Herons and Ducklings and Swans! Oh My!
It’s the first real spring that we have been in the new place – even though we have now been here a year. Both Janet and I remember the unpacking and the difficulty we had moving in and how we really didn’t enjoy the new house as much as we had hoped we would – at least during the move-in period. But this spring, that has all changed. We almost can’t believe the wildlife that we have observed in and around the small lake behind our home.
Each morning, we watch the blue heron fishing along the edge of our property. It waits patiently along the shore, walking ever so gingerly in the shallow water until it spots a fish. And then it dives – sometimes coming up empty and other times being rewarded for the patient effort.
And if we look along the shore several houses to the west, we can see a female swan sitting on a nest waiting for her cygnets to be hatched. I haven’t been over there to see how many eggs are in the nest, but any time now we should see the new mother and her younguns’. The male swan swims in front of our house all day and now there is a third swan swimming in the lake as well. In fact, we have seen as many as seven and as beautiful as they are swimming, I am absolutely amazed at how they take off to fly. They almost run across the surface of the water and when they get enough lift they start to take off – you can hear the compression of the air as they flap ever so feverishly to get airborne. You can virtually hear the “thump” of their wings as they gain speed.
I have read up a little on swan eggs and how long they take to hatch (about a month) and yesterday I saw a female duck with her new ducklings so I assume that we are closing in on having more new residents at the lake almost any time now. The water level is still low and I am told that this is due to the aquifer beneath us not being adequately recharged during the spring rains. We have actually tried to pump water into the lake from a small creek that runs alongside the neighborhood, but it remains to be seen how effective that effort will be.
I have also starting fishing this year – most notably with our son, Andrew, and our grandson, Drew, who is visiting Carmel for several weeks with our daughter, Jill. Then, they will head back to Oklahoma after the Memorial Day week-end. How I used to love fishing with my grandfather on the edge of Lake Michigan on the south side of Chicago, and to think that Drew, Andrew and I just have to go out in the backyard to get a line in the water. It’s totally awesome! And Drew is learning about nature and how we catch and release all the fish so that we don’t kill anything.
The verse for this evening reminds us that God created all the things that we see each morning. The verse for this evening is from Genesis and the story of creation. We are told, in Gen. 1:20-23, “And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to respect, enjoy and protect His creation. My prayer is that you will take the time to appreciate the awesome power of the living God and all the things that He has created. And please take time to celebrate not only the animals but also the plants and new growth of the season – reminding us once again of new life and how God makes everything new each spring. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…