Spring Visitors

Here in Ireland, a few weeks ago on Easter Sunday the sun was shining and many families and their granny’s and dogs were out for a drive. The two ferry boats between Portaferry and Strangford were racing across The Narrows to help the travellers on their day out; perhaps to visit the festivities at Castle ward, Castlewellan or Newcastle. Others from Strangford come to visit the Aquarium in Portaferry or take a tour of the Ards Peninsula.

We had taken a drive a few days before to pick up our daughter who returned for Easter. The water had filled Strangford Lough as far up as Newtownards. It reached up to the wall that separated the the road from the sea. I looked down through the clear water as we drove along the shore. I marvelled. Where else is there a place where one can drive for miles so close to the shore? I was enjoying the Lord’s provision of leading me beside still waters to restore my soul. We continued to enjoy the Easter weekend of rest.

Easter Monday is memorable for me. Nine years ago I went to the Accident and Emergency in the local town. I was later diagnosed with fourth stage cancer. Praise God I am staying alive after my experience with cancer. I celebrated the victory over the weekend with my family.

On Tuesday the weather changed. Grey clouds rolled in on stormy winds from the east. There was a chill in the air. Warm coats were picked up again. All the visitors had gone. They returned home revived and refreshed from having time out in the country.

I noticed different visitors outside my window. The swallows have arrived for the summer. They nest under the eaves and rear their young. There was no time wasted. A couple of them inspected the nest used last year and began mending it, flying in and out with mud in their beaks.

All the ways of nature have a purpose. The swallows have travelled thousands of miles from Africa. The strong south east winds helped them on their way. The same winds carried the Brent Geese north on their return journey to Canada. I miss their calls as they gathered beneath our garden to drink from the fresh water stream. They have been feeding on the eel grass along Strangford Lough since September. When the Brent Geese arrive they look like ducks. When they leave they have grown fat and look like geese.

I will enjoy the company of the swallows over the summer along with the resident forest and sea birds. The blackbirds, robins, pigeons, pheasants, doves, thrush, starlings and sparrows are busy making nests for their young. The call of the doves in the morning replace the Brent Geese. The other birds join the chorus as the sun begins to rise in the east.

The time of singing of birds has come. Sap is rising through the tree trunks. The leaves burst open and discard their shells. The sticky pollen of the sycamore tree in front of the house is falling all around. Another thing the wind carries to other trees to pollenate them. The pear and apple blossoms are in full bloom waiting for the bees from a neighbor’s hive to collect their nectar. All nature is busy increasing and multiplying.

Yet more visitors arrived below on the Lough. A beautiful tall yacht drew up within my view below. The owners are getting it ready for sailing events over the summer. I watched as it was secured to a buoy. It is the season for yachtsmen to put their vessels back in the water. A crane lifts the boats, which look like big birds, and settle them on the water.

It’s good to be alive and see life abundant all around.  Jesus came to give us life and life abundantly.  He has done that for me.  It’s the devil who comes to rob, steal, kill and destroy.  John 10 v 10

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Reward Seeing Eagles in North America. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/reward/

We had flown eight thousand miles from Ireland to Vancouver, Canada.  We visit different friends in Cloverdale, Coquitlan, Langley, Surrey, Hope, Abbotsford and West Vancouver.  After working with different groups we took a day off.  We were visiting Sescelt, a town on the Sunshine Coast off Vancouver.  The only access to Sescelt is by ferry. Last time Brendan and I visited Sescelt in Vancouver, our host took us for a drive along the Pacific, and told us stories about killer whales and salmon that are abundant in these waters.

We were taking a walk when someone shouted, “The salmon are running.”  Nearby we saw many salmon swimming up the river to lay their eggs in the sandy water bed.  We stood silent watching this phenomena for a long time.  We happened to be there at the right time.

This time we visited Sescelt we had another once in a lifetime adventure with nature. Hundreds of eagles were gathered in an area in the hills where there was easy access to food.  There were eagles everywhere, perched in trees or flying overhead.  We spent the afternoon eagle watching.  Our host loves using his camera.  He was looking for the perfect shot.  He did get some stunning pictures of the eagles.  I used my iPad to take some shots.  I am not a camera whiz kid.  Not as high defination as my friends camera, but I am happy enough to have captured the event.  We happened to be there at the right time.

Most eagles in Canada live in BC, where they are near a supply of fish.  We love to get a glimpse of them when we are in Vancouver.  Perhaps we might see two or three flying overhead back near the city.  But that day we were in eagle heaven.  Both male and female adult bald eagles have a blackish-brown back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; yellow feet, legs and beak; and pale yellow eyes.

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Immature bald eagles have a mixture of brown and white feathers, with a black beak and brown eyes in younger birds;  It takes five years for a bald eagle to attain solid white head and tail feathers. For the first five years they gradually change; the beak turns from black to yellow, the eyes from brown to pale yellow, body feathers from mottled to dark brown, and head and tail feathers from mottled to solid white. We saw an abundance of eagles of all ages, a reward for our journey across the land and ocean from home, eight thousand miles away.

I was getting my strength back after two busy weeks.  The eagles reminds me of God’s promise.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭31‬ KJV)