Sunday, July 15, 2012

Newsletter - 7/15/12

Hello Dear Friends!

© Donna L. Watkins
Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

Click for larger view.
“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour if we will only tune in.“ -- George Washington Carver

I forgot to mention in the last newsletter that I enjoyed watching two dragonflies dancing around the deck and pond area one day. It was beautiful to watch them!

The female took several opportunities to deposit her eggs in the pond as she dipped her tail in for each one. I got a bit of a video of the experience while she was depositing the eggs. The dancing was much too fast and "flighty" for me to get on video. View the short video of Female Dragonfly Laying Eggs In Pond.

Squeek celebrated her 16th birthday on July 14th. Squeek is our cat, also known as Kitty Girl, which was her first name while she was feral in Alabama. My husband wouldn't let me give her a "real name" because I had agreed to not get any more cats after our last cat would die. That agreement was made while our last cat was 6 years old, so I thought I had many years left for this deal, however, he suddenly died at the age of 7.

Squeek, aka Kitty Girl,
Awaiting Her 16th Birthday Celebration
Randal loves animals, but I had a cat allergy that is over the top on a scale of 1-10, so he was only concerned about my health. Obviously that agreement was broken since Kitty Girl (Squeek) is a part of our household here in Virginia. She got her name because when she meowed, it was simply a little squeak. Not wanting to use traditional spelling, I changed it to Squeek. You can read about how Kitty Girl came into our lives at this previous post: Jairus' Daughter and Kitty Girl.

I've been eating a lot of watermelon. I love it! So do the wildlife, so when you get finished with what you eat from it, cut the rest in 3" square chunks and put it out for the wildlife. They all like it, even the squirrels. I took a video of one of the deer eating it. View video of deer eating watermelon.

Our Paper Wasps are adding to the "nest" as summer progresses. Colonies contain three types of wasps: queens, males and workers. Fertilized queens will overwinter in cracks and crevices of structures or under tree bark. In the spring they select a nesting site and begin to build a nest. Our front porch has been a regular location for them. Single eggs are laid in each cell that hatch into legless grub-like larvae that develop through several stages before pupating. Cells remain open until developing larvae pupate and then as you can see there's a white covering on some of the cells. I guess the mystery of such things remains undercover.

© Donna L. Watkins
Paper Wasp Nest at Front Door
Look at those cute little faces on the larvae.
Once the adults emerge, the worker types assist in building the nest, feeding the young and defending the nest. For the food supply, paper wasps prey on caterpillars, flies and beetle larvae, so they are considered beneficial insects. They actively forage during the day and all colony members rest on the nest at night. A mature paper wasp nest may have 20 to 30 adults. In late summer, queens stop laying eggs and the colony declines. After the males and young queens mate in the fall, the old queen, workers, and males die. The newly fertilized young queens overwinter and emerge in the spring to begin new colonies. At that time I will be able to finish painting that sidelight to our front door which is where the nest is.

Unlike yellowjackets and hornets, which can be very aggressive, paper wasps will generally only attack if they themselves or their nest are threatened. As you can see I take photos of them so I believe they can sense who is a threat and who isn't. Most likely the queens born here must come back to raise their broods in familiar surroundings. This particular location beside the door has been chosen a few times.

On the topic of familiar surroundings, one day I went outside to get the mail and put on a bright blue hat with a large overhang. I don't normally wear hats in the garden since it's now nicely shaded, but I simply had a hankering to wear a sloppy hat. As I walked through the front door and turned to say "hello" to them as was my usual pattern (only a few inches from them), they suddenly left the nest and began swarming around the porch and me. I verbally questioned what was going on and thought about my hat, so I removed it and they all settled back onto the nest. Research says that honeybees recognize people's faces, so why not paper wasps?

© Donna L. Watkins
Meems Covered Bridge, Mt. Jackson, VA
Click for photo album.
On the Fourth of July, we decided to visit a few new-to-us places over in the Shenandoah Valley. It was going to be a hot day, so we started out at 6:05 AM to be able to enjoy the cool Virginia mornings by the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We visited the longest covered bridge in Virginia. It was built in 1894 after many bridges had been destroyed during the Civil War. This bridge spans the gorgeous North Fork of the Shenandoah River and was named after the Meem Family that owned the beautiful Strathmore estate at the time.

The Meems Covered Bridge photo album has more historical information about the bridge. You will also find out several reasons why they built covered bridges during this time. Being from Pennsylvania I saw a lot of them and also remember as a child riding through many of them since our entertainment on weekends was usually a country drive with a stop at a farm stand or local market for a special Amish treat.

By the time the heat was beginning to get uncomfortable, we were at Shenandoah Caverns to enjoy an amazing journey beneath the earth at 56 degrees. We were quite impressed with these caverns. 

© Donna L. Watkins - Shenandoah Caverns
Quicksburg, VA
Click for photo album.
Having been to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, we didn't know to expect anything better, but the formations were incredible. To think little drips of water creates such artistic expressions. Take a look at the detail of these works of art beneath the earth in the Shenandoah Caverns photo album.

It's been wonderful not worrying over sodium any more or needing to take a diuretic now and then. (Read A Heart Set on Healing for health update.) We had hoped to be able to tour the Route 11 potato chip factory which was near the caverns, but being July 4th, they weren't open, so we bought a bag of them at the caverns' gift shop.

Potato chips aren't something we ever buy, but this brand is a local craze and after being here for 12 years I figured it was a great time to give them a try. I finished off half the bag that day. Randal's not as fond of potato chips, but I grew up with them. Anybody remember Charles' Chips from childhood? We had them delivered in a metal tin, along with pretzels.

I don't know if I ever lived life normal since I was always adapting to whatever disease or sickness the devil threw into my life. That's what has made me so determined to work on believing God's Word. I always said I did ... but when it came down to healing, there wasn't evidence that I actually did.

So am I the one who is not believing, or is God's Word not true? That's a difficult question when you force yourself to make a decision on it. Jesus said, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63). Do I believe Jesus or not?

© Donna L. Watkins - This Fawn Says, "I'm All Ears!"
Two Fawns Have Been Visiting With a Mama
Proverbs 4:20-22 is an awesome verse with a guarantee for healing! I have spent a lot of time thinking on this Truth: "give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh." This is a promise from the God who created the Universe. Our God who has measured the waters of the earth in the hollow of His hand and measured out heaven with the span of His hand (distance between the thumb and pinkie finger) - Isaiah 40:12.

What an incredible God! His Words mean more to me than what anything man can say, any medical test results, and visible evidence of disease. I seek wisdom and revelation to KNOW Him and the power of His resurrection. Jesus is in us which means we have the resurrection power of Christ within us. Now that brings healing if we can get our eyes off the physical and allow the Spirit to control our body instead of our five senses. It's not an easy switch-over at 61 with all those years of a "seeing is believing" mentality.

You really need a lot of focus to stay on what the Word says when things you look at your body, or think about how you feel. We can't afford to make decisions or beliefs on how we feel. Emotions are so fickle and we know that our bodies can heal because Jesus healed everybody and even today people are healed. You don't even need to be a Christian to be healed. There have been many examples of belief working whether you are believing God's Word or just "harnessing the forces of the universe" for healing. Jesus said, "Only believe" so the law works, Christian or not. Just as it rains on the just and the unjust (Mt. 5:45).

Now that I don't need to think about sodium and water weight and moving it off, I'm focusing on putting a few more pounds back on. I used to weigh 125-130, so I have at least 5 pounds to move on. Now that I have so much energy I'm working off quite a few calories in a day, so I'm relying on protein smoothies to fill the gap. They have been helping me build muscle back, along with using canned beans as weights while I rebound on the mini-trampoline.

Well, that's all the news from Bluebird Cove here in Virginia. We've had a nice cool week of summer giving us opportunity to be outside more. I sure do love it. My dream is to live in a screened house with temperatures in the 70's. That's possible in Costa Rica! San Jose is the city with an Eternal Springtime.

You'll notice with the post links below that I'm doing a lot more writing.  That's been fun also.  The posts with 'DLW' on them are written by me.  Those are my initials :-)

Enjoy life!  Every moment is precious and full of many blessings!


P.S.  If you enjoy this newsletter and The Nature In Us website ... share it with somebody else!  Maybe you know of somebody who needs something in this issue.  Thanks!

View Posts By Topic

being 60
going green
travel-costa rica
written by Donna

Posts Since Last Newsletter

A Heart Set on Healing  (DLW)

Meems Covered Bridge - Mt. Jackson, VA  (DLW)

American Celebration on Parade - Quicksburg, VA  (DLW)

Shenandoah Caverns - Quicksburg, VA  (DLW)

You're Not a Bad Child Any More  (DLW)

Find Your Nearest Rail Trail

Another Heartworm Success Story with Herbs  (DLW)

Newsletter - 7/1/12  (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

Our Words - Life or Death

Watching Wildlife - God Is All Around Us

Medical Proof of Healing Power of Prayer

How To Stay Positive In A Negative World

Healing Is God's Will

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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: © 2012 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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