Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday's Song--Fairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature
O Thou of God and man the Son
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor
Thou, my soul's glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands
Robed in the blooming garb of spring
Jesus is Fairer, Jesus is purer
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight
And all the Twinkling starry host
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

Beautiful Savior, Lord of all nations
Son of God and Son of Man
Glory and honor, praise, adoration
Now and forever more be Thine.

--Anon, 1677

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Rainy Soccer Day

Wild horses couldn't have dragged me out of the safety and shelter of my van! Instead, I cowardly pulled into a parking space nearest to the field my son was playing on.

Futile attempts were made in digitally documenting the 1 1/2 hour game that, by the way, continued in a downpour of much needed rain. Had the sun been shining, I would have carried my weary carcass to the soccer field and cheered both teams on at this early morning game.
I honestly love watching kids play soccer! The above image is the best shot I got from this morning, which was made as the storm subsided. (Raindrops blurred many goal shots of younger teams playing, and my son's team was too far for a decent, recognizable image!) Those brave souls! --LKR

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bald Eagle Nest Cam

This won't be up all year long, but it's worth sharing! Come back often to watch this live viewing of a bald eagle's nest in central New Jersey.

After the eaglets have fledged, reading the observations of others in these comments will remain. You may also want to check out this post on the research done with eagles like these.

Enjoy!!! --LKR

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thank Your Military!!!

Thanks to all the selfless men and women--and their families!--who serve and have served this country, protecting our freedoms! May God bless you all!!! --LKR

Friday, April 9, 2010

Letters to God

Simply hearing the theme song to "Lassie" has made me misty eyed since early childhood, and since then I avoid watching any tear jerker movies, especially if they involve children or animals.

But I am so
very glad hubby and I went to see "Letters to God" at Carmike Cinemas at the Oakwood Mall in Eau Claire! We actually went to see it twice, and enjoyed it even more the second time around!

Should you go to see this
entertaining movie, and I encourage you to do so, be prepared to laugh as well as cry. It's appealing to all ages, and a great flick to bring the whole family to see.

"Letters to God" is also a hope inspired movie. Several cancer survivors were part of this movie's production, and they make sure to fill you with hope at the very end. And, "hope
is contagious", as the movie claims! --LKR

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Brookfield Zoo

We just love Brookfield Zoo! We were members when we lived in Illinois, and came here often. It has changed a lot in the last four years with an added merry-go-round and playground, but the animals are still very well cared for and happy, so it's always a pleasure to come visit!
A seal happily swimming
I had to see the elephants. Though they're not my favorite animal, I love to see their huge smiles!
I wonder what he's squawking about!
We also saw penguins swimming with large fish in another exhibit in the Living Coast.
This giant starfish is part of the Living Coast exhibit. My sister and I, both beach bums, used to rescue small starfish; various crabs, including horseshoe crabs; sea horses (though they were usually in pretty rough shape if they washed up on shore); and other sea creatures after high tide. I don't know about any of you, but if I ever saw a starfish this big, I would have freaked!!!
Some sort of monitor
A beautiful bird
An interesting birdIsn't he sweet?!
Socrates (left) flirting with a female camel. A sign told us he is too young to breed and therefore has to be separated from the others 'til he's older.
A lovely couple!
This beautiful tiger put on a show for us all, playing with his toys in--and out--of the water.

I really miss not living close to this zoo. Hopefully the next time we're in the Chicago area, we'll be able to visit here, again! --LKR

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Starved Rock, Day Two

Day two at Starved Rock was another lovely hot spring day! We did not hike nearly as long as the day before, though I would have loved to! This time, we visited the three falls we had never been to in years past: two on the very east, and the third on the western side of the park.

The one year we had checked out Council Overhang, it was so muddy, we dared not venture beyond the overhang to the two waterfalls there! These are located on the east side of Starved Rock State Park.
Approaching Council Overhang--it's right around the bend!
Council Overhang
Where the trail divides: to the left, Kaskaskia Falls; to the right, Ottawa Falls
Kaskaskia Falls
Ottawa Falls
Walking the extreme west side of Starved Rock toward St Louis Canyon
Huge boulders were scattered in front of the falls
St. Louis Falls

Should you get the chance, I hope you'll be inspired to enjoy the beauty Starved Rock State Park has to offer! --LKR

Starved Rock, Day One

Both days we hiked in Starved Rock, it was in the 80's!!! It felt more like summer than spring! The wooded park gave us some relief from the heat, and the temperature by the waterfalls was refreshingly cool.
French Falls cascading into another mini waterfall

Waiting in line to climb up the narrow stream to French Falls
I love this waterfall! Several years ago, we were hiking back here during an unexpected thunder storm. The thunder echoed through the canyons, but when we reached beautiful French Falls, we felt safe in this narrowly walled fortress!
The trails are easy to follow and well marked
Honestly, the walking is worth it!
There is beauty around every bend!
Nearing Wildcat Falls
Oh, did I mention the stairs???
Walking around Wildcat Falls
A trail walks you over the source leading to Wildcat Falls
Wildcat Falls
Hiking in Tonty Canyon
Rounding the bend to Tonty Falls
Can you feel its spray?
Tonty Falls
Part of the sandstone canyon by Tonty Falls
LaSalle Falls
View from almost underneath the falls
We just love LaSalle Falls! The kids get a kick out of walking behind it. (So do we!)  Here, my family is standing at the side of LaSalle while I'm shooting from behind the waterfall.
Starved Rock to the left, and the Illinois River and dam to the right.  The sandstone butte is named after the legend where Indians were surrounded and trapped by other tribes and they starved to death.

Another super place to hike is Matthiessen State Park which is located a hop, skip, and a jump from Starved Rock's westernmost trail.  --LKR

Monday, April 5, 2010

Turkey Vultures

A turkey vulture gliding through the air...
...and landing in a tree at Starved Rock State Park.
I've never seen them this close, before!  In the wild, that is!  At first, they flew really low to the ground, then soared higher above us before they descended again to rest in the trees.
Yup, there were two of them.  They are usually seen in numbers. 

Turkey vultures are interesting creatures. They can only hiss or grunt because they lack a syrinx.  Having a very keen sense of smell, they mainly eat carrion, but sometimes will eat fruit.  Nests are not built--eggs are laid in hollow trees, on cliffs, in caves, or even in abandoned buildings. If they can't fly away, turkey vultures will hiss and vomit undigested food to deter the few predators they have.  And to cool themselves down, they will defecate on their own legs!  This gives a new meaning to "dirty bird"!!!  --LKR

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday's Song--Easter Song

Easter Song

Here the bells ringing
They’re singing that you can be born again
Here the bells ringing
They’re singing Christ is risen from the dead

The angel up on the tombstone
Said "He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell His disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead"

Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah

Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing that you can be healed right now
Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing
Christ, He will reveal it now

The angels, they all surround us
And they are ministering Jesus’ power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it
For this could be your glorious hour

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah, hallelujah

The angel up on the tombstone
Said "He has risen, just as he said
Quickly now, go tell His disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead"

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah

--Keith Green

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Early Illinois Flora

These were some of the early blooming flowers--and greenery--that we saw in Illinois at Starved Rock State Park.  They'll be coming to your area, soon, if they haven't already started blooming in your area!  Enjoy!  --LKR
Rue Anemone

Skunk Cabbage
A bee pollinating Dutchman’s Breeches
Budding Toothwort
Rock, fern, and moss
Budding Virginia Bluebells