A Pair of Canyon Wrens (Robert Strickland)
This month's theme is "Animal Encounters."
1. May 9, 7:25am
A pair of canyon wrens has nested above the soffit of my porch. The door to their home is a tiny slot that I have neither the heart nor gumption to seal. The male brings a caterpillar to his brood. Much begging and fussing ensues. Emerging, he flies to a nearby limb and wails the descending trill of his song. He never tires of singing it, and and I never tire of hearing it.
I wonder what is he telling the world. Is he defending his home territory? Is he telling his boys, "This is how we sing our family's song"? Does he feel joy and pride or even thanks and praise? Is he as proud of his family as I am of mine? Is he singing his avian doxology, praising his Creator at the top of his lungs?
2. May 10, 10:23am
At Guadalupe Mountains National Park last week, we were sore from the previous day's climb, so we did a short hike to Smith Spring, a true oasis in the desert. Cool water cascades into shallow pools, watering huge trees before disappearing into the parched earth. Water striders glided and glistened in the sunlight, their ghostly shadow dance partners matching every move.
*Science nerd alert* There is (are?) much physics in this photo! (above) The water strider's shadow reveals some of its secrets. Its skin repels water. Its weight pushes down on the surface of the water but does not break through. Each point of contact makes a tiny divot in the surface of the water. Each divot works like a boat, supporting its weight. The weight of the water displaced by the divots is equal to the critter's weight. How big around is the divot? The shadow knows! To the rays of sunlight, a divot works like a concave lens, spreading the light into a bright ring encircling the divot and leaving a dark shadow.
Thanks to Amie King for recommending this pair of posts by Robert Strickland, longtime member of First Baptist Church of Austin, TX. Thanks, Robert!