Diversity in My Own Backyard


I read enough comments about the Oscars yesterday to know I had made a wiser use of time by considering the diversity God has shown me recently in Hawaii and in Alaska. But travel is not possible for many, so I decided to share some of God’s spectacular showcase here in my own back year. The Wolfe’s Den, my husband’s dream realized, is a log cabin resting on 4.1 acres of rocky terrain in the far western corner of Maryland. Winding Ridge includes 29 parcels of property, 15 with homes on them and 7 homes with year-round residents.

In the winter of 2009-10, we received 260 inches of snow, but most winters average around 200 inches. Spring, however, pours out multitudinous shades of green. Ireland claims 60 hues; I daresay we can identify about 40 greens here in Garrett County.

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Admittedly, spring can play tricks on us, as demonstrated by the Queen of Night purple tulips below. They started to bloom by April 15th … and then lay in deep snow when a late storm hit on April 23rd.

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The halcyon days of summer arrive, bringing my favorite bird, the blue bunting….

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and the variety of butterflies we coax in with perennials like wild phlox, native to zones four and five.

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Sometimes, God surprises me with plants that spring up because a bird has deposited seeds or bees have brought something along for the ride as they search for pollen. Such was the case last spring when Dave discovered this Lady Slipper blooming in the yard.

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But summer yields to autumn, the time the Master Designer turns into Artist Divine.

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The woodpecker pecks out every last membrane of the orange; he knows the seasons are changing.

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The trees change colors before releasing their leaves, the mums flourish, and the pumpkins fatten in the fields…

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Before we even turn the calendar to see winter’s approach, next summer’s butterfly prepares by forming its chrysalis.

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And before I realize it, I’m standing on the porch, amazed at the tenacity and beauty of the cardinal perched comfortably on a limb amid howling winds and driving snow.

Having a question about a Creator God big enough to handle your difficulties? Somehow, looking at God’s infinite care, expansive diversity, and breath-taking beauty His Spirit calls me back to realize His enormity. Then I again bask in His love for me, regardless of the season of life I currently face.

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