a photoblog of God's handiwork.

Archive for February, 2014

Raptor Triplex

Last week I was fortunate enough to find a few birds of prey to photograph. While traveling through southwest North Dakota, I captured a number of images of a Bald Eagle in flight. Although it was a blustery, gusty day, he rode the winds with masterful control. (Click on each image to see them in larger format.)



After pulling off the highway and onto the county road leading home, I noticed a small hawk struggling to keep his balance atop of a cedar tree. I managed to get a few shots of him before he tired from fighting the swaying branches and flew away. He was later identified as a Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawk.



And about a mile from home, a Rough-legged Hawk, which is a common winter visitor, tried to lay low on a power pole. With the brisk wind strafing his face, he soon relinquished his perch to find a place better sheltered.



Soar High

I captured this image earlier this week near Hughes, North Dakota. Tired of fighting the strong wind gusts down low, he eventually found shelter in the rocks on the lee-side of a nearby hill.

Aiden Tozer was a well known evangelical minister who preached the Gospel in the middle 1900’s.  His authored works remain popular and pertinent today.


On Borrowed Time

WC Missouri BarnTaken in west-central Missouri, the image of this old barn is a reminder of the finite lifespan of all things created, and even the frailty of human life. The Psalmist asked, “Lord make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am” Psalms 39:4. His intent was not so much to find out how and when he would die, but rather he was asking for the wisdom and grace to consider his impending demise. His goal? Most likely to make sure he has made appropriate preparations for eternal life. Several chapters later, he asks, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalms 90:12. Again, he is seeking help to consider the shortness of life, and the fact that there is no escaping death, so that we can devote our days to the true wisdom, which for us is the salvation available through Christ Jesus.

Here, kitty kitty!

While spending some time with relatives in California last week, a Bobcat (Lynx rufus) came visiting.  He was ostensibly hunting rabbits, but must not have been hungry enough to expend a large amount of energy in that pursuit. He allowed me to get an number of images before sauntering off into the hills.


Big Sky Bighorns

A few more images from last week’s trip down the Gallatin Canyon. Just on the outskirts of Big Sky, a group of six Bighorn Sheep rams offered themselves up to be photographed. I’ve often seen them in the area, but not so many at one time, nor so accessible.

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Gallatin Winterscapes

The weather was fantastic as I traveled down the Gallatin Canyon from West Yellowstone to Bozeman, MT yesterday. A fresh blanket of snow left a pristine impression on the landscape.

Smoke? Clouds? Fog? Well, none of these.  The wind was just picking up after fresh snow fell overnight, blowing the snow off the pine needles and creating a drift of snow smoke.

Snow Smoke

But the day wasn’t nearly as grey as the photo above depicts. The sky was a brilliant blue, with scattered clouds to prevent monotony!

On a Clear Day Meandering Jack-fence

As you look outside on a snowy day and admire the beauty of the landscape, you may recall that no two snowflakes have ever been found to be alike. Yet each individual snowflake is only a minute drop of frozen water as it falls to earth. However, many snowflakes together cover the ground and can change the course of things and persons. When you do your best, and join that best with the efforts of other Christians, you will be amazed at what God can do with your combined “bests.”—Author Unknown

The Window in the Rock

About 90 miles west of Albuquerque, NM, lies a rugged wash of terrain, tortured by volcanic warfare and desert extremes. The El Malpais National Monument has a number of molten lava-formed features, like cinder cones, caves, trenches and other formations. Above the lower valley flows of black, cooled lava, are sandstone cliffs and rocky crags offering a uniquely different look. The name, El Malpais, is Spanish for badland or bad country, referring to the rugged volcanic terrain. A short detour off Interstate 40 brought me to a couple well known features of the monument.

As always, click on the images to view them in larger format…it is almost like being there!

Top of the Sandstone Cliffs at El Malpais National Monument

Top of the Sandstone Cliffs at El Malpais National Monument

The black streaks and patches on the valley floor are lava beds a midst the sage brush.

La Ventana (The Window) in the rocks, created by a natural arch.

La Ventana (The Window) in the rocks, created by a natural arch.

Having read through the Holy Bible a number of times, until recently I never noticed that volcanoes are indeed mentioned a number of times. While they are not mentioned with the same name, their description is unmistakable.  There are more that a dozen references to them, but I think the Psalmist did a great job capturing the essence of these incredible fountains of fire. “The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.” Psalms 97:5-6