Monday, August 22, 2016

Leah's Birthday

Last week, we celebrated the birthday of one of the most special people in my life . . . my sister, Leah, my dearest friend. Her wisdom, love, and encouraging heart all continue to be such a blessing! These last months, I have thanked God even more for giving her to me as my sister . . . .

Leah . . . thank you so much for always being there for me - to talk with, to listen, and to give wise counsel and help, for your laughter and the sunshine you bring to our days, for all the fun times we have together, for your sincere love for the Lord and for others, for your strong faith and trust in Him, and much more. You are such a special person, and I love you so much!


Now onto what we did on her birthday :) . . . the first plan didn't work out unfortunately (going hiking) so we opted for "plan 2" and went out to a drive/walk through conservation area . . . .

It was such a beautiful day!

A native flower, Rose Mallow 

A honeybee on another native flower, Swamp Milkweed 

There was a lot of the pretty pink Swamp Milkweed blooming along the way

Waiting for a Monarch butterfly to land before slowly approaching. Can you see it fluttering around on the far left?
(photo by Leah) 

And it landed! You can't tell in the photo, but there was a drop off right at the edge of the mowed area, so I couldn't get much closer than this.
(Photo by Leah)

The photo that was captured . .. a monarch butterfly on the milkweed

And another one getting nectar from the flowers 

A Double-crested Cormorant letting me get this quick photo before it flew off

Cattails growing along the water's edge 

 A flower that I was not able to identify . . . can you see the Japanese beetles on it?

 A Great Egret just about ready to take flight

And off it goes to find a more secluded place 

A bunch of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons taking flight 

Two turkey vultures enjoying the sun while sitting in this big, dead tree 

Leah and Mom 

How I love the sound of water flowing! The sight of it wasn't as pleasant, though, as it was rather scuzzy water, but one just had to overlook that. :) 

Mom looking at a Green Heron and a Red Headed Woodpecker 

Another of the beautiful views there 

So much blue sky and white fluffy clouds! What an incredible Creator is the Lord to design such beauty 

A snake I found slithering through the rocks 

Mom watching the little minnows down in the water while Leah and Dad watch the snake

Great Egrets way out there

The tree covered bluffs in the distance


  1. Happy birthday Leah! I'm so glad you have each other, especially this difficult year.

    My sister and I live in different cities, and although we stay in touch, it isn't the same at all.

    Sarah, this is irrelevant, but I can't help noticing how very shiny your hair is in these photos! Do you use anything particular to make it that way? Something from Niobrara Farms perhaps? :-)

    1. She says 'thank you', Rena! I am glad for that, too . . . more than I can say.

      Even though living in different cities is not the same as living close, it's wonderful that you and your sister keep in touch despite the distance!

      I think the photo makes my hair look a little shinier than what it really is. :) No, I don't put anything particular on it to make it that way. I do try to eat healthy and then I don't use any hairspray, gels, etc. in my hair and very rarely use a curling iron. So I think all that helps!

  2. What a perfect way to spend a birthday...belated wishes to Leah!

    1. It was, Elizabeth! And she says 'thank you'. :)

  3. PS. I wonder if your yellow flower is the Horned Poppy?

    1. It does look similar, but isn't quite the same. Thanks for the suggestion! The next time I see one, I'll have to look more closely at it and see if I can get it identified!

  4. Happy belated birthday, Leah! The photos are just beautiful. I am ready for the Japanese beetles to leave. They have eaten the second blossom on my newly planted magnolia tree and some of my roses, not to mention two trees in the yard. :( It looks like you all enjoyed a beautiful day! :)

    1. She says 'thank you', Anne!

      And thank you for your kind words about the photos. I know what you mean about the Japanese beetles! I am sorry they caused such damage at your place . . . it's always sad to see. They are so destructive! Hopefully they leave soon, and don't come back next year!

      Yes, we did indeed!

  5. Happy belated birthday Leah. What a beautiful way to share a special day.

    1. It was, Suze! And she says 'thank you' back. :)

  6. thewarmfireplaceAugust 24, 2016

    Happy birthday to Leah, and what a wonderful day out together, a lovely picture of the monarch butterfly, we don't have those in the UK, what a super shot you got of it. They are so beautiful and graceful, I have buddlias in my garden and I love to see them smothered in butterflies. Sue

    1. 'Thank you' from Leah for the birthday greeting, Sue! It was a wonderful day. Glad you enjoyed the photo of the monarch butterfly! It's always fun to photograph those as yes, they are so beautiful and graceful.

      It must be a lovely sight to see so many butterflies on your plants! What a treat to enjoy.

  7. Happy belated birthday Leah!

    Love your butterfly pictures. Can't believe how close you got. You have great camera with zoom options.

    1. She says 'thank you' back, Leah!

      I am glad you enjoyed the photos! The butterfly did let me get pretty close to it and having a camera that zooms helps. I also cropped the photo, too, so it looks like I got closer than I was!

  8. Your pictures of the monarch butterfly are beautiful! What a lovely way to spend your sister's birthday. I must admit your picture of the snake made me shudder, thankfully, we generally do not have snakes that large in our area.

    May the LORD bless and keep Leah throughout the year ahead!

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I don't blame you on the response to the snake photo. :) I am not fond of them either. They are interesting to see sometimes . . . but at a distance!

      Thanks so much for your kind words to her! She appreciated them. :)


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