Scrawny Pine Watercolor Sketch

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The section of park that grows wild and free gets my attention. Meandering through the field, I’m delighted by a strong sweet fragrance.

The highway noise in the background is still prevalent…it is only one mile away you see, but that’s okay, I can tune it out. I can leave that concrete jungle behind and drown myself in nature. I anxiously so want to immerse myself.

I sit in front of an awkward pine and take in the moment slowly. There is a very loud cricket near me and he keeps me company.

Suddenly, a herd of wrens surround me, protesting sharply at my presents. Each one shouting loudly at the same time. But they are gracious and after a few minutes they let me be.

Thank you wrens.

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Tiny Tree Frog Watercolor

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A hard rain unleashed in a matter of seconds. Suddenly the ground was moving with what I thought were crickets. I bent my giant monster frame down to the ground and behold, my eyes widened like saucers when I recognized tiny tree frogs.

Whooooooooooh.

I’m always searching for frogs. I used to monitor them at night and report it to the Cook County Forest Preserves years ago. When it comes to the small fellers, sometimes I would be on top of their cries but never locate them. It’s very frustrating when you hear how loud they can be. Deafening almost. But on this stormy day they came to me.

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It’s no larger than half an inch. I believe this is a grey tree frog. They can camouflage from black to almost white. I’ve heard that the tree frog expands his throat 3 times its size and its call is so powerful, that he may only have 3 days of energy to make it. Amazing. Nature is delicate, tiny, mighty, and forceful all at the same time.

As I related in another post, nature without God is dead. The opportunity was present and the frog came to me. I did not have to search this one out. I do not see these occasions as chance.

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So I always ask myself: What lessons do You want me to learn here? How can I share what You teach me?

On Sunday, August 9th, I was at Jimmy’s Drive-In in Justice, IL having lunch. A tall young man (about 15) came in, ordered, then sat down to wait for his order. He stared down at his lap and did not move one inch the whole five minutes he waited. The look on his face was sadness, hopelessness. It almost seemed as if he felt uncomfortable in his own skin and didn’t want to look up.

My soul was anguished. I wanted to do something or say something. A million things were racing in my head but I couldn’t grasp any one thing to say.

He grabbed his order and left, walking down Robert’s Road. I though about following him and asking him if he was okay, but I didn’t.

I missed the opportunity.

I believe just like the tiny tree frog, God send this unexpected run-in opportunity my way. Because of my fear and shyness, I did not seize this opportunity to ask if he was okay.

I want to apologize to the young man that I didn’t step up. If you could only know the love our Everlasting Father has for you, you might have been encouraged. You are loved and valued, not because of anything you have done or not done, but because of Christ’s grace and mercy. This itself is hope.

God’s love is delicate, tiny, mighty, and forceful all at the same time. There is nothing impossible for Him and if it pleases, may this message get out to the young boy, whom I’m sorry I did not take the opportunity to connect.

Amen.

Deep Forest Waterfall Watercolor

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The chilled air is moist in the deep dark forest. The trail is lengthy and all you see are trees, but then you start to hear a sound…. You stop walking to hear it louder. Is that a trickle? You start walking again except your steps are quicker, happier. Then you discover it! A forest gem, a waterfall deep in the dark woods.

I LOVE WHEN THIS HAPPENS!!!

Shhhhhh…sorry! I’m shouting! Be quiet because there’s a chorus of birdsong which echos on the cavern walls. Oh the beautiful sounds of bird chorus and a waterfall melody!!

This was the scene a few months ago at Matthiessen State Park. It took me this long to paint from my picture. It has been a busy summer.

I hope you find a gem on your hike as well!
Happy Hiking and Sketching!!!

prints can be purchased here:
Photography Prints

Golden Field Watercolor Sketch

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7-12-15
84°F
Sun

Sticky, uncomfortable, and it’s a full fledged war against mosquitoes.
The sun is brilliant but hot. I find a bench in the shade along the path. The bench faces a sun drenched field. On this field resides an active nest box. I do not know what type of birds dwell at this address.

The fledgelings inside become so excited when the parent returns with food, that their cries channel all the way across the field and plays within my ears. An enormous smile appears on my face.

Out of the corner of my eye, little drops of yellow glitter fall to the floor in slow motion as there is no wind. Are those leaves? This early?

Yes. One glance below my feet on the path confirms that there are autumn leaves on the ground. How did I miss those before?

Why is time flying so fast?

Robin’s Miracle Watercolor Sketch

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Amazing work, that’s done by hand less wonders. So graceful the bed which to incubate life. I’m in awe.

This nest was built on my friend’s gutter right by her front door. She has a mirror that looks like a dentist’s tool, which she used to see what was in the nest when mom and dad robin (they share turns) were away. At one point there were 4 brilliantly blue eggs in the nest.

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But these two precious nestlings were the only ones that made it. Why? I really don’t know. I can’t explain why some things like this happen. The only thing I can do is trust. Trust that God has this plan. Did the other two eggs provide nourishment for some other wildlife? Perhaps. This would have bothered me when I was younger, but now I see all things have a purpose.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. Ecc 3:1-2

This same trust is what keeps me going in a world that seems chaotic. Even when things seem uncertain or even unsafe, because of my relationship with Christ, I can trust in a real God, who has my best interest. Do you think that He would sacrifice His own Son then let me flounder with no purpose? Nope! And the beauty in this is that even when things around me go nuts, I am right where I’m supposed to be…under His wing. My friend, that goodness is for you too. There’s a plan for your life. <3

Here are the actual pictures from this springtime robin miracle:

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Mom or dad keeping nestlings warm, while the other forages for food.

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The nestling that survived. Just precious.

Friends, I hope this post was encouraging to you and I pray that today you would know the One who is the Prince of Peace.
Blessings~