Thursday, September 1, 2011

Newsletter - 9/1/11

Hello Dear Friends,

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean
Who Could Imagine a Hurricane With This Tranquil Scene
Thank you to all of you who sent concerned emails as to whether we were okay with the earthquake and hurricane. Two events in a week is a bit much to process, so I'm glad we have Jesus within to fill us with peace. Such times as these can be so turbulent and easy for despair. If we allow our flesh to die and let Him fill us up, we will be sustained by His power and most of all peace.

We have three less trees standing in our backyard but there's no damage to the house and we didn't get enough rain to cause any problems at all. Richmond, only an hour to the east of us, had a lot of flooding I am told. Seems they got a lot of flooding on the last hurricane, so I imagine they don't have a good drainage system within that city.

Our prayers and concern over lives goes out to all affected by these "natural disasters." What a phrase to use for such tragic events. Nothing "natural" about them that I can see.  If you'd like some sobering information on Jesus' discussion of earthquakes and the time of His return, here's a link to an older article; the numbers of frequency in earthquakes is astounding.

I had checked the government's earthquake website a few days ago and there were 44 earthquakes on August 27th. Not all major ones ... but the number of earthquakes going on around the world daily is quite sobering. Use this link to check the number of earthquakes in the past seven (7) days.

© 2011 Rainbow Shaer Wa do
One of the subscribers to this newsletter, a friend of mine in Vermont, has a Eastern Gray Tree Frog residing in a birdhouse on her deck. So cute! She calls him Billy Frog. As you can see he keeps an eye on the area and serenades any females within hearing distance, including my friend, of course.

I love frogs. We put in a small pond here and at our last place in Alabama just to attract frogs. I love to hear them and it's always fun to hear the flop, pop, splash anytime you get a bit to close to the edge where one is sitting. Our pond here is only 4 feet by 8 feet but it has been a great addition to the entertainment factor of our wildlife garden. Learn more about this tree frog and see more photographs.

Last year I raised a batch of tree frogs and that was a very dedicated task. You can read my story about my being Mama Tad for a period of time: Eastern Gray Tree Frog Tadpoles in Birdbath.

Hard to believe it's September already. I do think time flies faster the older you get. One time I read the scientific explanation for that ... anybody else know about this? I'd love to have the link that explains it all.

© Donna L. Watkins - Squirrel Eating Apple in Tree
Here in Central Virginia it's time for Fall migration to begin. Towards the end of the month, the warbler migration will peak. These little birds are so hyper, it's always hard to get a picture, much less have any clue as to what kind of warbler they are in the forest out back.

We picked apples over the weekend, well actually, Randal picked our bushel and I picked up apples from the ground in buckets for the wildlife.  The local orchard allows us to get a 5-gallon bucket for $2.50 if we take fallen ones from the ground.

I love doing this each year, although it took my entire day's worth of energy crawling under those trees for an hour.

I put some out as soon as we got back home.  The squirrels grab them and run up a tree with them.  Many times they don't get far due to the weight of the apple.  Or they get it up to a limb for a secluded meal and it rolls off the branch.  What a show!  For those of you who love squirrels, view my Squirrel Photos in the Gallery.  This little gal has found a nice little bowl in the tree to place her apple while she eats.

Many of the birds love the apples and we like to attract the wasps since all pollinators are welcome in our yard.  There are butterflies that do not favor flower nectar but prefer to eat rotted fruit, carrion and dung.

Of course all the mammals enjoy them too and a few days ago we even had two big bucks visit while it was still daylight.  How gorgeous!

We love to play games and have a continual tournament going. No, not computer games. Boring! [grin]  I mean sitting across from each other at the table games. Board games and card games.

Fun Game:  Bird-opoly
If I can throw in a little bit of education while playing a game, that makes it really special. Our son recently gave us a new game. He always loved to play Monopoly, but it just wasn't interesting to me. Well, add a new goal related to birds, with the same Monopoly kind of rules, and you've caught my interest.

The pieces you use to move around the board are metal objects of an owl, birdbath, binoculars, etc. You buy groups of birds and you put birdhouses on them. When you have 4 birdhouses you can plant a tree (in place of the hotel).

We have enjoyed it and have already taken it over to some of our friends that we play games with. Wish you could come spend an evening with us to play! Is anybody coming to Central Virginia this Fall?

My 61st birthday will arrive in a couple of days and I feel well-adjusted to the idea. Last year was a big deal going over the hill of 60. Setting up the focus of 60 adventures in my 60th year was a great distraction and a delightful lesson of life.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - White-tailed Deer, Male
Click to see larger and better photo of this gorgeous guy.
What we choose to focus on truly makes or breaks our days and lives. Looking for the adventures provided in each day really provides a different kind of life. One that avoids feeding on all the bad news that is available to us, choosing instead to read good news websites or to simply focus on what God brings our way each day. Here's a few to check out:

Good News Network
Happy News
Good News Daily

Switch from bad news to good news. I'll guarantee you, you'll still get your fill of bad news from others sharing it with you, so your withdrawal symptoms won't be too severe. Bad news does affect our physical health in many ways since it certainly affects the adrenals, our shock absorbers in life, and I've read it is addictive. It kicks the adrenals much like coffee or sugar so some folks do get addicted to it. Awful thought!

Personally I have no need for news of any kind that I need to seek out daily or several times a day as some people do. I seem to find out what I need to find out about. After all, does it really make a difference knowing all that's going on in the world? Well, I guess it could make a difference in our outlook and our fear levels, but as far as actually making a difference in our lives or the lives of others ... what good does it produce? I guess it's one of my pet peeves. I'm certainly in a realm outside of the norm. When I think of the news today I can't help but think of Philippians 4:8:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things."

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Possible Tussock Moth
Cute Fuzzy Little Thing
Maybe it's because I have enough bad news in my own health situations, so I don't need to add to it. I like to look for a new experience, no matter how small ... maybe a new butterfly I've never seen before. I try to focus on the many blessings I find all around me. If I don't, it would be so easy to despair over the state of the world, my health, whether I live in a safe place and a zillion other issues when we begin to enter the realm of fear. I find that I have to fight for my peace and joy daily, but it's worth the battle!

We will always have choices on what we choose to think about. We'll always have circumstances that interrupt our joy, but we can hand it over to God to handle by surrendering to His will for our lives, and knowing that ALL things truly are good for us whether we can or ever will see it that way or not.

If we trust in Him to carry us through, we will walk much more joyfully through life. After all, He created us and it was for His good pleasure, not our own, that we are here on Earth. If we don't trust our Creator, we have a very miserable life to live indeed.

If you enjoy this newsletter ... share the website with somebody else.  There's a "Share This" option on the right side.  Thanks!

May your life be filled with His joy flowing from within you.

Love and Hugs,

View Posts By Topic
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Our Generational Inheritance of Unloving

Video: Humpback Whale Rescue

Why We Love Cats and Dogs

Successful Salvation Living

Video: Goats Work For City in California

Make Your Deck A Wildlife Oasis

Rosemary: Friendship and Healing

Parenting Emotionally Challenged Pooches

Getting Rid of Mosquitoes

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2011 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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