Shift Change

Do you find looking at the sky comforting ?

Twilight has been called the time of ‘shift change’.

In Genesis 1:16, the Bible describes the two great lights that God created to illumine the earth.

At twilight, the sun has dipped below the horizon, and we wait for the moon, the lesser light to appear.

Since our rugged island is at high latitude, our twilight times are relatively long, as God delights us with dazzling colour displays most evenings after sunny days. Seabirds fly to their nighttime nests, and the waves make their gentle rhythmic whooshing sounds.

It is a reminder that God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

As the Lord grants us His peace, we trust, and we are not afraid.

As the Doxology tells us : ‘As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever more shall be…

Photo by Sally

A Restaurant Surprise

People left their tables, and rushed over to the restaurant’s windows.

A moose was coming down the street !

The poor animal had become confused, and entered our village. It kept on going until the end of the street, and then swam to a nearby island, from where it was rescued. Moose have poor vision, but they are excellent swimmers.

It was our first experience seeing one of these huge mammals, which can weigh up to 1400 pounds. We had just recently moved to the seaside.

Moose are not native to Newfoundland, but a couple of them were brought over here in 1878.

It was hoped that they would multiply, and thus attract big game hunters to the island.

They multiplied so quickly that our island now has more moose per capita than any other place in North America !

There are numerous highway signs urging drivers to be cautious of these giants that might be on the road. They are one of the reasons that I pray before I drive.

Our ruggedly beautiful island has relatively few native wildlife species.

We have no skunks, snakes, turtles, porcupines, or raccoons.

And, here, living so close to the sea, the air is too salty for mosquitos.

‘All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful

The Lord God made them all.’

Cecil Francis Alexander

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Guarding the Whales

One’s sense of smell becomes heightened at the seaside.

Last week, when I smelled a temporary ‘fishy’ scent, I knew that the little fish called capelin were here.

Each year, the tiny fish roll up onto the beaches to spawn. This process is short, and it signals the arrival of the whales, who chase and eat them.

Soon, we expect to see these giant mammals splashing in the ocean behind our house !

And then, our job of ‘watching the whale watchers’ begins.

We have a large spotting scope, a specialty item ordered from Russia, set up in our kitchen.

Using this, we can watch the whales, and observe the tour boats, and we report the vessels who get too close to the whales, and those who chase the whales.

Whales don’t deserve to be harassed !

Unfortunately we’ve had to report harassment to the Department of Oceans and Fisheries a few times, and the tour boats operators have been warned to stay a respectable distance away from the whales.

May God show us the part we all can play in protecting his precious creation.

Photo courtesy of Jim Walsh

A New ‘Religion’

Do you enjoy the smell of fresh-cut grass ?

It was surprising to learn that this scent is produced by the tiny plants when they are feeling upset.

Chemicals called green-leaf volatiles ( GLVs) are released by grass plants as a distress signal when the mower cuts them , and this odor acts as a warning to other plants of approaching danger. (sources available on internet).

Further evidence of plants feeling pain was produced by a large scale study done at Tel Aviv University in 2019. Studies on tomato and tobacco plants showed that the plants screamed in response to being injured. The screams are silent to our ears of course, but they were measured using ultrasound technology.

The ‘Plant Rights’ Movement is gaining momentum.

In 2008, Switzerland became the first country to officially recognize the rights of plants. Plants must be treated with dignity, and never humiliated, it is maintained.

These concepts have been formally incorporated into the Swiss Constitution.

We are expected, of course, to care for the world, since it is God’s beloved creation, but we need to avoid entering environmental madness. Studying plant pain seems somewhat superfluous when human lives are in peril in the womb.

There is also a danger of worshipping what has been created rather than the Creator.

Statistically, people who ‘leave’ organized religion tend to gravitate to the new religion of Environmentalism, where salvation becomes secondary to ‘saving the planet’.

Although sustainability is a noble concept, let us be aware that urban atheists in particular seem to be attracted to Environmentalism as a religion.

Lawnmowers are getting ready to come out now here in our village. The beautiful stillness will be interrupted by their grumbling sounds.

However, I now know that tiny grass plants would rather grow long and sway in the wind.

May God grant us wisdom and discernment .

Photo courtesy of iStock

Beautiful garden during the Spring.