My writing

Three Poems And A Point

For those of you who remember the traditional description of sermons, I hope you enjoy the title of this blog. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you can ask in the comments. I actually wrote a couple of these poems last week during the time of Easter Weekend. The first relates to the emotions on the Saturday between the crucifixion and the resurrection. While we’red dealing with issues of isolation now due to COVID-19, I tried to imagine the isolation, fear, and sadness of the disciples as they were hidden away, locked out from the world in the upper room.
















The next poem celebrates the resurrection as experienced on that first Easter Sunday

Mourning Turned to Laughter

An early morning walk

Filled with questions and tears

Who will do it?

An uncovered tomb


Angels question

Why seek the living among the dead

Worry turns to wonder and then to joy

Running with the news

Others still skeptical

Even after looking

Still fearful and more confused

All but Thomas

Saw Him

Felt His scars

Mourning turned to laughter

Lives transformed, empowered.

He lives


After I wrote it originally, I took out a couple of lines relating to Thomas. I’m one of the people who thinks Thomas gets a bad rap. I thought most of that took away from the poem. Still, I wanted to allude to the situation by noting that all the other disciples saw what Thomas asked to see later.


I wrote this next poem today. As we deal with the battle of some in the church to continue meeting in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak as they proclaim that the church is essential, I thought a lot about the problem. While I had some decent thoughts about this, the Breakpoint commentary  “The Non-Essential Church” helped me solidify my thoughts. What have we become as a church, that we need to fight about whether or not we’re essential. The last three lines of this poem are the point in the title.



The church is dying

Or so we heard

It’s not relevant

In these modern times

When life moves

So fast

And we responded

So fast

And we became


With it


And the church

Was full again

We rejoiced

We were relevant

In tune with the world

Then trouble came

And we were so relevant

We were no longer



My writing

April Camp – From Songs to Poems

I know I’ve been silent here for a long time. It’s been hard getting out to do bird pictures. I’ve been doing more editing than writing, although I just finished a short story for an anthology. I was going to do something completely different for NaNoWriMo April Camp and work on writing some songs. That hasn’t happened yet. But I’ve written a couple of poems. One relates to Isolation, specifically from our experiences with COVID-19, and the other relates to Good Friday. So, I thought I’d share them….


No man is an island
Or so they say
That was then
But in this day
The crown spreads throughout the land
A tyrant, demanding tribute and sacrifice
And so
To foil the evil monarch
We separate ourselves
And build walls
Longing to tear them down
We burn bridges to keep him away
Looking to the day
We can build them once again
Necessity may be the of invention
But it’s the wicked step-mother of isolation
And so we sit
Behind walls
Bridges burnt
Waiting for our glass slipper
That will destroy the crown
And free us from our slavery

and the Good Friday theme…

Who Did This?

The day grew dark
The Son of God hung
On the cross
I fell to my knees
And cried out
“Who did this?”
He looked at me and gasped
“Father forgive them.”
I heard them mocking
They called out for miracles
Expecting nothing
He looked at them
“Father forgive them.”
Even those hanging beside
Laughed at Him
No matter that
They shared the same fate
Until one changed
And He forgave
I remember the day
That God the Son
For me
I though of all I’d done
And then all He did
And He forgave.

I think sharing poems is the hardest kind of writing to share because they’re written without the barriers we can use with more words. Sometimes I look at them and think about how dumb they are – then someone tells me how much they meant to them. I hope these touch you. They mean something to me and I hope that you relate to the emotions.

Daily Work

The Most Exciting Sighting of All

Today I did my video and birding at the Oso Bay Wetlands Refuge. I do a video every week for my devotional/Bible Study blog called “Daily Enduring Truth.” Because I came in relation to my video, I was a little later getting to the Refuge than I would normally be. The birds were scarce around noon in the heat of the day. I saw some kind of hawk, but the pics were too blurry to use because he was so far off. I’ll share some pictures of an egret I saw in just a bit. I saw a Turkey Vulture, and I’ll share that pic, and the same pair, presumably, of mottled ducks that I talked about the other day. So what was the most exciting sighting of my day? The people.

I normally show up early in the day during the week. Showing up at noon on a Saturday meant that I got to see a lot of people: visitors there for the first time, families with little kids learning to love the outdoors, couples, joggers, people walking quietly. It was so exciting to see all those people out there enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. They may not have realized that they were following William Wise’s suggestion, quoted below this paragraph, but they were and everyone seemed to enjoy it!

Stop reading this blog, close your browser, push back the chair and walk out the door. Talk to God; cast your concerns at His feet; enjoy this world that He created. You just might get addicted. I know because I go there every day. So, pray and go birding!

I enjoy the wilderness style parks that reveal the natural beauty of the world God has created. So, while I didn’t see many birds today, it was time well spent.

turkey vulture


One bird you can almost always see is this amazing bird known as the Turkey Vulture or the Turkey Buzzard. When you watch it soaring around overhead, it’s one of the most beautiful, graceful birds around. As scavengers, though, they don’t get good press. And the red head that looks so cool from a long way away is just plain ugly when you see it up close. I love watching these birds, though, and got a decent pic today.




turkey vulture

If you clicked on my video, then the egret, which I presume to be a Great Egret, you’ll see in the next pictures was right behind me. I kept hoping to get a picture of him catching and eating a fish, or something. He was stalking and darting his bill down to get something, but I never caught him in action. I’m gonna just post the pics without saying much about them. These egrets are beautiful birds and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

egret hunting
egret hunting








The third picture is my favorite from all the pics I took of this egret. I like the open mouth….

I keep hearing reports that the bird population seems to be going down. Obvioualy,  a few days shouldn’t be the sole proof of that idea. Still, I haven’t come across any sites that prove that theory right so far this year, and, a few sites SEEM to indicate that it may be right. Keep looking, keep watching and see if you agree with that idea.



Bird Brain Chronicles, Bird pics and story

The Worst Day Birding…

…is better than the best day at work. I actually took these pictures on Monday, but got caught up with a bunch of stuff the last couple of days and never posted them. I went by the Oso Creek waterway, spaces shown to me by Bill Mays, who’s published a couple of my short stories. I asked him about the amazing pictures he gets, and he showed me his secret spots. I go there occasionally, but I don’t see as much as he does. On my way there, though, I gained sympathy for people who commit one of my pet peeves: turn or change lanes without using their signal. I was getting into the lane from which I’d need to turn, eventually. There was no one in the lane I needed, so, I turned on my blinker and started to move into the lane. When I did that, I realized the person that had been about twenty car lengths behind was ten car lengths behind and was speeding as if he was hoping to close the gap so I couldn’t change in front of him. (And then, later on, he turned before he ever caught up to me.) Our society seems to value courtesy far less every year.

Now, for the birds. Didn’t see many worth taking pictures of. The waterway is beautiful, though and I took a pictures in one place. I thought I had a few more, but I didn’t.







As I walked toward my first stop, I saw a black, duck-like bird flying. When I looked at the picture later, I realized that he was a double-crested cormorant. When I got to the place, I saw a bird that I thought might be the same one. Examining the pictures later made me realize it was. So, here you have a picture of a double-crested cormorant in flight, and then at rest….ok…fishing. I missed the shot of him diving into the water.








I’ll show the picture later, for reasons that will become obvious, but I heard the call of what I thought was a gull. Now, gulls are not one of the birds I get excited taking pictures of, but, given how few birds I had seen or heard, I decided that a good picture of a gull in flight would be nice to have. So, I snapped that picture and moved on. I kept looking into the foliage on the side, not seeing anything. OK, as I walked, I must admit that I was disgusted by the amount of litter left in the area. How hard is it to take your trash back out with you when you’re in the woods. (Hint: if it’s too hard to take out, then don’t bring it in with you!) One spot I looked at had a stalk of celery left on some branches. I decided that someone had done that to draw some kind of animal to the area, hopefully for a picture, and chuckled at that. Then, I looked up and saw these birds. At first I thought they were loggerhead shrikes, but I found out later that was some kind of trick my imagination was playing on me. Just sparrows, but since it looked like they were the fruit of the tree, I still snapped and am posting the picture.







As I looked for that picture, I saw one that I had thought about posting, but decided not to. It was a fuzzy female cardinal, because my autofocus looked at the trees instead of the bird. Now, back to the “gull” earlier. But first, I walked across a flood plain down to another prime picture spot and there in the trees was this beautiful osprey. It was hard to decide which shot to use and decided on this one because it showed so much of the beauty of the bird. When I got home, I realized that what I thought was a sea gull, was, in fact, this same osprey. i haven’t see many of these beautiful birds, but I love seeing them when I do.









As I’m returning to my picture taking, I’m getting hungry for a new lens. I currently have a lens that adjusts to 250 mm. I’d really like one that extends to 600 mm for much clearer shots, especially on birds in flight. My wife isn’t excited by the idea. How can I convince her that this would be a great investment? I’d love your suggestions!

Bird Brain Chronicles

Trailing Along



Every week, I do a video introduction to a Bible study I write on my Daily Enduring Truth Blog. This week, I decided to go to the South Texas Botanical Gardens so that I could do the video, and then walk the trails. I’ve generally seen a lot of birds along the trails here. I did the video in the Hummingbird Garden. Most of the flowers weren’t blooming yet and it’s been a little cold for hummingbirds, so we didn’t have the color background I hoped for, nor did we see any hummingbirds. My wife, Lucy, accompanied me and did the video work today. Imagine our surprise near the end of our visit we say the picture of the parrot named Lucy. So, my Lucy posed with their Lucy.


After that, I got a couple of nice scenery shots. I love the view of the creek and the view of the lake. I usually see lots of birds on the lake, but I only saw one today, a cormorant and I couldn’t get any good pictures of it.

Creek view
Creek View
lake view
lake view








Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

As I was leaving the lake, a Great Blue Heron flew past. Today, the birds seemed to be either out of range or they showed up when I wasn’t ready with my camera.





green winged teal
green winged teal


A little bit farther along the trail there’s a bigger lake also. I didn’t get any pictures of the lake, but a few pics of the birds on the lake. As best as I can tell, this is a green winged teal. It’s darker than the ones I saw at the Suter Wildlife Refuge, but the head and the little white chevron in the front were helpful in identifying it. Again, please feel free to corrct me if I’m wrong.




loggerhead shrike
loggerhead shrike

In a tree on the other side of the larger lake, I saw this Loggerhead shrike. Those birds fascinate me, and I love the mask around their face. This was one of the ones that was too far away to get a really good pic.







lesser yellow legs
lesser yellow legs

On the other side of the bridge (used to walk over the marshy, muddy edge of the big lake) I saw this Lesser Yellow Legs. I’ve seen a couple since I started shooting again even though I don’t recall seeing them before this time.






In Texas, you gotta see a mockingbird or two  whenever you go out birding…just because. This was one of the few birds I found as I followed a trail close by  Oso Creek.


Finally, if you remember, this is a botanical garden. While it was too early for most flowers, we saw a few beautiful flowers. We had planned to go today to take pictures. Just before we left, we got a letter reminding us that we needed to renew our membership. We did so gladly because this is one of the most beautiful spots in the area with both cultivated and natural beauty.