Thursday, November 27, 2014

Be thankful

Though you seek it 
You’ll never find it. 
What is it? 

Gratitude for what you’ve got

Kansas landscape
 Image taken driving home from Kansas City to Wichita just after sunset.

Alice doesn't live here anymore.

Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens) said it best more than 30 years ago:

Oh very young 
What will you leave us this time? 
You're only dancing on this earth for a short while 
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now 
They will vanish away like your daddy's best jeans 
Denim blue fading up to the sky.

Image taken on Old Highway 50 north of Emporia.This house is typical of many Depression era homes, two stories, bedrooms on the second floor, a corrugated metal roof because shingles were too expensive, and a kitchen attached at the rear of the home.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Alone My Dogs and I

 Alone, my dogs and I walk by the river, along the lake, and through the woods.

For days and weeks and months
Through all the seasons of the years
In azure days of Spring when flowers came
In Summer’s rain when birds and bees and butterflies took shelter
In Fall when nature’s color was resplendent

And finally,
In the gloom and gray of Winter When all life seems to have gone away
Alone, but for my dogs, these two careless creatures of nature
Naked and unaware
Like Adam and Eve
Of the world’s woes and constant cares
Wandering at the water’s edge
And through the brown and lifeless grass
Looking for some other wild creature to pursue
Happy to be tasked as God intended
To think of pleasure
And not of higher thoughts

And I, …
Alone, but for these two simple dogs
Wonder (Is this God’s gift to man?)
In all God’s vast creation
Do I alone?
Think of what He wrought
And what He must now think
Seeing his beautiful world
Filled with war, famine, and hate
But not here,
Am I
Alone, but for my dogs, these two careless creatures of nature

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Why do leaves change color in Fall?

As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter. A busy year making flowers and seeds, the trees need their rest and so get ready for winter. Thus, the trees begin to shut down their food-making factories, the green chlorophyll. As it disappears from the leaves, the yellow is left behind briefly until it too is gone and all that is left is the brown, the remnants of a glorious summer and beautiful fall.

Fall leaves, Mulberry tree

Kansas Paw Paw

Pin Oak, Kansas

What makes the bright reds in Maple trees? These colors and the deep purples we see are glucose trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Autumn daylight and cool nights combine to produce these brilliant colors.

Maple tree, Kansas