1252. The first act of awe, when man was struck with the beauty or wonder of Nature, was the first spiritual experience. ~Henryk Skolimowski 

O Marvelous!
What new configuration will come next?
I am bewildered with multiplicity.
~William Carlos Williams

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Soil . . . scoop up a handful of the magic stuff.   Look at it closely. What wonders it holds as it lies there in your palm.  Tiny sharp grains of sand, little faggots of wood and leaf fiber, infinitely small round pieces of marble, fragments of shell, specks of black carbon, a section of vertebrae from some minute creature. And mingling with it all the dust of countless generations of plants and flowers, trees, animals and – yes – our own, age-long forgotten forebears, gardeners of long ago. Can this incredible composition be the common soil? ~Stuart Maddox Masters

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I went out first thing this morning to see if I might find something picture worthy and came across some rather extraordinary things. A garden is not just about flowers or vegetables or fruits or trees. It’s about the soil and creatures as well. Some might think what I found is strange, bordering on ugly or scary, but they are essential to the life of a garden.

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First I came upon the sedum at top starting to show color followed by a mystical passionflower not yet fully open. Then I found the two fruitings, above and below, of fungi in the soil. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter. In fact they are the principal decomposers in ecological systems, and interestingly fungi are genetically more closely related to animals than plants. These two are strangely beautiful in a way, don’t your think?

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If you want to live and thrive,
let the spider run alive.
~American Quaker saying

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Next I found this huge spider, and although I’m not a fan of spiders, it was an awesome specimen sitting in the middle of an amazing web. I’d seen this same kind of spider in almost the same exact place two years ago, but this one is much bigger than the previous one. So I snapped my photos quickly and gave it a wide berth as I moved on. I was willing to let him run alive as the saying goes, just not after or on me.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Isaiah 61:11  ✝

1132.I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty. ~Edgar Allan Poe

grass greening again
spring began early advance
air too warm for me

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poppies and larkspur
bloom from seed sown in autumn
no sign of rainfall

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high winds diminished
zephyrs blow dandelions
blue springtime skies

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spider spins a web
backdrop of purply flowers
glory leaps from soil

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day’s end yields pink peace
springtime sunlight waxed and waned
aromas waft forth

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In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord make me dwell in safety. ~Psalm 4:8  ✝

**Poppy image from my yard; all others from Pinterest or Pixabay

654. The North wind did blow and now we have some sleet and snow, so what then will poor robin do, poor thing? ~Edited and adapted line from an old Nursery Rhyme

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Mistress Mary quite contrary,
Why doesn’t your garden grow?
Is it because the sleet and snow
Have left the pretty maids unduly cold?
~Adapted verse from 
an old Nursery Rhyme

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Yesterday an itsy bitsy spider climbed up the garden spout, but it wasn’t long before the rain came down and washed the spunky little spider out.

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Then this morning with a hickory dickory dock, the clock struck early on, and the mouse ran out to find that the temps had, as they predicted, dropped below freezing and would stay that way all the livelong day.  So with a hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle began to shed a host of woebegone tears and the dog refused to laugh when the spoon slid silently away on its ice-laden dish.

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Undaunted by such things, however, Humpty Dumpty set out to sit upon the garden wall, but a slip here and a slide there whilst on the way convinced him not to take a chance for he could plainly see that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men wouldn’t be able to put him or the frost covered flowers he might land upon back together again. Now as the day draws to an end, Polly has put the kettle on so that all can have a spot of tea and while safe and warm inside dream of better days.

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He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21   ✝

**Iimages via Pinterest

434. If you want to live and thrive let the spider run alive. ~American Quaker saying

Little Miss Natalie sat on a tuffet
Pulling her weeds today
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Natalie away.

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Much like a subtle spider which doth sit
In middle of her web, which spreadeth wide;
If aught do touch the utmost thread of it,
She feels it instantly on every side.
~Sir John Davies

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Actually the spider didn’t frighten me away because I saw the thing before I ventured into its sticky lair and was keeping an eye on it. There was a time though that had I seen the likes of this guy, I would have let out a yelp, jumped up, and scampered far, far away. But the aging gardener that I am now is way too fascinated by the wondrous and interactive nature of Creation to do that these days. I did, however, not sit on my “tuffet” much longer because I wanted to get a picture of the spider and its web. As spiders go, it was a rather handsome fellow, and I’d never seen a web that had a vertical zig-zag strip down the middle like this one had. But shortly after I got up, grabbed my camera, and got back out there, I had only snapped a couple of shots when one of my yard cats moseyed up at my feet and touched the bottom of the web with his tail.  And as Sir Davies suggests the spider felt it because it then scurried quickly up to the top of its web to hide under an overhanging leaf. I waited a bit but it was hot and the spider, it seems, was just not going to leave the safety of its sheltering leaf. So finally I took a deep breath and reached out gingerly to tap the top of the leaf and sure enough when I did down the creature came back to the center of its web. As luck would have it, this time it went down the other side of the web which allowed me to get a shot of its underbelly. So if you look carefully at the photos, you can see its back in the first one and in the second one you see its underside through the web.

Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.  What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web. They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold. ~Job 8:13-15   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

421. Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible. ~Virginia Woolf

The bird a nest,
the spider a web,
man friendship.
~William Blake

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A spider, industrious and tireless, has made its home the rose covered trellis over the small porch outside my studio. I saw him again late yesterday while I was rocking in my chair beneath the arch; it kept dropping down on slender, silky threads and dangling in mid-air about a foot below the zenith of the arch. Then as darkness descended it began in earnest weaving its treacherous web; back and forth, back and forth it moved under the partially obscured waxing moon. As it worked, it glided like a skater along its airy tightropes, and a rumbling noise off in the distance added a touch of the sinister to the scene. Watching the vagabond’s rhythmic dance in the weaving of its intricate labyrinth of stickiness started lulling me into an almost hypnotic stupor, so much so that sleepiness lay heavy on my eyelids. But that ended quickly as I opened one eye just in time to see the spider begin what looked like a free fall into a bottomless pit of oblivion. When it finally stopped, it was hanging about eye level and within a foot of my startled face. Which of us was the more frightened, I know not, but seconds later it had beat a rapid retreat up its silky rope, and I had bid it goodnight and retreated indoors. In my mind, both were healthy acts of cowardice.

My eyes are ever on the Lord for only He will release my feet from the snare. ~Psalm 25:15  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

** Image via Pinterest