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Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Winter turns into Spring, and songbirds returning to rebuilding their nests.

While enjoying the birds singing in the woodland, I have the tendency to pick up feathers of birds that are fallen on the ground.  Somehow I feel compassion for the fallen feathers and I want to pick them up and comfort them.

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Holding onto a real feather makes me feel lighthearted and free-spirited.  I marvel at the softness and the beauty of  feathers and how they provide a protective cover over the body of avians.

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Reflecting on the bond between me and feathers, one real life encounter with a bird floated across my mind:  

Once, my landlord told me that the house we lived in needed to be vacated and that I needed to find a new place to stay within a short frame of time. After scouting at various options, I was still unable to find a place to stay, the deadline to move out was fast approaching, and I was getting anxious.

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So one evening before dusk, instead of busing, I decided to walk the long route home so that I could spend more time praying.  As I was walking, I was startled by a small moving creature beside me;  It was a tiny bird! 
Normally, birds only approach humans if there is food to feed them but I had none!  I continued my prayer walk wondering why a small bird would walk so calmly alongside me.

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Suddenly, my heart felt a tug, and tears sprung from my eyes. I felt as if God was speaking to me through the tiny creature, saying that He would take care of me and to provide a new dwelling place for me.  Then I remembered the fascinating story of how God asked the ravens to feed to the prophet Elijah on the remote ravine for a number of years (I King 17); then Matthew 6 came tweeting in my ears, “Look at the birds in the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

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As I contemplated the little buddy beside me and the verses about God’s care, my feet seemed to feel lighter and my pace faster than the bus ride that I usually took. I felt as if I were like the tiny bird spreading its wings and gliding home! 

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God acted swiftly, for within a couple of days, I was assured  a comfy nest to dwell which was way beyond my imagination.

Through feathers and nests, I have experienced God’s presence, protection and provision in season and out of season.

The Creator God not only use the flying creatures to interact with humankind and to tell His story; He also use the image of a bird as a metaphor to show His protection, love and care!

Psalm 91 states that whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty; God is our dwelling place, and that He covers us with His feathers, and under his wings we can find refuge.

 

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The sun is shining, the tide is receding, and I am enjoying a sabbath by the sea.

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The gentle whisper of the wind and the rhythmic sound of the waves, echo the soothing voice of the Creator of the Universe.

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The glistening light illuminates on the surface of the sea, looks like millions of sparkly stars dancing on water.

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Sabbath-ing by this splendid scenery, my soul recounts the oceans of blessings that this Lord of the Sabbath has bestowed upon me…

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indeed they are as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore!

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The incoming tides splash over my feet; and I frolic joy-freely with the swirling waves…

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on this day of relaxation by the serene seascape in front of me.

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CS has become such an avid birder; she would venture into the bird sanctuary in the countryside almost every weekend for bird watching and feeding. Without fail after her excursion, she would eagerly send pictures she took of her beautiful flying friends to her human friends.

The other day CS showcased yet another bird photo — this time it’s a junco, a stout little sparrow with black ring eyes.

Gazing at the photo of the sweet sparrow, JC instantly cheeped a two liner-poetry which even rhymed!

CS the birder, you are born to fly;
Your photography skill of birds has reached high sky!

CK came over and responded to the rhyme, she chirruped:
All the pictures you take remind us of God’s beautiful creation;
They truly speak to our hearts with great passion!

MC popped in and chittered:
Causing us to stop and worship
Our God, who desires our fellowship!

AC swinged by and chirped:
Junco, just a bird;
What honor to serve
His children
In such remembrance
Of Him!

CS, the photographer, a woman with few words who strongly believes that… a picture is worth a thousand words… couldn’t resist not to join in the chorus, she darted in out- of-nowhere and chattered:
It is to my great delight
To see the joy our birds of flight
Bring to our midst
Blessed bliss!

Another sparrow stand still and silently eyeing from the treetop, perhaps eavesdropping, I wonder what it would tweedle to its buddies about these lyrical ladies who chattered, chirped, chittered, chirruped and cheeped!

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photography@CS

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Watching birds flying over the water and into the evening sky is freeing and calming.

I would often pause and enjoy the flying moment.

This image taken by the beach reminds me of a beautiful Hebrew prayer song and worship dance called T’filati.

The lyric is taken from Psalm 55 on casting our burdens to God and trusting Him to free us like a flying bird.

T’filati (My Prayer)

Ha’azina Elohim T’filati (Listen God to my prayer)
Ve’al na titalam Mitechinati (And don’t over look my plea)
Mi yiten Li kanaf kayona (Who will give me a wing)
A’ufa li ve’eshkona (So I can fly and live like a bird)
Ani el Elohay ekra (I will call God)
Vehu Yoshi’eyni (And He will save me)

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Let’s Celebrate!

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It’s the first day of December.

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A friend invited me to her backyard for a wintry stroll to celebrate life outdoor.

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How thrilling it is to be able to enjoy the outdoor again after months of being caged indoor cramming on a major school assignment which… I finally completed today!

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Yes, let’s celebrate!

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“My name will be great among the nations,
from where the sun rises to where it sets.
In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me,
because my name will be great among the nations,”
says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1:11)

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Mango Madness

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The homegrown mangoes were enormous and extremely sweet. My sister, Iris, said they had spared three for me to try. I was anticipating to taste those wonder mangoes that the family highly valued; but when I reached home, those fruits were still dangling on the treetop yet to be harvested.

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After a month, those eye-catching mangoes looked more like a forbidden fruit as it still refused to ripen. After I left the country, the family sort of didn’t think much about the green mangoes. One day, Iris heard the chirping of singing birds outside the kitchen window. In fact, the cadence had been going on for a few days, but on that particular day, the tweedling was unusually loud and joyous so she decided to take a peek at the commotion.

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To her sheer delight, she looked up and saw one of the green mangoes had finally turned to a ripen yellow;  but to her utter dismay,  the fruit was bruisely attacked by the avian creatures.    Gazing at the soft ripen yellowish flesh of mango dripping down with tangy juice, Iris couldn’t resist not to climb up and pluck away the fruit. But then the thought of the Heavenly Father watches over the birds and feeds them stopped her from reaching further. Thus the birdies were able to continue enjoying the nibbling on the mouth-watering crop.

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Eventually the ripened mangoes were picked off from the tree.

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Hmmm… those meaty-sweet-smelling-tropical-deliciousness were supposed to be for my palate!!

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Iris told me her family almost chop down the mango tree last year because it didn’t produce much fruit, and sometimes no fruit at all.   One day, under the mango tree, the family was led to pray for God’s guidance whether to axe down the tree or to keep it.

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Within a short period, the tree started to blossom profusely with mango flowers.

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The blossoms gradually transformed into many mini mangoes…

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to mouth-watering mangoes…

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The family was overwhelmed by the miracle tree and the abundant harvest that the good Lord has blessed them with — over 100 sweet smelling mangoes waiting to be picked!

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The family not only enjoyed the fruit with gratitude, they also distributed the fragrant fruit of their prayer in their neighborhood.

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I took this picture with Iris’ grand-daughter two years ago, and who knew that the tree behind us would turn out to be one mighty tree that causes such mango madness!

Iris told me that this year gotta be another year of fruitful favour, for the same tree is now adorned with many tiny mangoes already. They can’t wait to savour and to share their bountiful harvest with their community again… including the carefree birds in the air!

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The Dance of the Snow Geese

No snow yet so let’s talk about something related to “snow” —  snowgeese!

I enjoy watching snowgeese activities very much.
I love watching them flying over my head and always hoping their droppings won’t fall on my head!

When these birdies are not flying they usually park themselves on the big field feeding themselves with swamp food.

They are often very still and alert  but get startled easily by any little movement.

I used to tease them by flagging a white towel not too far from them and they would literally hop up and down in unison… either they got panicking or were dancing to the rhythm of the towel movement…

It was quite a sight to watch the many thousands of snow geese’s bewilderedly call as they flew off to the sky when chased by their predators such as the eagles.

Snow geese usually migrate here around Oct to Dec from Siberia and then fly down to the South and winter there; they would make a transit here again around March and April before heading back to Siberia.

Encountering the snow geese doesn’t come by easily but once spotted, it’s a  treat of a lifetime.

I had been telling Amelie countless times about these amazing birdies of mine and she always thought it was just a legend.  Seeing is believing… 

Anyway, here’s Amelie’s recent asthetic encounter with the birds.

We were welcomed by the dance of the snow geese
there were hundreds or thousands..
it was like a white patch of grass seen in a distance,
but they were really chubby in the close-ups.
When they took flight,
it was phenomenal to see the power of many,
the group effort,
the movement of freedom,
the sprinkling of snow on a mountaintop,
a white blanket flowing in the air…. you name it,
their dance has be to coupled with human imagination,
or captured by Janie’s camera,
or heard by Lynne’s poem,

to complete the joy.
Is this one with creation?

I felt elated by their dance,
and Lynne said Janie and her could stand there for 2 hours watching,
me too…
It is like worship when watching the snow geese,
you need silence, to drink that in, to feast your eyes,
to let the spirit soar with them,
to let them bring your eyes up and mind high
to see the vision of the far end …

O, I love the sight of it, yes, I will go back and be their quiet beholder again…

BTW, Happy Birthday to Amelie today; may you have many more sightings on the true legend of the snowgeese!

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