Revival Sermons

Lifestyle & Contemporary Issues => Christian Entertainment => Topic started by: reaching4heaven on August 01, 2008, 08:24:25 AM

Title: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 01, 2008, 08:24:25 AM
A few winters ago we discovered the joys of having a bird feeder. A big comfortable chair next to the window with binoculars in reach is our favorite winter morning spot. The bird book was referenced often, and marks began accumulating next to the sighted birds. One rule, no marks unless two people saw the bird, has made this more of a family activity. A hurriedly whispered "come quick" call from our birding window never goes unanswered... Sparrows, meadowlarks, quail (which I was told wouldn't go up to a feeder, do), doves, finches, ... and the hawk that discovered our treasure.

From the lone sparrow perched on the fence at the beginning of our bird watching days, to the large black spots in the trees on the street behind us (adventure walk revealed 3 turkey vultures), to the 70+ quail & 30+ of others after a wind storm scattered seeds from the newly filled feeder, to the ground nest with 2 eggs we saw on a hike 2 weeks ago & revisited last Sabbath to find 2 featherless chicks, we have been thrilled at God's creation.

Mother's Day is the highlight of bird-watching as we visit a local marsh land and enjoy the return of the marsh birds in spring. Avocets (my favorite long-legged bird with an upturned long narrow bill, orange head & neck and remarkable black & white body), herons, stilts, cranes, egrets & the ever present American Coot abound.

We also enjoy rock hunting in desert hills. As our son gets older I think we'll get more into the names of our various finds, but there is quartz, jasper, opal, a rare crystal formation & geodes and plenty of granite to name a few of the obvious. And one sandy saddleback produced an abundance of gypsum which now sparkles in our rock garden. It would also be nice to invest in (or make?) rock polishing equipment for our colorful finds.

What nature hobbies does your family enjoy?

Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 01, 2008, 08:52:29 AM
I've wanted to be able to draw our minds toward God using nature lessons on our adventures, but I've always found that difficult. Reading through Education, I've found some passages that makes it easier. I'll only write the parts that stuck out to me in the chapter "The Knowledge of Good and Evil".

"No longer were they to dwell in Eden, for in it's perfection it could not teach them the lessons which it was now essential for them to learn." p. 25  Wow, it was even out of love that the couple were driven from Eden. What was essential for them to learn was for them, and is for us, in this fallen world which sin has marred.

"Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man's lesson book. ... From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was to continually recieve warning as to the results of sin." p. 26

"Though marred by sin, it [the world] speaks not only of creation but of redemption. ... The trees cast off their leaves, only to be robed with fresher verdure; the flowers die, to spring forth in new beauty; and in every manifestation of creative power is held out the assurance that we may be created anew in 'righteousness and holiness and truth.' Thus the very objects and operations of nature that bring so vividly to mind our great loss become to us the messengers of hope." p. 27



Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: lily-of-the-field on August 05, 2008, 06:19:09 AM
Hi Reaching.  It sounds like your family has some nice interests.  We feed birds.  We don't do anything exotic, happy to be near a stream and catch tadpoles and bugs, we goldpan, visit botanic gardens, collect pretty stones, seashells and feathers, have various inexpensive gems and minerals (bought, not found.) Hoping to one day look for fossils.  Polishing would be enjoyable if you like finding stones.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: newbie on August 05, 2008, 10:50:57 AM
Reaching,
I even enjoy the large turkey vultures!  :wink:    I've seen them soring overhead, perched on cell towers, and walking around near the road.  Amazing birds and they are so BIG. 
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 05, 2008, 11:29:38 AM
Reaching,
I even enjoy the large turkey vultures!  :wink:    I've seen them soring overhead, perched on cell towers, and walking around near the road.  Amazing birds and they are so BIG. 

They are the most ungainly birds I have ever seen on lift-off. Every beat of the wings seemed to be a struggle. That they can even fly is a miracle.  The biggest birds that we see often in this area are Raven's.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Ruth on August 06, 2008, 08:20:36 AM
The biggest birds that we see often in this area are Raven's.

Did you mean "ravens"?  Or did you REALLY mean birds that belong to "Raven"?

If that's a typo, it's a really neat typo. :-D
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 06, 2008, 10:29:15 AM
Did you mean "ravens"?  Or did you REALLY mean birds that belong to "Raven"?

If that's a typo, it's a really neat typo. :-D

ravens.  :-D  I almost added a line about our beloved forum member, but thought I shouldn't go there...that's probably why I missed that typo.  :wink:
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Raven on August 06, 2008, 05:39:19 PM
ravens.  :-D  I almost added a line about our beloved forum member, but thought I shouldn't go there...that's probably why I missed that typo.  :wink:

I resisted saying anything, but now I can't resist.  I must come to the defense of Reaching.  In the halls of ornithology it is proper to write the word "raven" in capitals when referring to a particular species of raven.  I will give her the benefit of the doubt.  Not knowing her geographical location, she could be referring to either Northern Raven (that's me  :wink:), or the Chihuahuan Raven, which is found in the southwest deserts near the Mexican border.  No, they don't look like or eat Chihuahuas. 

I chose the "raven" moniker because I find them to be fascinating birds, acrobatic (have you ever seen them do somersaults?), intelligent--and it was a raven which was the first creature to leave the ark permanently; and also the means by which God chose to feed Elijah during the drought.  It was also the first bird on my life list, as irrelevant as that may be.

I am humbled to think that you would refer to me as beloved.  Some might prefer the term "cantankerous," or "argumentative").   :-D

Just for the record, we have several bird feeders, or we'd never see much in our yard in the winter, which is surrounded by woods.  We have a lot of activity at the feeders at all seasons.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 06, 2008, 06:44:02 PM
I resisted saying anything, but now I can't resist.  I must come to the defense of Reaching.  In the halls of ornithology it is proper to write the word "raven" in capitals when referring to a particular species of raven.  I will give her the benefit of the doubt.  Not knowing her geographical location, she could be referring to either Northern Raven (that's me  :wink:), or the Chihuahuan Raven, which is found in the southwest deserts near the Mexican border.  No, they don't look like or eat Chihuahuas. 

I chose the "raven" moniker because I find them to be fascinating birds, acrobatic (have you ever seen them do somersaults?), intelligent--and it was a raven which was the first creature to leave the ark permanently; and also the means by which God chose to feed Elijah during the drought.  It was also the first bird on my life list, as irrelevant as that may be.

I am humbled to think that you would refer to me as beloved.  Some might prefer the term "cantankerous," or "argumentative").   :-D

Just for the record, we have several bird feeders, or we'd never see much in our yard in the winter, which is surrounded by woods.  We have a lot of activity at the feeders at all seasons.

Thanks for the support!   :-D

Common Raven, ranges from Alaska to Mexico along the Western USA.  I've never seen acrobatics from a bird; it must be spectacular. What is a "life list?" Is that birders lingo for the birds they've spotted? We enjoy our birdwatching but have much to learn.

I see you as a very polite person whose posts I enjoy reading. You remind me of the 1st cowboy that held open a door for me when I moved out west, although you probably dress like a lumberjack in plaids & hats with ear-flaps (as I picture cp.) Don't spoil my image with thoughts of cantankerous and argumentative! "Cantankerous indeed," she said unbelievingly.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Ruth on August 06, 2008, 07:48:09 PM
I resisted saying anything, but now I can't resist.  I must come to the defense of Reaching.  In the halls of ornithology it is proper to write the word "raven" in capitals when referring to a particular species of raven.  I will give her the benefit of the doubt.

Does this also account for the apostrophe? :uhoh:
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Raven on August 07, 2008, 03:22:43 AM
Thanks for the support!   :-D

Common Raven, ranges from Alaska to Mexico along the Western USA.  I've never seen acrobatics from a bird; it must be spectacular. What is a "life list?" Is that birders lingo for the birds they've spotted? We enjoy our birdwatching but have much to learn.

I see you as a very polite person whose posts I enjoy reading. You remind me of the 1st cowboy that held open a door for me when I moved out west, although you probably dress like a lumberjack in plaids & hats with ear-flaps (as I picture cp.) Don't spoil my image with thoughts of cantankerous and argumentative! "Cantankerous indeed," she said unbelievingly.

Ravens do somersaults (called "barrel rolls), seemingly for the fun of it.  A life list is just all the bird species one has seen.  I got hooked on it back in high school--when it wasn't "cool" to be a "bird watcher."  The stereotype was of little old ladies in tennis shoes.  Now most birders are of the younger generation.

I do dress a bit like you described--minus the hat.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Raven on August 07, 2008, 03:23:41 AM
Does this also account for the apostrophe? :uhoh:

I'm afraid that will have to remain a mystery, unless Reaching can shed some light on it.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: lily-of-the-field on August 07, 2008, 10:10:44 AM
They are the most ungainly birds I have ever seen on lift-off. Every beat of the wings seemed to be a struggle. That they can even fly is a miracle.  The biggest birds that we see often in this area are Raven's.
You've absolutely made my day! lol : )
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: El on August 07, 2008, 10:16:42 AM
You've absolutely made my day! lol : )

The one bird I am sort of leery about is the vulture.  I am not sure if they are soaring around waiting for me to die, or if they have already found another creature who wanted to live but didn't.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: lily-of-the-field on August 07, 2008, 11:22:28 AM
I'll second that, El.  Used to see so many of them in India - they have an almost ominous presence.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 07, 2008, 12:22:10 PM
I'll second that, El.  Used to see so many of them in India - they have an almost ominous presence.

That reminds me of a hike last summer. We were hiking in the mountains, trying to gain the top but got weary. 4 of us waited behind in the shade while Dear Husband went for the summit - to him it's not a good hike until he can see what's on the other side. After he was gone longer than expected we saw 3 vultures circling near the top.   :| We were hollering & whistling to get a reply, but only got silence for the longest time. The vultures started circling closer and closer to us until we could hear DH's reply; they had followed him down the mountain and then circled all of us on the way back to the car.  We must have looked out of shape and they thought they'd get an easy meal.  :? It was great seeing them perched in the 1/2 dead tree near home, but definitely not circling overhead on that hike!
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: newbie on August 07, 2008, 12:55:23 PM
That reminds me of a hike last summer. We were hiking in the mountains, trying to gain the top but got weary. 4 of us waited behind in the shade while Dear Husband went for the summit - to him it's not a good hike until he can see what's on the other side. After he was gone longer than expected we saw 3 vultures circling near the top.   :| We were hollering & whistling to get a reply, but only got silence for the longest time. The vultures started circling closer and closer to us until we could hear DH's reply; they had followed him down the mountain and then circled all of us on the way back to the car.  We must have looked out of shape and they thought they'd get an easy meal.  :? It was great seeing them perched in the 1/2 dead tree near home, but definitely not circling overhead on that hike!

Oh my reaching...   I must keep a constant watch over head to be sure vultures aren't circling...  :) 

It may surprise some that the California condor is a vulture.  Isn't that right Raven?
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 07, 2008, 02:00:07 PM
I'm afraid that will have to remain a mystery, unless Reaching can shed some light on it.

I'm glad several had a good laugh over it. We all have our moments, don't we. On this blunder it is time to say:

"Better to keep your mouth shut and let everyone think you are a fool than to open it and prove they are correct." Hezekiah 2:7

 :-D

Oh my reaching...   I must keep a constant watch over head to be sure vultures aren't circling...  :) 

 :fear: Thanks for the laugh!

It may surprise some that the California condor is a vulture.  Isn't that right Raven?

The condor is on the same page as vultures in my bird book. I thought the latin names were to show family groups, but they sure aren't helping in this instance. It does say the Condor has an 8.5' - 9.5' wing span, while the turkey vulture is 6'. The under wing is black with white markings that remind me of a skeleton with outstretched arms. A condor circling overhead would definitely be more intimidating than a vulture!
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Raven on August 07, 2008, 02:46:22 PM
The one bird I am sort of leery about is the vulture.  I am not sure if they are soaring around waiting for me to die, or if they have already found another creature who wanted to live but didn't.

If you want to keep the vultures away, take a shower daily.  :wink: They find dead things by smell.  So, if you don't smell dead, you're OK.  When I was a wee lad I conducted an experiment to see if vultures would come close so I could get a good look at them.  I rolled my trycycle down a small hill and went and crawled under it (it never occurred to me that I could have just placed the bike there withoug going through all the motions to make it look authentic--as if the birds could tell the difference. :roll:)  The vultures circling overhead never even noticed--but my dad did, and he was hopping mad when he found out I was just pretending to be dead. 
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Raven on August 07, 2008, 02:56:00 PM
I'm glad several had a good laugh over it. We all have our moments, don't we. On this blunder it is time to say:

"Better to keep your mouth shut and let everyone think you are a fool than to open it and prove they are correct." Hezekiah 2:7

 :-D

 :fear: Thanks for the laugh!

The condor is on the same page as vultures in my bird book. I thought the latin names were to show family groups, but they sure aren't helping in this instance. It does say the Condor has an 8.5' - 9.5' wing span, while the turkey vulture is 6'. The under wing is black with white markings that remind me of a skeleton with outstretched arms. A condor circling overhead would definitely be more intimidating than a vulture!

There is also the text in Proverbs 17:28, which says, Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.  :-D

Condors are definitely vultures, but all "new world" vultures are in a different family from the "old world" vultures, like the ones in Africa and southern Europe. But they all eat the same thing:  carrion.  Although sometimes Black Vultures will kill small animals and eat them, just like a hawk.

A condor in flight is a spectacle to behold, that's for sure.  Unfortunately, I haven't had that privilege since 1976, when 3 adults flew quite low over my head.  That was at the southern end of the Central Valley, just before the Grapevine.  You Californians out there will know what I mean.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 07, 2008, 02:59:01 PM
When I was a wee lad I conducted an experiment to see if vultures would come close so I could get a good look at them.  I rolled my trycycle down a small hill and went and crawled under it (it never occurred to me that I could have just placed the bike there withoug going through all the motions to make it look authentic--as if the birds could tell the difference. :roll:)  The vultures circling overhead never even noticed--but my dad did, and he was hopping mad when he found out I was just pretending to be dead. 

My eyes are watering from laughing so hard...
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 07, 2008, 03:02:47 PM
There is also the text in Proverbs 17:28, which says, Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.  :-D

That sounds so much nicer.  :-) I knew there'd be a true Bible text I could use but it wouldn't come to me...guess I should have held my peace.  :wink:
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Ruth on August 07, 2008, 03:14:22 PM
I'm glad several had a good laugh over it. We all have our moments, don't we. On this blunder it is time to say:

"Better to keep your mouth shut and let everyone think you are a fool than to open it and prove they are correct." Hezekiah 2:7


 :rofl:
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Raven on August 07, 2008, 05:29:20 PM
My eyes are watering from laughing so hard...

I'm always happy to bring a little joy to those who need it.  "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on August 12, 2008, 06:25:54 AM
Our 4th week back to the nest revealed no chicks...and no nest. We spent a good half hour scouring the portion of the ridge where it had been in utter disbelief that all evidence was gone.   We have chosen to believe the chicks learned to fly and are happily chirping on their new adventure and that a dust devil blew the nest away - the ones out here could have taken it miles away.

Taking a different route to the car, son found a jack rabbit skull bleached white from the sun on top of a sage. On top? It is obviously not a recent kill, so why it would be on top is a mystery. The wind should have taken that long ago, too. We discovered that behind the long front gnawing teeth rabbits have 2 small grinding teeth. It also sparked discussion about eyes & eye sockets which we have been studying, and how clean the rabbits teeth were from eating good food. (Gotta throw those thoughts in whenever we can, don't we?   :wink:) The detail God has given even the smallest body is amazing.  I see a wood working project ahead of us -- a display box for our treasures.
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on September 13, 2008, 06:11:34 AM
We've been studying leaves and seeds and it just amazes me how orderly God is in even the little things.

The science book says there are 2 types of leaves which are distinguished by their veins: parallel (as in a corn plant) or netted (peanut plant.) There are also 2 types of seeds from these plants: monocot (one part seed as in a corn kernel) and dicot (two part seed as in a peanut.) According to the book, all parallel leafed plants have monocot seeds and all vein leafed plants have dicot seeds. We've been checking this out on the plants we come across and haven't found an exception. You'd think that with all the supposedly millions of years these plants have had to evolve there would be some exceptions...but no, they are not there...parallel/monocot & veined/dicot. In my mind that's just more evidence of a Creator who loves order and not chaos.

Modified: Thanks for the correction Raven...I changed it here to avoid future confusion. *ahem* Would you read it over & make sure I got it right this time...   :oops:
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: Raven on September 13, 2008, 11:18:47 AM
We've been studying leaves and seeds and it just amazes me how orderly God is in even the little things.

The science book says there are 2 types of leaves which are distinguished by their veins: parallel (as in a corn plant) or netted (peanut plant.) There are also 2 types of seeds from these plants: dicot (one part seed as in a corn kernel) and monocot (two part seed as in a peanut.) According to the book, all parallel leafed plants have dicot seeds and all vein leafed plants have monocot seeds. We've been checking this out on the plants we come across and haven't found an exception. You'd think that with all the supposedly millions of years these plants have had to evolve there would be some exceptions...but no, they are not there...parallel/dicot & veined/monocot. In my mind that's just more evidence of a Creator who loves order and not chaos.

Botany is a very fascinating field of study.  It was what first got me interested in biology more than 40 years ago. 

"Di" means 2, therefore 2 cotyledons (as in peas, beans, etc.).  "Mono" means one (as monotheistic--one God); hence one cotyledon (as in all grains).  For some reason the seeds of monocots, when sprouting, have much more strength (grass can crack cement or asphalt) than dicots.  Maybe that's why grass is so prolific.  Dicots are bent over when they emerge, while monocots poke straight up.

The book you are using seems to have switched the 2, because dicots have netted veins, and monocots have parallel veins.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
MONOCOTS   

Embryo with single cotyledon 
Pollen with single furrow or pore 
Flower parts in multiples of three 
Major leaf veins parallel 

Stem vascular bundles scattered 
Roots are adventitious 
Secondary growth absent 

DICOTS

Embryo with two cotyledons 
Pollen with three furrows or pores 
Flower parts in multiples of four or five 
Major leaf veins reticulated 

Stem vascular bundles in a ring 
Roots develop from radicle 
Secondary growth often present 
Title: Re: Nature Studies
Post by: reaching4heaven on September 13, 2008, 05:21:40 PM
The book you are using seems to have switched the 2, because dicots have netted veins, and monocots have parallel veins.

No, the book had it right, my sleep-deprived brain got it wrong.  I even read it over 3 times and checked my spelling by the notebook we are making and didn't catch that mistake...go figure.  :| Thanks for correcting me.

That's interesting about the seed strength. We'll watch our seeds sprout next spring with a keener eye.

I was not interested in biology in my school days, but I didn't know God then. Now, it seems like an open book on creation which has me intrigued. A former academy school teacher told me recently that his class dissected a flower and the inside was amazingly beautiful. I wish I could remember what type of flower - it might have been an amaryllis. Much better than the worm & frog we had to dissect in high school. :-P (I refused to take Biology II because I didn't want to dissect a cat. Double  :-P)