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Simple Joys: Our Small Nature Paradise


We live in a small nature paradise, surrounded by life and beauty.


We have praying mantises and leafcutter bees and butterflies, half the colors of the rainbow. 


Our huge skies, almost prairie-like, are full of dramatic cloudscapes and sparkling constellations.  An orchestra of songbirds flit about, geese honk, and turkey vultures circle endlessly.  A lone blue herring flaps slowly over the winding river.  The river and several creeks teem with minnows, bullfrogs, and shy crayfish. 


Woods and meadows are full of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, spiky gooseberries, wild apples, and, currently, grapes fermenting on the vines.  Wildflowers—trillium, daisies, Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrods, wild morning glories, and purple aster—mark the months. 


We see tree frogs, garter snakes, small painted turtles, and threatening snapping turtles.  There are foxes and deer, skunks and racoons, wolves and howling coyotes, and even porcupines.  


In the winter endless tracks meander across the snow, ours included.  Long skinny mouse tunnels wander just under the snow.  We stop in our own tracks, noticing the drama of tiny footprints ending suddenly, right in front of a fanlike imprint of tail-feathers.   


To see any of this, we must go outside, open our eyes and ears, and enjoy God’s good world.  Sometimes we do, and sometimes we enjoy what we can from the house.  There’s a time for everything, and it is good.  Praise the Lord!


Have a great weekend!




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