Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whatizzit? 3 Answer

Peg was correct - this large lower limb of a huge Douglas fir is covered with a number of different types of lichens. I thought the massive clump at the very end of the branch was particularly impressive!

Lichens are a unique type of plant, made up of both algae and fungi but resembling neither of those specific individuals. In the Pacific Northwest they are a valuable part of the ecosystem, absorbing water, supplying nutrients to the soil and food for countless animals. They also are a well-known indicator of air quality.
This photograph was taken on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. For more information on lichens there, please click HERE.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Whatizzit? 3

This one even had me stumped in the larger picture, until I studied it awhile and thought back to where it was taken. Not likely to find this just anywhere...
So, just whatizzit?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

All the Trees Will Clap

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100:1-2
Each spring, we spend some time up on Vancouver Island. The weather might be a bit more unsettled than later in the season, but the crowds and costs are less, so it balances out. We find the east coast of the island tranquil and inspiring, with miles of accessible beaches, mountains, forests, and streams to explore.
On those days when the clouds and fog lift, the view of mainland British Columbia is awe-inspiring; snow-covered peaks form a breathless backdrop across the waters of the Strait of Georgia.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the hills sing together for joy...
Psalm 98:8

Each day, no matter the weather, we spend some time out exploring. Two of our favorite hikes are through lush forests with deep canyons and fast-rushing streams.

Full to the brim with spring runoff, these waters gurgle, tumble, and crash their way over steep drop-offs and myriad boulders before leveling off and smoothly, but swiftly, flowing into the sea.

To be in their presence is beyond words - to be washed with their spray, enveloped in their roar, and dwarfed by their force is a truly humbling experience.

Because this engages all of our senses, we are led to contemplate just what and who we are, where we came from and where we will return to. We are reminded that there is intelligence and a power far beyond our comprehension.

... Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
Psalm 96:12
And the trees - as in any full grown or old-growth forest in this part of the world - are utterly spectacular.

Cedar, fir, hemlock, maple, madrone, and alder - each is unique and inextricably connected to the climate, land, and other living things both above and below the soil.  They purify the air we breathe by supplying oxygen and absorbing other gases we do not use.

The materials that make up their bodies provide us with wood, medicines, and many other products. We are only beginning to tap the knowledge of the breadth and wealth of their influence on myriad other species in the forest.

To see their various colors and textures, smell their distinct odors, and to hear the sound of the wind rippling through their branches is to witness a design and variety that is unfathomable and unending.

Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
Psalm 47:1

In our busy, self-serving lives, it is easy to forget our age-old connection to these things, but they remain essential to us nonetheless.

How wonderful to be reminded and to offer up our gratitude and praise for these priceless gifts!

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 
Isaiah 55:12

For more information on:
Englishman River Falls: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/englishman_rv/

Little Qualicum Falls: