and disobey God and do our own thing. As Romans 8.5 puts it..

"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires..." (NIV)

Sinful nature means flesh. Your flesh is was drives you. It is your will. Without an act from an outside source, you will continue to want to disobey God. Praise God, He is that outside source. He through the blood of Jesus, calls you and he picks you up and changes you. So that your will, will be the need to praise and please God.

Sinner, Pray to God and ask him for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into your life and change you and save you from your Sin.

Christian, maybe you are struggling with overcoming a certain sin. Remember that it is God that changes you. Ask him to change you and make you more like what he wants you to be..

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I got to see an amazing site today. A Heron Rookery, consisting of around a dozen trees and probably 50 nests, near where I live. An example of one of their nests:
Seeing the Herons nesting in the very tops of the trees reminded me of a passage in Ezekiel:

22 " 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it;I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar.Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.
24 All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall.I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. " 'I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.' "

It is amazing how even a rookery can point to Jesus. But Jesus is that tree and we are the birds that are finding shelter in its branches.
I encourage you to read the rest of this passage because it talks about how when we try to do our own thing, it will surely fail. But if we rest in Jesus' branches we will surely succeed in accordance to God's will.
May God richly Bless You.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Loosing Focus?

Cute little bird ain't it? This is one of the male House Finches that likes to visit my feeder on a daily basis. It's what I call a ho hum bird, a bird that is common and you see every day if you are in the right part of the country.

So why would I take a picture of a bird I see every day? Simple, my lens wasn't focusing correctly. I was having difficulty getting focus locks and when I did, it looked focused but when I got home and checked out my pictures, I noticed that the bird would be not as sharp as the background. I was not getting sharp eyes and the feather detail would be awful. The camera would seem like it was focused on the bird but instead it was focused a little behind the bird. This is what's known to some as back focusing.

The way to fix it is to tune your camera to the lens. On newer cameras, there is an area in your menu that will set the camera to a particular lens...after a lot of adjusting. I won't bore you with the details...that is what GOOGLE is for.

My point in this is to tell unbelievers that you are completely out of focus and have no hope. God is calling you and telling you that you must be saved. So right now, pray to God and ask him to save you in Jesus' name. Then God will work in you to bring you into focus.

Believers, sometimes you are just like that lens...out of focus or out of tune...Maybe just a little. But out of focus none the less. As believers still suffering from the effects of sin, we sometimes loose focus...or rather we focus on other things. Most people focus on their job or entertainment. Some will focus on the person giving the sermon...instead of the sermon. Or the musicians and the music...instead of the message in the music. There are others but I would be wasting cyber paper writing them down :)

So what can you do...nothing. That's right nothing...can the lens tune itself...can the camera adjust itself? Does the lens even know that it is out of tune? No. It needs man (its "creator") to do the adjusting, and recognize that it is out of tune.

Now we are certainly better than a camera lens, but we did not create ourselves...God did. We need God to let us know that we are out of tune and we need Him to adjust us. I encourage you to look through the Bible and see the people that needed retuning..that thought that they didn't need it. Jonah, David, and Job are only three that lost focus at one time in their walk, and it took God to refocus them. Jonah was self righteous, David killed a guy over a girl, and Job near the end of his trials had doubts. In each and every case, it took God either personally or through a prophet to bring them back.

They (I am assuming Jonah) recognized that they were out of focus and prayed for forgiveness and for God to bring them back into focus. But it was all God. God called attention to man's sin, and God tuned man back to where He wanted them. All man did was repent and accept the fact that God was right and he needed to change his focus, and accept God's refining.

Is God telling you that you are out of tune? Then repent and accept the fact that you need tuned. Then put it in God's hands to tune you. No matter how he does it, feast or famine, you will be more in focus...not totally because we still are suffering from the effects of sin...but we will be closer.

God Bless!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Overwhelmed! Where Do I Start!

Ever feel like this little lady?

Not knowing where to start? Maybe the project, like this nut, is just too big?

I do from time to time. Sometimes, I see a big project at work or home as a challenge... an opportunity, and I jump on it...at first, then it turns into a chore, then a morass. Finally I am so bogged down that it either gets put on hold or half way completed and totally forgotten...Sound familiar?

Thinking back on these failed projects, I recognize that I forgot to do one thing in all of them. Pray and listen!

Joshua had a big demolition project ahead of him. God told him to destroy Jericho. Now Jericho isn't some run of the mill little town that had no protection...No, it was a well fortified city with huge, thick, walls. To say that the project was overwhelming would be an understatement. What did he do? Did he plow ahead? No, he talked to God. God then gave him a battle plan...March around and play trumpets!??? How odd, no battering ram, no big piece of equipment. What did Joshua do? Did he ignore God's counsel and plunge ahead with traditional siege warfare? No he did what God told him to. And the walls fell! Joshua and the Israelites destroyed Jericho's defenses with marching, trumpets, and a great big shout!

God is glorified when we pray to him. God is even more glorified when we listen do what God has directed us to do. It is our duty as Christians to glorify God in everything. Lets glorify God by praying, listening, seeking and acting on His direction.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wow! My first Entry! Woo Hoo!

You know I am as optimistic as you can get, I mean I thought about joining the Optimist Club one day but I found that they were too Pessimistic! :D

But this American Pelican is more optimistic than me.
Nothing say Optimism like a Pelican on Ice!

At the beginning of last year I never even thought that Pelicans would even come up to Ohio. By the middle of the year I accepted that they fly wherever the food is. But I was totally in disbelief when it was posted on my local bird watchers list that a Pelican was seen on Grand Lake Saint Marys in February, well I just had to go get a picture.

The lake was almost completely ice covered. Except for one little spot where there was a bubbler stirring up the water. Just enough for the Pelican and Herons to feed on the Shad that had the misfortune of passing by.

At the time, the place where I work had some rumors floating around that we would be laid off, closing down and moved off to another location. This Pelican was a reminder to me that in the end, I will be alright because God will supply all of my needs. Whether I lose my job, or some other life event happens, in the end, I KNOW that I and my family will be alright and taken care of. Because God not only takes care of the Sparrows..and the Pelicans :D But he also will take care of me.