Observing June Blooms and Summer’s Beauty

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Day Lilies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Though my area continues to be plagued with times of rain and clouds, the times of sun and clear skies along with very warm temperatures have allowed the day lilies to bloom.  The bright flowers can be found along the roadways, in yards, and in landscape beds for miles around.  Colors ranging from yellow to orange and even deep red add bright spots to the surrounding landscape.  One section along my running and biking route has day lilies growing on both sides of the road.  Seeing their orange blooms is always a sure sign summer has arrived in my area.

It’s Summertime!

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Sunrise June 21, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

Summer arrived June 21 with a majestic sunrise.  Standing on the back porch of my house, I watched the deep red glow emerge between  the trees and the clouds in the distance at 5:50 AM.  The reflection of the light off of the clouds was amazingly beautiful.  The light caught every ripple of the growing cloud cover, making the sight appear textured as if I could reach out and touch it.

What better way to start the longest day of the year than with a beautiful sunrise?

Colors Everywhere Without a Care

Seeing the lilies come into bloom reminds me of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where he talks about worry and being anxious:

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Smiling for Summer Lisa A. Wisniewski

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. –Matthew 6:28-29

Looking at the lilies, they appear to not have a care in the world, simply opening when the sun rises and closing when sun sets.  They don’t complain in between, but seem to smile with their bell-shaped outward curved flowers, revealing the delicate pistil and surrounding stamens within.

Science Lessons Galore

Peering into the flowers, I am reminded of many science classes spent identifying the parts of a flower, learning the role each part plays in the flower’s existence, and marveling at the details behind the beauty.

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Flower Parts Up Close Lisa A. Wisniewski

The stalk of a flower is called the peduncle.  The receptacle is the part of the flower stalk that meets the petals.  The sepal is the part that houses the bloom, and is often leafy or fringed.  Petals are the colored part of the flower.   The pollen producing part of a flower is called the stamen.  The stamen is made up of the anther, which is where the pollen is produced, and the filament, which is a tender stalk supporting the anther.

The pistil is the female part of the flower, made up of the ovary, ovule, style, and stigma.  The ovary supports the style, which is topped by the stigma.  A mature ovary is called a fruit, and a mature ovule is considered a seed.  The pollen germinates in the stigma, and often appears as a powdery residue.

Other Blooms and Fruits

In addition to the day lilies, the elderberry bushes are now in bloom.  The delicate flowers grace the tops of the bushes and sway in the breeze creating a lace-like wave.  Elderberries typically grow in wet, marshy areas, and we have a few spots in our fields where the bushes are abundant.  The bushes we have grow wild, and are not cultivated or planted.

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Elderberry Blooms Lisa A. Wisniewski

In the coming weeks, the blooms will turn into small green berries.  The sun will turn the berries deep purple.  Peak ripening typically occurs in August, however, there have been times when the fruit ripened as early as mid-July.

Since childhood, my sister and I have helped in the making of elderberry jelly.  The hardest part is taking the tiny berries off the stems.  We typically wear rubber gloves to prevent our hands from being stained purple by the juice from the berries.  Once the berries are collected, they are cooked and strained through cheese cloth.  The smell of the cooking berries sends a sweet aroma throughout the house.  Once the juice is collected, it is mixed with pectin and cooked until achieving a full rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down).  Sugar is then quickly stirred into the hot liquid, and the mixture is once again heated to boiling.  Upon boiling, the mixture is stirred continuously for one minute. The mixture is then placed in jars that have been given a hot water bath.  Screw top lids and seals are placed on the jars to allow the jelly to be preserved.

In addition to elderberries, we have strawberries, blue berries, red raspberries, and wild black raspberries ripening in the gardens and around the fields.  We use the fruit for eating and for making jam.  This year, it appears the crop will be a good one with so many berries ripening in a short time span.

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Wild Black Raspberries Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Blueberries Ready to Ripen Lisa A. Wisniewski

Summer Smells

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Deer in the Hay Field Lisa A. Wisniewski

The smell of freshly-picked berries instantly sends a summer message to my soul.  Another smell that takes me immediately to summer memories is that of fresh cut hay.  My neighbor cut the surrounding fields for hay the other day, and the sweet, intoxicating aroma of the grass in the fields could be smelled for miles along my biking route.  The scent wafted in the open windows of the house as well, bringing a freshness to the rooms.

There is nothing like lying down at night and drifting off to dream with the fresh aroma surrounding a body tired from summer activities.  Doing so reminds me of to be thankful for God’s many blessings, and calls to mind a favorite psalm:

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Bless the Lord, Oh, My Soul Lisa A. Wisniewski

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits; He pardons all your iniquities.  He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion, he fills your lifetime with good; your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” – Psalm 103:1-5   

May the rising sun and blooming flowers bring a sense of peace to the soul.  May the sights, sounds, and smells around us remind us of God’s many blessings and summer’s beauty as we make our way upon the journey.

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Red Sun All Aglow Lisa A. Wisniewski

Summer’s Beauty

Red sun all aglow
Shaking its head to show
Its’ light to the world around
Without the slightest bit of sound,
Embracing the day with arm outstretched
Through God’s grace and blessings sent
Offering time to share and see
All the sights of summer’s beauty.

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Yellow Day Lilies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Day lilies in the fields
Smile and wave to reveal
Their zest for life all around
In yellow, orange, and red resounds
Echoing their joy in nature’s song
To enjoin the heart upon
A ride within the journey
Through all the sights of summer’s beauty.

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Fresh Cut Hay Lisa A. Wisniewski

Freshly cut hay and honey suckle vines
Offer aromas so sweet and fine
As the breeze blows and the trees sway
Over the earth below at midday
While the clouds drift in the sky
Dancing with the spirits in waltzing time
In the rise and fall of the music so soothing
Offered in all the sights of summer’s beauty.

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Soaking Up Summer Lisa A. Wisniewski

Soak it up, drink it in,
Thank the heavens above for the blessings within
All the sights of summer’s beauty
Sent from the Father in the sky as a gift to thee.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Essence of Summer Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Elderberry bush – https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/elderberry/elderberry-bush-varieties.htm

Matthew 6:28-29 – http://biblehub.com/matthew/6-28.htm

Parts of a flower – https://www.amnh.org/learn/biodiversity_counts/ident_help/Parts_Plants/parts_of_flower.htm

Psalm 103:1-5 – http://biblehub.com/isv/psalms/103.htm

Observing June’s Light and Whole of Life

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June Sunrise 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

June has brought times of both rain and sun to my area.  This week, the temperatures skyrocketed into the upper 80°F to 90°F range during the daytime hours.  With low temperatures of 65° F, the nights have been warmer than normal, yet comfortable with the breezes blowing.  The warmer temperatures made for some rather sweaty runs, bike rides, and dog walks, but the times of sun, blue skies, and feeling of summer soon to arrive (June 21 is not that far away) made up for all the sweat, at least in my mind.

Sweat Beads and Cooling Needs

As I pedaled my bike four miles after a three mile run the other night, I felt little rivers of sweat running down my back, arms, and legs.  The air hitting my skin as I rode along made me feel cooler.  The experience made me think back to health classes years ago when I learned that sweating is the body’s mechanism to cool itself.

 

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Hazy, Hot, and Humid = Sweat Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sweat is created  by sweat glands, which are skin glands that occur only in mammals.  There are two types of sweat glands, the eccrine and apocrine.   The eccrine glands are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and regulate body temperature.  As the internal body temperature rises, the eccrine glands release sweat, which is made up of mostly water and sodium.   There are thousands of eccrine glands within the human body to regulate temperature.  In mammals such as dogs, cats, cows, and sheep, the eccrine glands are located on paw pads or lip margins.  This is why these animals rely on panting instead of sweating for temperature control.

The apocrine sweat glands continuously secrete a fatty sweat into the gland tubule.  Stress, anxiety, fluctuating hormones, or rise in body temperature stimulate the glands to produce bacteria to help break down the sweat, resulting in body odor.  The apocrine sweat glands are located in the underarm and groin areas in humans.  Other mammals have many more apocrine glands, hence the smell often associated with cows, horses, and sheep in warmer weather.

In humans, each sweat gland by itself may not be very effective, but when you sum up all of the sweat glands, you have a very effective cooling system.  This system is of most value when exercising or engaging in physical activities often done in the light and warmth of the summer sun.

Lots and Lots of Light

In addition to the warmer temperatures, June has brought even more daylight to my area.  Sunrise is now at 5:50 AM, the earliest it can be, and sunset is currently at 8:52 PM, inching slowly toward 8:55 PM, the latest it can occur.  We are approaching the summer solstice, the time when the sun “stands still” before redirecting.  The standing still can be seen in the consecutive days of 5:50AM sunrises.  After 6 days, the time will inch back to 5:51 AM, then a minute later each day as we progress through the summer and into fall.

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Light Before Night Lisa A. Wisniewski

The extra light has been great for my dogs and me.  We have been outside every evening until after 9:00 PM, edging, mulching, weeding, trimming, and trying to make the yard look nice.  (The dogs supervise while I labor, which works well for us.  Occasionally, they do try to help, but it usually ends up being more work for me, so I tell them to just watch instead).

All the work of maintaining the yard is therapeutic and rewarding for me.  It is amazing how many questions and problems I can solve in my mind while working and playing with the dogs.  Issues that trouble me seem less severe when I am out there digging, raking, and trimming.  Others may view this time as work, but I view it as play time, time to just be me, time to talk or listen to God, and time to be thankful to be able to do what I enjoy doing most in life.

All this time is made brighter by the light of the sun and the aura of promise and potential the spring and summer seasons hold. Perhaps the following quote states it best:

“We see the brightness of a new page where everything yet can happen.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

As I contemplate this aura and the light, I am reminded of Jesus’ discourses to the apostles, calling them the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Jesus often used simple, little things in life (light, salt, seeds, and water) to get his message across.  He also used many metaphors so the people could relate his words to their work and their lives.

Simple Solutions

The ability to relate is often made possible by the breaking down of a problem or event.  Dissecting the smaller pieces leads to the discovery of relationships, which in turn makes the process more relevant and effective.  Perhaps my yard work can be used as an example.  I have a big task in making the yard look nice.  However, if I break that task down into categories like edging, weeding, mulching, and trimming, I have smaller components that are more manageable both physically and mentally.

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Back Yard Landscaping Lisa A. Wisniewski

The process of categorizing gives some semblance of order for me to follow, which makes the project more organized.  The organization leads to my communication with God and nature.  This communication in turn leads to cooperation (God and nature working with me, or at least keeping me company while I do the physical aspect of the work) to get the tasks done.  Completing each task offers motivation for the next task at hand.

This process reminds me of some of St. Paul’s writings, in which he speaks of building character, strength, and endurance (Romans 5:4).  It also reminds me St. Paul’s message to the Corinthians regarding faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13-13).  Each component plays a part in making a better whole, and in turn, a better world.

Intricate Beauty, Infinite Value

These writings illustrate the very intricate, delicate weave created in and by life.  Every component is connected in some way, allowing each piece to play a part in the greater whole.  The sum of all the components is made more valuable with the contribution of each component.

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White Yarrow Lisa A. Wisniewski

While pedaling my bike the other night, I saw some white yarrow.  The very tiny petals are almost invisible by themselves, but when grouped together, they make a flower like fine lace.  Add to this the very delicate, fern-like, wispy leaves, and you have a masterpiece of nature’s finest art.  Each part of the yarrow is very small, but the sum of the parts makes for a tall, showy flower with a unique appearance.  If we viewed the parts individually, we may not see their value, but each one is necessary to make the plant complete and noticeable.

As I contemplate the parts of each whole in my life, I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite Patty Loveless songs called A Handful of Dust, which was written by a great songwriter named Tony Arata:

A Handful of Dust

Break us down to our elements, and you might think He failed
We’re not copper for one penny or even iron for one nail
And a dollar would be plenty to buy twenty of us
Until true love is added to these handfuls of dust

Handful of dust, handful of dust
Sums up the richest and poorest of us
True love makes priceless the worthless
Whenever it’s added to a handful of dust

However small our worth may be
When shared between two hearts
Is even more than it would ever be
When measured on its own accord
Aw, half what it could be is now twice what it was
When true love is added to these handfuls of dust

Handful of dust, handful of dust
Sums up the richest and poorest of us
True love makes priceless the worthless
Whenever it’s added to a handful of dust

Summing Up Sums

Perhaps it is all the little parts of the spring and summer seasons that make them so memorable, rewarding, and refreshing for me.  Every component from the smells of fresh cut grass and falling rain to the sights of the misty mornings filled with dew and the clear blue skies add an element of value to create a priceless effect upon the soul.  Each day filled with light offers endless potential to learn, grow, explore, and find what one is seeking.

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Moving Along in the Morn Lisa A. Wisniewski

As I inch my way along through my yard work, I find myself contemplating events past and present, as well as dreaming of the future.  Where I have been and where I am now are steps within the journey leading to my destination.  Every step has value, though not every step may be seen as important at the time it is taken.  Some steps are taken with certainty, others with caution or even fear.  Every step challenges my faith along the way and builds character.  This character in turn builds strength, which allows for endurance, which in turn leads one through life.

May we recognize the intricate details and little things as we make our way upon the journey.  May each experience lead us to deeper meaning and understanding, and may sharing these experiences with others add value to the sum of the parts that make up the whole of life. 

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Daisies in the Field Lisa A. Wisniewski

Within the Whole of Life

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Round, Round Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

Daisies in the field, blowing in the wind
After the hazy fog of the morn has lifted
And the round, round sun in the sky
Has found its way through the clouds of white
To guide the soul and lead the way
Through the folds of another day
Full of potential and opportunities bright
Within the whole of life.

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Wispy Clouds After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Tiny Phlox in Jewel Weed Lisa A. Wisniewski

Wispy clouds and dreamy stars
Moving throughout nature’s finest art
Created from parts all sizes and shapes
Given a start by God’s love and grace,
Allowed to flourish and grow in time’s sea
Above, below, and everywhere in between
The rhythms that hold together day and night
Within the whole of life.

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Old Walnut Tree in Morning Mist Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Stepping Through Time Lisa A. Wisniewski

Old walnut tree standing tall in the morning mist
With leaves outstretched waiting to be kissed
By the sun’s rays
In a new day begun upon the way
Through the steps within the journey
Around time’s bends and lessons of learning
Leading the soul to the light
Within the whole of life.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Patty Loveless- https://www.biography.com/people/patty-loveless-17189482

Rainer Maria Rilke – https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rainer-Maria-Rilke

Science of sweat – https://certification.acsm.org/blog/2013/may/the-science-of-sweat

Sweat glands – https://www.britannica.com/science/sweat-gland

Tony Arata – http://nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com.s164288.gridserver.com/Site/inductee?entry_id=256

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Sunrise June 15, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

Observing June Rains and Life’s Lanes

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Almost Full Moon June 8, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

The first two weeks of June are historically rainy in my area.  This year is following tradition with showers popping up in the early morning, mid-afternoon, or evening hours almost every day.  The weather forecast is calling for cloudy skies up until the weekend, so I am not sure if we will get to see the full moon on June 9.

June’s full moon is known as the Full Strawberry Moon, named by the Algonquin Indian tribe to signal the start of ripening strawberries.  Tribes in Europe called it the Full Rose Moon, and it is also known as the Hay Moon since hay harvesting often starts this time of year.

Rain Facts

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Calming Skies After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

Though I don’t particularly care for the gray skies that come along with the rains, I don’t mind the sound of a gentle rain or running and biking in the rain when the temperature is warm.  Something about listening to the low drumming sound of a gentle rain on the roof or pedaling along to the rhythm of the rain makes me feel at peace, even if the world around me is far from tranquil.

When the raindrops fall and hit an object, part of the energy from the motion of the fall is absorbed by the object and part is converted to vibrations that create sound waves.

Sound waves are unique because they are:

  • Mechanical, which means they can travel through a medium such as air or water, but cannot travel through a vacuum.
  • Longitudinal, which means the disturbance created by the vibration travels in the same direction as the wave.
  • Pressure waves, which means they have compressions and rarefactions, or high and low pressures within the wave.

The amplitude of a sound wave is determined by the peak of the compressions or rarefactions.  The amplitude, along with the frequency or speed of the vibration, determines auditability, or loudness, of the sound.

The amplitude of a gentle falling rain is lower and is interpreted by the brain as a non-threatening sound.  This is why the sound of rain can be so relaxing to some people.

Rainy Day Memories

Growing up, I distinctly remember trying to help my grandmother mow grass in between the downpours of the first weeks of June.  Gram was never one for patience or nature’s sudden changes, so the rains made her rather cranky.  By coincidence, the Three Rivers Arts Festival always occurred during the rainy spell.  The festival drew many people to the city of Pittsburgh, which is about 20 miles away from our rural home.

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Rain Clouds on the Move Lisa A. Wisniewski

The television news Gram watched at noon and in the evenings had daily stories about the festival artists and events.  Gram used to blame the festival for all the rain, “The arts festival is in town.  We’ll have showers and thunderstorms every day until it leaves.” (I can’t repeat the rest of what she would say, as it usually contained more than a few swear words).

Back then, we did not have all the toys and conveniences of today’s world, so Gram sometimes had her hands full keeping my sister and me busy when we visited (which was pretty much every day since we lived just a field away and took a daily walk through the field to see what Gram was doing).  However, Gram did her best, playing cards or supervising while we built Legos on the kitchen table.  We also helped her clean out cupboards, do dishes, vacuum, and wash clothes.

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Stories of Life Weaved in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

As we went about the chores, Gram told us stories of her childhood spent growing up with eleven siblings on a farm.  The stories always fascinated my sister and me, no matter how many times we heard them.  We learned about our Croatian heritage, how our great-grandparents immigrated from Yugoslavia to the United States, and what Gram and my grandfather (who passed away very young, well before I was born) went through in their first years of marriage.  In hindsight, we had quality time well before the concept was made popular, and this quality time was usually made possible by the rain.  God was at work in our lives way back then, and we did not even know it.

Adventures in Automobiles

Gram usually became antsy by the third day of rain (as did my sister and I), so she would take us to visit our great aunts (Gram’s sisters or sisters-in-laws) or other relatives.  We piled into Gram’s old four-door, brown Plymouth and off we went, windshield wipers and raindrops flying in the wind as the whitewall tires sped through the bends and hills along the way.  Gram knew all the good back roads and side streets to make the trip more adventurous.  Occasionally, we’d have to detour due to summer road construction, which allowed us to learn more roads, streets, and routes (and a few new swear words).

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The Heavens Always Watching Over Us Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sometimes, Gram would turn on the AM radio, but most times she told stories about different sights along the way, explaining how some farms came to be, where certain roads or stores got their names, or what used to be in a particular location.

I don’t remember thinking much about God back then, but I do remember Gram having a St. Christopher medal hanging from the rear view mirror.  One day, I asked her about the medal.  Gram explained that the medal was for protection, and that St. Christopher watches over all travelers, no matter how far they are going. Though Gram was not the most religious person in the world, she sure did believe in the power of St. Christopher and kept a medal in her car until she was no longer able to drive.

Traveling Traditions

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Directions From the Sky Lisa A. Wisniewski

The popularity of the St. Christopher medals faded by the time I got my driver’s license.  However, Gram bought me a guardian angel pin that I kept in the sun visor of my vehicle for extra protection.  By then, I knew more about God and that I did not necessarily need an object to remind me of His or any of the saints’ powers.  However, I do admit that at times I found myself searching for reassurance, something physical to act as a compass or a guide along the way.

This past Sunday, I went to see one of my great aunts, the only living sibling left from Gram’s family.  On the way, I encountered a detour that put me on streets and roads I had not traveled since I was a teenager.  The experience brought back memories of Gram driving my sister and me on our adventures.  Though I was proud of myself for remembering part of the alternate route, I was a bit nervous, especially since the weather forecast called for rain and I really needed to get back home to try to cut the grass before the showers fell.

But It’s Right There!

As I cautiously navigated along the route, I found myself praying very hard, straining to remember landmarks, and trying to keep calm.  When I did spot something that jarred a memory, I felt a calmness settle over me, as if God was saying, “It will be fine.  You will get to where you need to be.”

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I’m Right Here! Lisa A. Wisniewski

Of course, I worried His interpretation of my destination might not align with my interpretation.  My inner compass told me to focus and try to remember as best I could, and I could see my great aunt’s house, which reassured me.  At one point, I did have to call my great aunt for verification of a turn, and we both laughed about me being able to see her house, but not being able to get to the street in front of it.

How often in life do we see what we are seeking, yet can’t grasp it? My driving experience reminded me of the following quote:

“The search for God is like riding an ox hunting for the ox.” – Buddhist proverb

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

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Water Pooled in Leaves Lisa A. Wisniewski

As I ran and pedaled my bike this week, I found myself looking at my surroundings full of nature’s finest offerings.  Intricate spiky leaves of thistle, water pooled in the leaves of a wildfowe, puffy clouds in the sky, the appearance of the sun in between rain showers, and a rabbit nibbling grass by the roadside all caught my attention and reminded me that God is right there, right in front, behind, and beside me no matter where I go.  Whether lost or found, He is with us, waiting for us to ask for His help, thank Him for the blessings He provides, or simply acknowledge that we sense His presence.

I stopped several times while pedaling my bike to take pictures of what I saw, though I really just wanted to ride fast and get back home to do my growing list of chores.   At each stop, my heart and mind argued: You really need to get back home. I know, but I also need time to regroup and recharge.  You will be sorry later when you don’t get your list done.  True, but it ALL needs done, and sometimes the order is important, but other times, it is the end result that matters most, not the steps taken to get there. 

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Rescue Me Lisa A. Wisniewski

To me, the rain is God’s way of cleansing my mind, body, and soul.  Sometimes I wrestle with the gymnastics the rain causes in my life, and other times, I realize it is just God’s way of steering me along upon the journey.

May the sound of the rain be music to our ears, allowing us to find harmony in life.  May the rain wash us clean inside and out, and allow us to see what matters most in life.

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Green Growth on the Pines Lisa A. Wisniewski

Most in Life

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Old Magnolia Lisa A. Wisniewski

Green, green growth upon the pine trees
By the side of the road in the breeze,

Old magnolia standing twisted and high
With large leaves holding flowers white,
Puffy clouds in the distance
Reflecting the sun’s light without resistance,
Morning dew upon the grass
Sparkling new like glass,
As the river of time flows beneath the sky
Full of moments to reflect upon what matters most in life.

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Wild Grape Vines Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Little Rabbit Lisa A. Wisniewski

Twisting curly cues amidst the grape leaves
Winding in pursuit of the sun’s beams,
Little rabbit in the grass hopping along
Under a sky scattered with the rain’s song,
Freshly plowed fields dark and brown
Emitting the deep aroma of the ground,
After the rains have passed on by
Offering a reflection of what matters most in life.

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Sunrise After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Sunset Before a Storm Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sunrise after the rain,
Shining bright to meet the day,
Sunset before a storm
Glowing red with the love of the Lord,
The strong smell of honeysuckle in the air
Permeating along and about everywhere,
Tree frogs and crickets calling at dusk
With songs of nature’s wonder lust,
As the minutes go passing by
Teeming with examples of what matters most in life.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Sound of Music Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Amplitude – http://www.howmusicworks.org/103/Sound-and-Music/Amplitude-and-Frequency

Frequency – http://www.howmusicworks.org/103/Sound-and-Music/Amplitude-and-Frequency

Full Strawberry Moon – http://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-june-2017

Non-threatening sound – https://www.livescience.com/53403-why-sound-of-water-helps-you-sleep.html

Sound waves – http://www.ducksters.com/science/physics/sound_wave_characteristics.php

St. Christopher – http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=36

Three Rivers Arts Festival – http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/04/25/three-rivers-arts-festival-schedule/

Observing Faith in Colors and How Each Day Unfolds

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Rainbow After a Storm Lisa A. Wisniewski

My area had a number of spectacular sights in the skies this past week, including a rainbow after a storm, a very red dawn, and a majestic mix of puffy, white clouds in the blue seas of heaven.  I also had some stellar deer sightings while riding my bike.  Watching the skies change and the deer graze made me feel thankful for being able to spend time in nature and enjoy a few peaceful moments despite all the chaos in the world around me.

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Red Dawn Lisa A. Wisniewski

Colors of Faith and Wellness

As I watched the skies, I thought about how faith is similar to the colors.  We go through periods of darkness and light while walking along our path of faith, and often what we see has an impact on how we feel.  We also experience different degrees of faith and trust, depending upon circumstances and knowledge.  The vantage points we do and do not have affect our perspective and how we see what is before us.

At times, we may become somewhat color blind, losing sight of what matters most or not being able to discern the boundaries of right and wrong.  Often, we rely upon what we do not see in order to lead us on our way, and use what we do see as a confirmation for our directions.

Characteristics of Faith

Just like colors, faith has many connotations and meanings.  Some view faith as an inner compass, others view it as divine power, and still others view it as insignificant.  The authors of the books of the Bible used colors and numbers as metaphors to convey their messages of faith and hope.  In doing so, the writers paint a picture for each character in the Bible, allowing us generations later to imagine the scenes and stories still relative to life today.

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Stellar Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

In my meditational readings this week, I have read St. Luke’s account of how the apostles and followers of Jesus tried to increase the numbers of believers and in turn gather God’s people into a congregation of sorts despite the varied backgrounds of their audiences.  In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke explains the struggles and triumphs of increasing the faith of the community and its individuals.

While pedaling along beneath the skies this week, I thought about how certain characteristics of life and the people in our lives play a part in our faith foundation.   For me, nature is my go to destination, typically through exercise.  In doing so, I rediscover aspects of my faith and my character that allow me to continue upon the journey.  I also learn more about my surroundings, the connections within my surroundings, and how these connections affect my community and myself.  Often, the colors I see act as guideposts along the way, leading me to new discoveries, old facts, and hidden blessings.

Seeing the White Light 

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Red-osier Dogwood Lisa A. Wisniewski

White seems to be the dominant color in the new blooms of the past week.  While riding my bike, running, and walking the dogs, I spotted white flowers on the daisies, wild strawberries, alyssum, poison hemlock, red-osier dogwood, laurel, yarrow, and raspberry bushes.   All the white made me think about the connotations of the color and how it is often linked to faith, purity, innocence, and positivity.

As I watched the white morning mist rise above the fields, I noticed the grace in the misty movement, how innocent and pure the tiny water droplets making up the mist looked, and how positive this sight made me feel.  Though the mist quickly dissipated, the feelings it conveyed stayed with me through the morning hours.

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Misty Dawn Lisa A. Wisniewski

Viewing a spider web outlined with dew the next day, I noticed the complexity and detail in the weaving and thought about how the white strands are woven together to form a bond of strength and security.  Like the mist, the white in the spider web provided a positive start to my day, giving me hope for the unknown.

Take Me Home, Color Road

Seeing all the colors of the week in the blooms and the skies also made me feel at home.  The sights reminded me of the John Denver song, Take Me Home Country Road and how the lyrics flow methodically with the music.  Often, I view the colors in the sky as silent songs, music to my soul allowing me the freedom to feel the lyrics, rhythms, and melodies of nature.  It is in this silence that I find faith, hope, and love to continue onward, and it is in this music that I find lessons so valuable in life.

May the colors we see act as guides for our minds, bodies, and souls.  May these colors lead us to connections and answers to the questions we have, and may the songs of silence allow us to see the blessings of life in how each day unfolds. 

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Dew on the Grass Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Spider Web in Driveway Stones Lisa A. Wisniewski

How Each Day Unfolds

In the dew on the grass in the early morning light,
In the spider web cast in the stones upon the drive,
In the clouds high above the trees,
In the moon coming out to play in the night breeze,
In the mist of the dawn
In the flowers kissed by God
All the hues play a role
In how each day unfolds.

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Spirea Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Doe in the Woods Lisa A. Wisniewski

In the rainbow after the rain,
In the spirea that grows unrestrained,
In the grass of the fields,
In the doe trying to pass through the woods concealed,
In the colors of the skies
In the shelter of the sun’s light
Every shade offers something to behold
In how each day unfolds.

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Crown of Walnut Tree Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Blueberries Forming Lisa A. Wisniewski

In the crown of the walnut tree,
In the furry down of the little bunny,
In the growing leaves and twisting vines,
In the glowing stars of the skies,
In the rhubarb and blueberries,
In the art of nature weaved,
Every color takes a hold
In how each day unfolds.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Music for the Soul Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Colors of exercise and faith – http://www.faithandfitness.net/8colors

Connotations of color – https://www.colorpsychology.org/

Observing Memorial Day (May 29, 2017)

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Memorial Day 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

We would like to take this opportunity to remember all the men, women, canines, and other service animals who have died while serving in the US Military.  The sacrifice these individuals made is priceless.  May their service never be forgotten or taken for granted.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

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Stars and Stripes Lisa A. Wisniewski

Stars and Stripes

Stars and stripes flying in the breeze
In the skies below heaven’s majesty,
Waving in the wind upon the shores,
To and fro again blessed by the Lord,
Standing tall and true, pure and bright,
Leading the soul through another day and night
Through hope and faith
Of those who gave
All they had and then some
So others may have and not want.

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God’s Grace Lisa A. Wisniewski

Stars and stripes woven together
Blue and white, bold red forever
Connected by the threads sewn
In time within steps upon the road
Calling for unity and respect
So all may see and not forget
Freedom’s cost along the way
In the song of God’s grace.

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Everyplace in Between and All Around Lisa A. Wisniewski

Stars and stripes waving in the wind
Reflecting life and potential given
So that from the sands of the shores
To the trees that stand in the forest floors,
From the mountains capped by snow
To the rivers mapped in the valleys below,
From big city to small town,
To everyplace in between and all around,
Freedom’s song may be heard,
Carried along by those who served.

In honor of Memorial Day 2017 and with much thanks for

All who gave their lives for freedom’s sake

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Above the Trees of the Forest Floor Lisa A. Wisniewski

Learning Through May’s Memories and Wonderings

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Queen Anne’s Lace Lisa A. Wisniewski

While biking last night, I saw:

  • First blooms of the season on the Queen Anne’s Lace
  • First jewelweed of spring
  • First blooming orange hawkweed
  • First Virginia creeper climbing up through the trees
  • First flowers on the multiflora rose
  • First buckeyes starting to form from the flowers on the buckeye trees

All these firsts remind me that nature is continually changing and offering anyone willing to take time to look an escape from the hustle and bustle of life.  While pedaling along, I felt a sense of peace wash over me despite having had a very rough day and having to deal with a number of what I call life issues.

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Orange Hawkweed Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Jewelweed Lisa A. Wisniewski

Value of Variety

One reason I enjoy nature so much is the variety of sights and lessons it provides on a consistent basis.  While too much change at once can make adjusting difficult, nature has a way of walking the soul along through the seasons if we pay just a little attention each day.  For me, this pace allows for better acceptance of change and better absorption of the lessons nature is trying to teach.

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Fallen Catkins Lisa A. Wisnewski

In addition to the many first-of-the-season sightings above, I noticed the white oak and walnut trees dropping their catkins, elongated clusters of flowers that do not have petals.   The many droppings look like wormy tumbleweeds when grouped together.  This year’s numbers are much higher than prior years, making them much more noticeable.

 

 

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Samaras on the Maple Tree Lisa A. Wisniewski

The sugar maple trees are dropping a large number of fruits, also known as samaras.  The samaras are winged, paired seeds that look like helicopters when spinning to the ground in the wind (hence the nickname helicopters).  Samaras also can be found on elm, ash, and sycamore trees.  The name samara is Latin for seed of the elm.

The last blooming tall phlox, honeysuckle, and buttercups waved to me in the wind as I pedaled along my route.  Clouds changing shape in the sky above me made interesting, swirling patterns as the minutes and miles ticked by.  Toward the middle of my route, I saw a deep purple flowered crown vetch along the road.  Typically, the flowers in my area are pinker in color, so the sight was like finding a hidden treasure.

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Purple Flowered Crown Vetch Lisa A. Wisniewski

Each item sparked a memory or made me wonder or ask a question about what I saw.  The experience was not only physical exercise for my body, but also mental exercise for my mind and spiritual exercise for my soul.  This experience was also a perfect example of what I call being fully engaged, using the elements of physical, mental, and spiritual awareness to better oneself.

 

Memories That Made Me

Seeing the Queen Anne’s lace brought back a memory of my childhood with my sister, my cousin, and me weeding the hillside along the driveway for my mom.  Though we were little, we were able to weed as long as Mom identified what was a weed versus what was not.  (It was inevitable that we would unintentionally pull something we should not, so we also learned how to replant and try to salvage our victim as best we could.  Fortunately, Mom was always very understanding and careful to explain how to avoid the same mistake). Though the Queen Anne’s lace was pretty, Mom did not want it towering above the grass in the front yard by the driveway.

The orange hawkweed and multiflora rose also reminded me of childhood experiences in the yard.  I remember when I first learned to mow grass, I used to try to go around the orange hawkweed because I liked the color orange.  Of course, this made for a not-so-nice looking yard, and the anal side of me won the battle of mowing for aesthetics and practicality instead of childish wants.

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Multiflora Rose Lisa A. Wisniewski

The smell of the multiflora rose reminded me of when I first learned to trim bushes and trees.  For some reason, the multiflora rose grew in among the hedges in our side yard. This drove my anal mind insane (yes, I was anal from a young age, and I admit it made for more than a few rough childhood experiences).  I was forever trying to wield the too-big-for-me, old-fashioned hedge clippers with wooden handles and the rusty hand clippers through the tangled mess with the intent of making things look neater.  (Though I did succeed, I usually ended up with more than a few cuts and bruises in the process, which is an early example of me crossing the fine line between determination and stupidity).

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Buckeyes Forming Lisa A. Wisniewski

Seeing the first buckeyes always brings back memories of raking in the yard with my grandmother.  Gram was a stickler for a clean yard, and my sister and I always helped her pick up or rake all the buckeyes, chestnuts, walnuts, apples, and pears before Gram got on the old Snapper rear engine riding mower to cut the grass.  It was a ritual that turned into a rite of passage in our family.  We went from being the raking laborer to the push mowing laborer, and then finally graduated to the riding mower operator as we grew older.

These days, I do all three activities myself, but I have a sense Gram is with me in spirit, watching from heaven, and laughing at me while I work to keep the yard up to her standards, which have become the foundation of my standards for yard work.  (Of course, the anal, determined part of me added and expanded the standards over the years to make the experience more challenging).

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Virginia Creeper Lisa A. Wisniewski

I learned about jewelweed and Virginia creeper much later in life.  The jewel weed lesson came from a friend who was also a hunter.  He explained that the deer like to eat the upper leaves of the plant in the early spring.  I learned later that the juice of the jewelweed has been proven to treat athlete’s foot and is believed to help relieve itching from poison ivy.

Though I had seen Virginia creeper before, I did not know much about it until a landscaping coworker shared his knowledge and experiences with the vine to me.  Though Virginia creeper  fruit is not poisonous if ingested, the leaves contain raphides known to cause skin irritation for some people.  This skin irritation often leads to the misidentification of Virginia creeper as poison ivy.

Wondering Through Working

The different varieties of oak and maple trees dropping catkins and samaras brought back memories of my high school biology days.  I remember learning about flora and fauna, and plant classification using the kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species system.  We also did a chapter on how to use the features of a plant to identify it.  My teacher was a very nice woman who gave large quantities of homework that required a number of hours each night to complete.  Her lessons required attention to detail and much thought.  She stressed the need to question as we read and to seek answers to questions with the intent of learning valuable information.

Though the work was hard, I enjoyed writing out my answers to the questions on the pages and drawing pictures to accompany what I wrote.  Back then, we did not use computers for homework, so I always had a callous on my one finger from holding my pencil to make neat cursive writing responses.  I think I wore out two sets of colored pencils making all my drawings, but I also learned a lot about biology, work ethic, and life in that class.  The best part of this experience was the teacher gave extra credit for neat, thorough work, so my efforts were always rewarded, at least until I hit the limit on number of bonus points allowed per grading period.

Building Blocks of Knowledge

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Small Oak Tree I Planted from The Arbor Day Foundation Lisa A. Wisniewski

My biology class experience made me want to know more about certain plants, trees, and aspects of nature.  While researching sources for good information, I discovered The Arbor Day Foundation, which publishes a number of informational brochures in addition to growing and selling trees, replanting areas devastated by natural disasters, and fostering programs to support educational experiences for people of all ages.

One of my favorite publications from The Arbor Day Foundation is The Tree Book, which showcases a variety of trees offered for sale by the organization.  The book also explains how to plant and care for trees and shrubs and has some very nice illustrations to accompany the text.  There is an online version of the tree guide, called What Tree Is That?

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Pine Cones Forming on White Pine Lisa A. Wisniewski

Another resource I found most helpful for identifying different elements in nature is a book called North American Wildlife published by Reader’s Digest.  My mom bought my sister and me this book when we were in high school.  The illustrations and information in it fascinate me to this day.  Often, I use it to identify wildflowers that I discover on my property and in my neighborhood.  It is kind of like my nature Bible that I rely upon for knowledge and learning experiences.  There is a newer version of the book available in paperback with updated illustrations, but I prefer my old hardback book.

Sharing is Caring

Recalling how I learned about nature reminds me that others cared enough to share their knowledge with me.  These generous gestures have in turn allowed me to learn, grow, and share experiences with others.  These people planted the seeds of wonder and awareness in my mind.  They also showed me how to be generous with my time, how to look at life from different perspectives, and how to build upon what I learn, which in turn allows me to adapt to changes in life.

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Sunrise to Share Lisa A. Wisniewski

In addition to these people, I have learned much from reading books of different kinds.  One book that took me a while to begin to read and understand was the Bible.  I had trouble with the names, understanding the wording, and figuring out what the message of each book was.  However, I found that just as in nature, if I spend a little time each day and open my eyes and mind to the words I see, my struggles to understand become less frustrating and more rewarding.

The authors of the books in the Bible cared enough to share their experiences and accounts with others in the hope of spreading God’s word and promoting faith.  Just as in nature, each author had his or her own methods to illustrate their message.   Some used history, others used poetry, and still others used stories and parables as mechanisms to teach.

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Sharing the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Perhaps this blog is an example of how I have taken what people in my life have shown me and used the lessons learned along the way to help others learn.  Though I don’t get a callous from writing this blog, I do work at it to make the content appealing, relevant, and informative to those who view it.  I try to follow the words of Joseph Pulitzer:

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”

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Guiding Light Lisa A. Wisniewski

 May we be able to take some time to see what nature has to offer.  May what we learn from viewing nature provide us with good learning experiences and memories to help us in the years to come.  May sharing our experiences with others allow us additional insight and perspective to help us upon our journey.

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Early Sunrise Above the Trees Lisa A. Wisniewski

Through the Years of Time

Early sunrise above the trees
Spreading light and energy
Through the maples, oaks, and buckeye boughs
Providing stable learning to pursue
With childlike wonder and awe
As the soul wanders and moves on
Through the years of time
Moving near to peace in the light,
Drawing upon experiences had
Graced by God through good and bad.

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Burr Oak Lisa A. Wisniewski

Jewel weed and Queen Ann’s lace,
Maple pod seeds and burr oaks spaced
In random fashion yet patterned
Such that each has gathered
A beauty all its own
To be seen, shared, and shown
Through the years of time
On the way to the other side
Of knowledge gained and lessons learned
Within the days spent upon this earth.

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Buttercups Lisa A. Wisniewski

Crown vetch and buttercups
With spreading roots the get all tangled up
Within the earth below the trees
Allowing what is planted to grow beneath
Sun and rain, moon and stars,
As the days spread apart
Through the years of time
As nature steers the soul and mind
Through changes and alterations
Made along the way to the destination.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Destination Unknown Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Buckeye tree – http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/ohiobuckeye

Catkin – https://www.britannica.com/science/catkin

Jewelweed – http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=IMCA

Joseph Pulitzer – http://www.pulitzer.org/page/biography-joseph-pulitzer

Multiflora rose – https://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/romu.htm

Orange hawkweed – https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=HIAU

Plant classification system – https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1438-classification-system

Queen Anne’s lace – https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/queen-annes-lace/queen-annes-lace-plant.htm

Samara – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/samara

The Arbor Day Foundation – https://www.arborday.org/

Tree Identification Guide – https://www.arborday.org/trees/whattree/

Virginia creeper – https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=paqu2

Observing Morning Stars and May’s Art

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Morning Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

The morning skies this past week have been graced with the presence of Venus.  Seeing the shining orb glowing with an slight orange tint just above the eastern horizon has been a unique experience.  Even my dogs noticed its presence and seemed mesmerized by the glow.  This morning, we also saw the waning moon in the south eastern sky.  In a few days, the moon will appear next to Venus in the morning sky, adding its crescent shape to the scene.

Intricate Changes

Seeing Venus and the moon so early in the sky reminded me of how intricately woven nature’s elements are and how these elements react to each other’s changes.  The stars, moon, sun, and planets are constantly changing position, sometimes in plain view and other times seemingly hidden by clouds, physical aspects (such as a dimmer glow or smaller appearance), or changing vantage points.

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Changing Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Like the inhabitants of the skies, we too, change physically throughout each day.  Though our appearance on the surface may be the same, cells within us are being reconfigured and rearranged at high speed.   Different types of cells are dying and being replaced at various rates within the body every day.

Over time, we may feel the effects of these changes either physically, mentally, or emotionally.  Sometimes we feel better after such changes, as when dying cells are replaced to give us more energy or a clearer thought process.  Other times, we may wish the changes never occurred, as when the cells cause us to feel lethargic or appear older.   Still other times, we are kind of stuck in limbo, waiting to see the effects of the changes.

Intricate Blooms

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Salvia Lisa A. Wisniewski

While walking the dogs in the yard, we discovered the tiny buds of the salvia, columbine, and iris had opened up, adding color to the landscape. Along my bike ride last night, I found the first blooming red clover, daisy fleabane, rattlesnake weed, and crown vetch of the season.

I also caught a faint scent that made me scan the tree tops above for its origin.  After some searching and pedaling back and forth along the road, I found what I was looking for: the flowers of the locust tree, very white and full blowing in the gentle breeze.  All of these flowers have such intricate structures, unique to their family of plants.

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Locust Flowers L:isa A. Wisniewski

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Daisy Fleabane Lisa A. Wisniewski

Looking at these structures made me recall an article I read about the mathematics behind the patterns in nature.  One of the most prevalent patterns in nature is the Fibonacci sequence:  a series of numbers where a number in the sequence is found by adding up the two numbers before it.  Starting with 0, and 1, 0 + 1 = 1, so the sequence goes 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.  The number of petals on a flower are a common example, along with cell or seed arrangements in spiral patterns.

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Red Clover Spiral Pattern Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Viburnum Spiral Clusters Lisa A. Wisniewski

Relatives Everywhere

Seeing light in the skies each morning and the blooming flowers gives me hope for the days to come.  Though life has its messy parts, trials, and tribulations, the light in the sky (be it from the sun, moon, or stars) and the colors of the blooms act as encouragement for me to forge ahead.  My faith tells me that despite all the chaos around me and the changing cells within me, I will survive, and time will move me to a different place (whether I want to go along with it or not) upon the journey leading to my destination.

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Sky Relations Lisa A. Wisniewski

I must confess it was not always this way for me.  There was a time in my life when gray or dim skies equated to a negative outlook and little optimism.  Much of what I saw affected how I felt, and how I felt affected my perspective of what I saw.  It was a viscous cycle of cause and effect, one that left me drained, defeated, and devoid of life to be honest.  I don’t know when or how things changed for the better, but I am thankful to have moved past this period in my life (and I hope to never revisit it again).

My experience illustrates how we often relate and equate to what we see, hear, taste, and touch.  Our senses act as little compasses to guide us through life.  As we go along, the abilities within our senses may change, forcing us to adjust or redirect our focus.  Sometimes the changes are permanent, as with deteriorating vision or hearing loss due to age, and other times the changes are temporary, as when nerve cells are compromised due to injury and need time to heal. In either case, we may need to rely more on our faith in order to navigate upon our path.

Directions, Please

Perhaps the apostles offer a good example in relying upon faith as a compass.  Jesus’ death left them without a shining star (or a Son) in their skies to help guide them.  What they saw and heard in the days following his death may have been less than encouraging.  However, their faith in Jesus’ teaching acted as a guide to lead them past the darkness into the light once again.  In sharing this light with others, the apostles offered hope and reassurance, as illustrated in the Biblical book of the Acts of the Apostles (which was written by St. Luke).

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Which Way to Go? Lisa A. Wisniewski

As humans, we often need directions to help us find our way. We may look to the skies, use a compass or a GPS, or even seek the help of others we know or the comfort of nature’s patterns to get the information we need.  Whether we realize it or not, we are intricately woven into our surroundings, just as the elements in the skies, the cells within us, and the patterns in nature are uniquely connected.  What we do and how we react has an impact upon us and others around us.  Sometimes we have control of our situations, and other times we do not, so we need to be careful and recognize our both our extents and limitations.

Science and Art

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Science and Art Combined Lisa A. Wisniewski

As we learn to recognize these extents and limitations, we see how intricate and complex the worlds within and around us really are.  In this process, we learn much about the sciences involved in everyday life.  Chemistry, biology, physics, anatomy, psychology, physiology, and mathematics are constantly at work.  What we study using these sciences allows us to see the complexity and detail, as well as the beauty and creativity (what I call the artistic side) of nature.  Through both science and art, we discover and experience life itself.

May the light in the skies guide us upon our journey.  May the experiences we have along the way allow us to recognize the intricate and complex relationships we share in the world, and may we recognize both science and art in living life.

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Morning Star Lisa A. Wisniewski

Nature’s Art

Morning star shining bright
From afar before the day’s first light,
Breaking through the atmosphere
With a light true and dear
To create a sense of peace
As the soul makes its way to see
The intricate beauty of nature’s art
Blessed from God to thee in the dark.

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Crown Vetch Lisa A. Wisniewski

Red, red clover along the road
Spread, spreading over with crown vetch in tow,
Delicate pink daisy fleabane and yellow rattlesnake weed
Swaying to the fro in the breeze
As the locust flower sends its scent
Across the fields below where it towers and bends
In the wind of nature’s art
Coming around again with each season’s start.

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Columbine’s Intricate Pattern Lisa A. Wisniewski

Directions, directions everywhere
In the sunlight’s reflection and flowers’ care
Made intricate by the patterns and the hues
That dip, sway, scatter, and diffuse
To lead the soul upon its way
Through the hours that unfold within the day
Across hill and dale, field and stream,
Desert plains, poppy swales, and rivers that gleam,
Woven into the fabric of nature’s art
Made elaborate by the beauty they impart.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Moving on in the Dawn Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Acts of the Apostles – http://www.usccb.org/bible/acts/0

Cell replacement in the human body – http://www.livescience.com/33179-does-human-body-replace-cells-seven-years.html

Fibonacci sequence – http://www.livescience.com/37470-fibonacci-sequence.html

Fibonacci numbers in nature – https://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/nature-golden-ratio-fibonacci.html

Venus in May morning sky – http://www.post-gazette.com/life/my-generation/2017/05/16/Venus-seen-in-Pittsburgh-area-shining-brightly-above-eastern-horizon-at-dawn/stories/201705160006