Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Gospel Concert

The Collingsworth Family

The photo above was taken at a dinner concert that we attended last night with friends, Dave and Kay.

Doug and I had first seen the Collingsworth Family in a performance at Word of Life Conference Center in Hudson, Florida, back in February of 2012. Then, last September, Dave and Kay, went with us to see them in concert about an hour away from home. Last night, the four of us went together to the dinner concert, which was held in the same town as last September's concert, but in a different location.

Each time we've seen this family perform, we've enjoyed them even more than the previous time. It just keeps getting better and better. The group consists of Mom (Kim) and Dad (Phil) and their three daughters and one son. All sing and play instruments. Two of the daughters play violin beautifully. Kim is amazing on the piano. She has to be seen to be believed.

I shot some video last night, but all of it is a little shaky and not a lot of fun to watch in spite of the wonderful music. But, thanks to YouTube, I found a little better quality video to share with you here.

This video was made a couple of weeks ago as the family ministered in concerts in Norway and Sweden. The words to this song have always held special significance to me because they so reflected my own feelings after I became a Christian at the ripe old age of 34, back in 1979. I hope you enjoy it. So you won't miss any of those meaningful words, I'll put them beneath the video.

The Collingsworth Family singing "At Calvary"

At Calvary

Years I spent in vanity and pride, Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died On Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty At Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned; Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned To Calvary.

Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything, Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing Of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan! Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span At Calvary!

It's my prayer that each of you has experienced, or soon will experience, the joy of knowing that the Lord who was crucified at Calvary did it willingly...for you...and for me.

Wishing you all a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Update, a Rose, and a Video

I'm overdue in giving you an update on my Outlook problems. The old Outlook file was not able to be salvaged, at least without spending the money that Microsoft wanted for repairing it. So I just created a new Outlook account and a new .pst file to go with it. Everything is working fine now. There was no change to my email address. The only downside was that all data that had been saved in the old file was lost. Only time will tell how significant that loss will turn out to be.
Thanks to all of you who offered tips and support. You're the best!

Here's a rose for you:

I need to confess that I had nothing to do with this photograph. My friend, Pat, took the picture of this Double Delight rose, given to her by a friend who grew it. Pat very creatively placed the rose in front of her darkened television screen to achieve the black background. Isn't it just a beautiful rose? And Pat says its fragrance is "out of this world."

In closing, I thought I'd just share a cute video clip showing how pets, especially cats, like to try to fit themselves into small spaces. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, August 26, 2013

An Assortment from Ouabache State Park

You're going to feel as if you've been to this state park by the time you've seen all my posts from there. But I always find something to photograph when we go, and it's just fun to share the photos here. So bear with me.

Cabbage White Butterfly

Red berries of some kind

Weed/wildflower growing by the water's edge

Unknown berries

Rufous-Crowned Sparrow

I imagine you'll all be glad when winter comes so I'll post pictures from somewhere besides Ouabache State Park.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Presbyterian Church in Coldwater, Michigan

This church dominates the downtown cityscape in Coldwater, Michigan. Built 1866–1869, it is a Michigan State Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wishing you all a blessed Lord's Day.

Linking to InSPIREd Sunday.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Computer Problems and More Photos from Ouabache

I'm a little behind with posting, partly because of my frustrations with Microsoft Outlook. On Monday, this error message popped up:

"The file C:\Users\...Outlook.pst has reached its maximum size. To reduce the amount of data in this file, select some items that you no longer need, and then permanently delete them by pressing SHIFT+DELETE. You could also consider using the new Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst) introduced with Outlook 2003 that provides greater capacity for storing items and folders."

Most of my time since then has been spent trying to resolve the problem. I'm unable to delete anything in the program, and I can't send or receive emails with it. Of course, I can access my emails at my online account, but all my address book, calendar, and saved emails reside in my Outlook account on my hard drive.

Wednesday, I engaged in an online chat with a technical support representative from Microsoft. I don't think he'd ever heard of this issue before. He even suggested that I contact my email provider to see if they could help with my software issue. Then he told me that he could fix it for a fee...$99 minimum, or $149 for a year's worth of technical support.

I've created a new Outlook account, so I'm back in business with sending and receiving emails; but it looks as if I'm going to have to recreate my address book and calendar. And there are those few emails that arrived just before the error message was received that are going to be difficult to answer.
Ah, well...that's life in the computer age, isn't it?

Well, let's look at some photos to get our minds off such things. Here are a few more photos taken at Ouabache State Park earlier this month.

Queen Anne's Lace, only partially in bloom, looking very delicate and lacy.

Pearl Crescent Butterfly, a smallish butterfly, partially hidden by grass.

I think this is a young Eastern Bluebird, but I won't swear to it.

I shot this photo of the crescent moon on August 8, after returning home from an afternoon at Ouabache.

Looking at these photos again restores a little peace to my somewhat frazzled spirit.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Twenty-six Years

Doug and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on Thursday. We opted to celebrate with a quiet day spent with friends at Ouabache State Park.

Our friend, Diane, took the above photo. Left to right are Pat, who often accompanies us on our trips to this state park; Diane's husband, Terry; Diane's empty chair; me; and Doug.

And this is Diane.

Here's one that Diane took of Doug and me, after we had moved our chairs to keep up with the shade.

After spending the afternoon relaxing in the park, we went out for supper at a nearby Chinese buffet. It was the first time I'd ever handed my new camera to a stranger and asked them to take a picture, but the waitress who accepted the challenge did a fine job.

Again, from left to right, Terry, Diane, Pat, me, and Doug.

I've told the story of Doug's and my meeting before, so I won't bore you with it again. For those who are interested in reading that story, click here to go to that post.

And, if you're interested in seeing some of our wedding photos, click here.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bees and Beetles at Ouabache State Park

On a recent visit to Ouabache State Park, rain moved in and forced us to move from our favorite spot under the trees by the lake to a pavilion. At the pavilion, we found a corner inhabited by dozens of bees, which were actively flying in and out of a small opening. I tried for some photos, in spite of the darkness and the difficulty focusing on flying objects, two of the resulting pictures were very interesting, although not great from a technical standpoint.

A bee flying away from me toward the crack that seemed to be the door to the community of bees.

This one seems to be coming right at me.

Another day, another bee

This Japanese beetle was dining on a daisy fleabane plant.

Update: I'd like to thank Stephen Hayes for pointing out that the subjects in the first two photos in this post appear to be Yellow Jackets, which are wasps, rather than bees.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Few Birds and a Sunset

When we go to Ouabache State Park, it's usually in the afternoon; and we leave about 5 PM or so to go get supper at our favorite restaurant. Last Friday, though, on the spur of the moment, we went to the park around mid-afternoon and took our supper with us to enjoy later.

Toward dusk, the birds became more active. We'd hardly seen any before that. So the following pictures aren't the greatest quality because of the low light and the amount of zoom required. Still, I thought they were worth sharing.

This young Eastern Bluebird was hovering above the ground.

Another (or maybe the same) young Eastern Bluebird

White-Breasted Nuthatch

And this is the sunset that we saw on our way home that night.

To put it mildly, it was a very pleasant afternoon and evening.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dragonflies and Damselflies

I've become fascinated with dragonflies and damselflies recently, especially since I've learned that a large part of their diet consists of mosquitoes. Anything that eats mosquitoes is a friend of mine.

As for damselflies...I have a confession to make. Until recently, I thought a damselfly was simply a female dragonfly. Imagine my embarrassment when I learned that they are actually just a different type of dragonfly. (That red glow you see is emanating from my face.)

The most easily observed differences between the two are that damselflies generally hold their wings together, along and parallel to the body, when at rest. Also, damselflies are usually smaller than dragonflies and weaker fliers in comparison; and their eyes are further apart than the eyes of a dragonfly.

So here are a few photos from recent visits to Ouabache State Park.

I think the Widow Skimmer Dragonfly is especially beautiful, and there were several of them flying around on this particular day.

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

This is a dragonfly, but I don't know what kind.
(Thanks to Steve, at Out on the Prairie, for identifying the above dragonfly as a female Common Whitetail.)

I have no ID for this damselfly, either.

I believe this is a Turquoise Bluet Damselfly

This is the same Turquoise Bluet Damselfly performing some sort of contortion exercise.

In researching dragonflies for this post, I learned that adult dragonflies live only about two months. They live most of their lives as nymphs and can take up to four years in this stage before developing into dragonflies.

If you'd like more information, click here to go to a site which further explains the life cycle of a dragonfly.

Friday, August 09, 2013

A Little Purple Wildflower

On our recent visits to Ouabache State Park, we've seen a lot of these tiny wildflowers. They're so small that I can't get down to their level, so my photos are all taken looking down on them. Maybe one of you will be able to tell me what they are. But I think you'll agree that it's not necessary to know their correct identification in order to enjoy their loveliness.

This gives you an idea of their small size.

Update: Many thanks to Margaret Adamson and TexWisGirl for identifying this plant as Prunella Vulgaris (commonly known as "Self-Heal"). Click here to see what another blogger posted just yesterday about the healing benefits of this little beauty.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Little Country Church

Back in May, while on a drive in the country, I found and photographed a little country church that a friend, who is also a photography enthusiast, had told me about.

The late-day sun was shining through from the other side, lighting this stained-glass window.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Rose of Sharon Blossoms

After the rain on Saturday, the blossoms on the Rose of Sharon bushes in our back yard were looking pretty sad. But, today, in the sunshine, they had perked up considerably, as you can see from the following photos.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

This and That from Here and There

On a recent walk at the reservoir, I spotted what I think was a very small damselfly. It paused on a leaf long enough for me to get a shot, although not as good a one as I would have liked.


At Ouabache State Park this week, I ventured into the woods just a wee bit to see if there was anything new to photograph since my friend, Kay, and I had explored there a few weeks ago. I didn't dare stay long among the weeds because of that "dinner invitation to the insects" thing that I have going on, but I did find some Brown-Eyed Susans that hadn't been there before.

Brown-eyed Susans

Today, I went exploring in our back yard to see what photo-worthy things I might find there. Our Red Delicious apple tree is heavy with fruit right now. Unfortunately, we hadn't sprayed or pruned it, so the fruit may have to be used as treats for the Amish horses that are pastured across the road from us.

Red Delicious Apple after a rain

The blooms on our Rose of Sharon bushes were looking a bit bedraggled, but I found some buds that looked ripe for photos.

Buds on our white Rose of Sharon bush

Buds on our pink Rose of Sharon bush

A closer look at one of the pink Rose of Sharon buds

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