Thursday, July 31, 2014

Creation care is of growing concern for Evangelicals

Caring about God’s creation and caring about God’s people is entirely consistent with caring for your neighbor.

 - -Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University climate scientist and evangelical Christian

Religious conservatives have become increasingly aware of the treat of climate change and are supporting efforts by the Environmental Pollution Agency to restrict greenhouse gas emissions. (Religious Conservatives Embrace Proposed E.P.A. Rules).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Pictures from a recent trip to the MN Landscape  Arboretum.  Glasswork by the artist Craig Mitchell Smith is currently being featured. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Heron and Egret

A Great Blue Heron and Great Egret were both fishing together in the pond yesterday morning.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bluebird visit

Early Saturday morning a bluebird came to visit me.  Initially it perched on the window screen, then landed nearby, where I was able to capture it's portrait.

Bluebirds are alleged to bring happiness.  Seems to have worked in my case.  Later Saturday morning I was pleased to meet my goal in running the Crystal Frolics 5K at Bassett Creek Park.  Just after receiving an award I discovered an old college running friend was there with his daughter, who placed first in the women's division.  Then as we were chatting I was awarded a $25 gift certificate in a drawing.... and that was just the start of my day.

So, please Mr/Mrs. bluebird make yourself right at home!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Green Herons

A pair of green herons perched high in a tree by the pond at Bassett Creek Park yesterday morning.  They were actively flying around, finding tree perches on which to land.  I was able to spot them thanks to their distinctive call/squawk.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Doe and fawns

I spotted a white tail deer and her two fawns on an evening walk around the pond at Bassett Creek Park yesterday.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mallard and ducklings

A mallard and her seven ducklings were swimming by the banks of the pond yesterday morning.  They've still got some growing up to do before fall!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Simple elegence

Plants by the pond's edge at twilight curved gracefully in the evening's setting sun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

F-35 in the news

Interesting to see in a report in today's StarTribune, Weapons Makers: the case for defense, noting that progress on the F-35 fighter "is years behind schedule and stratospherically over budget".  One note of good news is that global spending on weapons went from a record $1.7 trillion in 2008 down to $100 billion.  

Another interesting statistic from this article - the Pentagon's budget is as big as the next 16 defense ministries COMBINED.  Wow.  We've got the world's finest military industrial complex money can buy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Military spending versus other national priorities

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

Now, more than 61 years later, the United States military budget continues to demonstrate misplaced priorities.  The current budget is $821 billion, far greater than any other nation in the world. According to an article in the NY Times, the military's most recent weapon of choice, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is expected to cost taxpayers $396 billion.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pretty weeds

Weeds were blooming by the side of the pond yesterday.  The city of Crystal has a "no mow" policy that allows plants to grow naturally for a few feet by the shore of the ponds at Bassett Creek Park.  The park staff will however every so often come through and clear out the vast number of willows, etc. that then to shoot up and block people's view.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Plant fun

Green energy comes to the neighborhood

Who says plants can't read?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Common Merganser Ducklings

A quartet of young common mergansers swam across the pond at Bassett Creek Park yesterday morning.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bee and "fireworks"

I think this perennial plant in our back yard looks a bit like a firework that just exploded.  Apparently the bee found something of interest in it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Emerging oak leaves

I was somewhat surprised to see these oak leaves emerging in the middle of July.  Aren't they beautiful?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Neighborhood flowers


Flowers in our neighborhood seem to be enjoying our exceptionally wet spring and early summer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

While on a walk yesterday I noticed a thistle plant by the park sign.  My initial reaction was the park staff need to get busy and do some weeding.  Then I thought some more and recalled the many goldfinches that might appreciate this misplaced "weed".

Sure enough, it turned out there were a couple of goldfinches enjoying that very thistle plant and the many thistle seeds it produced.

So it seems, one person's weed is another bird's supper.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Comic RE benefit of a small wardrobe

I chuckled when I discovered a comic strip regarding the benefits of having a small wardrobe in today's newspaper.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mallard and duckling

It was kinda touching to see this mama Mallard and her one ducking swimming together at dusk.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ideas for owning fewer clothes

I discovered an interesting guide for owning fewer clothes on "becomingaminimalist" website.

Ten suggestions were provided to reduce one's wardrobe.  I liked the last recommendation the best.

Impress with your character, not your clothes... "People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile."

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Morning sun and ducks

A mallard and her ducklings swam by a wood duck and her ducklings in the pond at Bassett Creek Park.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Duckings on a morning swim

Yesterday I was able to capture a couple of photos, above and left, of female Mallards and Wood Ducks with their ducklings enjoying a morning swim.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Human beings

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.
Iranian poem in the United Nations Hall of Nations 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Muskrat home builder

A muskrat was busy building his home with branches from a young willow tree, in the pond at Bassett Creek Park.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Music in the park

How nice it is to watch live music outdoors at Lake Harriet's Bandshell.  The Gypsy Mania 'Hot Club' Quartet performed last night (pictured above).  To learn more about the concert schedule, check out the following website: Lake Harriet Bandshell.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

With record breaking rain throughout the state of Minnesota this past June, it seems the flowers are finally eager to blossom.

We people are also eager to witness their cheery presence.