Walking at Landsford Canal State Park

This was May 16, the day before the annual Lilly Festival at the park.









As Debra and I started the long walk back to the truck, rain came, soaking us thoroughly the whole way. That was fun.

Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 12:07 am  Comments (1)  

Help with Insect ID

I had been at the church this afternoon, watching the children’s ministry activities. As I walked back to the house, I stood by the field, enjoying the air of autumn. A movement caught my eye over in one of the piles of hickory firewood that the men use for their barbeque cooking, and I went to investigate. What I found was confusing, and that excited me.

Is this a cricket or a wasp? …Odd creature, having characteristics of both. They scuttled around quickly and with agility over the wood pile. The face and antennae were particularly wasplike. Their abdomens had the shape and coloration that I associate with wasps, and they flew like wasps, their wings producing an audible hum. But those hind legs look like they would belong to a cricket. And so does the shield-like carapace over the thorax. Their encounters with each other were aggressive. And there was a whole lot of mating going on.

I’ve checked some internet insect sites, but no matches have come up, yet. What do you think?




More photos are at my Flickr site. Click any picture above to go there. Image quality is poor, but should be sufficient to give an accurate impression.

Published in: on October 5, 2008 at 11:33 pm  Comments (4)  

Red or Blue



Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 9:51 am  Comments (1)  

Landsford Canal State Park, 6-21-8

Some of what was there:

a family of Northern Rough-winged Swallows


juvenile Red-eyed Vireo

Rocky-shoals Spider-lilies

smooth water beside unsmooth water

blue, with wings in the middle

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm  Comments (3)  

Wildlife at Forty-Acre Rock

I was helping two of my college students video some scenes for their creative video of rules for the upcoming youth retreat. While there, I went into one of the caves to look around, and here are the residents I found. Across the top of the cave and in crevices throughout were these crickets. They looked like camel crickets, but I seem to remember there is also a cave cricket species– don’t know if they live around here or not.


And walking back to the car, I found this prickly pear cactus that was in bloom.


Beauty takes so many different forms. I’m thankful that the Creator of it all also saw fit to create capacity to notice and enjoy it.

Published in: on June 1, 2008 at 5:57 pm  Comments (2)  

Body Challenge, Spirit Challenge — Another Season Completed

Seven made the journey uphill. Steep, rocky, and long, the trail has become familiar. So have the faces and paces, now that some years have met us, together. There were some sections where trees were fallen, a momentary disarray that is part of the longer term of beauty. None of us look exactly like we did, nor feel the same in muscles that answer less enthusiastically than once. But all of that is okay, because Table Rock is where we belonged that day…not because of where, but who.

Here are some of the small animals that shared with us their mountain.


a garter snake, calm and fat


Henderson’s granola, and the one removing it


a fence lizard, also well-fed, miles from the nearest fence


toward life that is next


It’s like singing a cappella when a Steinway is in the room.


This moth was caught in a spider web between two window panes of our cabin. After rescuing it with a stick, I took this bad picture with my left hand. I was preparing to take a better one when it flew away and started bashing itself into the light fixture.

And seven pastors woke up the next day, got in their cars and went back to their churches.

…but slowly.

Any pace quicker than what a mountain allows is faster than what one’s spirit should expect of itself away from the mountain. Don’t we bruise time with our hurry? Don’t we bash holes in our souls as we uselessly flail into the glare of expectations that God did not invent? Yeah. So we walk, breathing and sweating our way across holy incline where, together, we come to remember how small the rest of it is.

Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm  Comments (7)