Friday, June 3, 2011

Common Miracles Abound

We have been so busy it has been hard for me to stop and blog.
But I've heard it said, "Better late than never." So here goes.

Spring is kind of a "Common Miracle," right?  I think we have come to expect a warm spring... and then when we get a really cold, wet spring like this year we are so happy to get a warm, sunny day.

Along with spring comes flowers... and what greater joy is there than to see flowers growing in your own garden... which is another "Common Miracle."  There is nothing we could do to make those seeds, or bulbs burst forth into a plant that blooms.  And so I see the face of God in every flower.  It is His work of art that brings so much enjoyment to us.

Shirley planted some tulip bulbs last year... which I completely forgot about.  So you can imagine my surprise when I saw these wonderful flowers showing off their colours in the morning sunshine.

They are on the ridge on the east side of our house... and I get a lot of joy out of seeing them there.

"The best place to seek God is in the garden.  You can dig for Him there." -George Bernard Shaw

"The apple blossom exists to create fruit; when that comes, the petal falls." -Kabir

"Where flowers bloom, so does hope." -Lady Bird Johnson

"We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them.  We say we love trees, yet we cut them down.  And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved."

These rhodies are smiling on the day, enjoying the sunshine and passing on their love... happy to see me taking their picture.

Shirley saw me laying on the ground to take this photo of these bluebells...

Later that morning I caught her taking a break from weeding... still with her knee pads on... laying on the hard pavement trying to get a close-up shot of the same bluebells.

We watched a very interesting movie on Netflix... "Greenfingers."  If you have any interest at all in gardening you will certainly appreciate this movie, based on a true story about some high security prisoners in Britain who got into gardening... and found new meaning in life.  Click here to view the movie trailer.  It is a tear jerker.

For some time now we have wanted to take out several trees that shade the sunshine from our greenhouse... but since the trees were so big and so close to the buildings and our power line, I was afraid to tackle the job without a professional... one mistake could be very costly.

Meet Dr. Daylight.  We hired Ian Middlewitch, a tree service man from Saturna Island, who came last week and in about five hours dropped 10 difficult trees... he also cleaned up dead branches on several tall trees that I could never reach, like the one in this photo.

There was one tree that we found after falling was rotten in the middle. If it had come down in a storm it would have taken out our power and maybe our water tank.  It was the toughest one to bring down.

We worked together to get most of the trees on the ground.  Sometimes Ian would climb up high into the tree and attach an 150-foot heavy rope.  I would then attach it to a block on another tree down the hill, in the direction the tree was to fall and with my John Deere tractor I would pull on the rope to insure the tree did not fall the wrong way.  Just one problem.  On a really big tree that was leaning backwards, I did not tie a fail-proof knot... and as I was pulling with the tractor, the rope came untied.   Ooops!

The tree could have gone backwards and into the water tank!  But I hollered right away and Ian stopped cutting.  The tree stayed upright long enough for us to get reconnected... and we got the tree on the ground safely.  After Ian said, "We got a free one there!" It was a miracle that my sloppy knot came undone early enough and not after too much had been cut on the tree or we could have had a disaster.  For some reason I missed getting a photo of the crisis.

Ian taught me a new knot after that incident... the bowline knot.  Check it out... the website is pretty cool.  He said if you ever have to tie a rope around yourself when being rescued, this is the best knot to use.  Hope you never have to use it for that... but I will sure use it again for pulling trees or other times when safety is required.

The mess we made in five hours took more than 5 days to clean up.  I have so far loaded up my tractor with the bucket extension with 16 huge huge loads of branches and burned them... and I have still have a couple more to pick up before it is all done.

The difference in the daylight in the greenhouse is incredible... it is significantly brighter.  Now the plants should really do well.  No excuses.

For some jobs is seems like one has to go backwards to reach the objective.  This project made a huge mess in the process of achieving the goal, but it was worth it.


  1. The bowline is an awesome knot. Sailors love it. And Dr. Daylight is right: it's a great knot for rescues. In fact, Desmond Doss used a variant of the bowline in the rescues that earned him the Medal of Honor.

    Here's a cool website that shows how to tie the knot he used:

  2. Thanks Brent.
    That site has a lot of great knots... and well done animation.

    As the son of a farmer, my dad taught me the half hitch...
    and I use if every chance I get. So it is good to learn another great knot.

  3. Fabulous flower photos, Pa! Especially love the tulips and the underside of the daisies.

    Have a great weekend. Will you get to take your camera into the Cirque du Soleil? Probably not, but that would be fun...

  4. They would take away my camera if I got caught... so I have been warned. But my phone will be in my pocket. I might sneak one or two iPhone photos if the opportunity is right... and it is close to the end... and all the planets line up. Dream on.