There are a lot of flying creatures who reside in my neck of the woods. Some we see on a regular basis like robins, sparrows, finches, blue jays, hawks and other more common birds. We have the occasional mallards who like to nest along the creek banks and then entertain us throughout the Summer months. Of course, my favorites are the hummingbirds–my neighbor has already seen the scout back from its Winter travels–seems a little early, and that may be an indicator of the Summer we are about to experience. Wait. Isn’t today the first day of Spring??? And it’s like…80°? (And don’t even get me started about the Winter that wasn’t.) But of all the birds that fly around my house, I am probably most intrigued by the barred owls. And we have a LOT of them living in the woods.
This morning, around 3:00 I heard them communicating back and forth. They have a very human-like call and today I believe they were discussing the breakfast menu–something quite freshly caught was about to be shared among friends. Not sure what it was, but they were pretty happy about it. As soon as they finished their discussion, the Cardinals took to the airwaves with their “good mornings”. It was interesting to hear each bird family awaken with their first greetings, then gradually become louder and more song-like. Yes, it was pretty early, but the order was fascinating to me. Almost like a human waking up, stretching and trying to speak with the voice still covered in dreamy sleep. The human voice is not exactly the sweetest sound upon first awaking. Nor are the birds. Sometimes it’s just a semi-shrill whistled note. But gradually the voice becomes fully awake and very sweet. Some of the birds reserve their sweetest songs for daybreak. Others you will hear at dusk. No matter what time of day, I love the songs they sing. Even at 3:00 AM.
Sean and I have practiced calling out to the owls quite a lot…they sound like they are saying “who cooks for you”. We often call out to them around dinner time because that is when the woods are filled with their calls to one another. One evening, the owls actually came a little closer…I think they thought we had crossed into their territory. Of course, we did…we share the same territory. I realize that these owls are predatory creatures. That they will try to eat the songbirds that I feed, or they will seek out bunnies or other small critters that make up our back yard. The owls are welcome to all the snakes and mice they can find. As long as they are around my house, I hope to never see a snake. EVER. It is the price I am willing to pay to see and hear the owls.
The owls and the other birds are a good reminder of the way the Lord takes care of His children. Providing a place to sleep, food, exercise. And when I hear the birds in song, I know they are praising the Creator too. He is the One who gave them their songs. He is the One who taught them to fly and hunt. He is their Provider, just as He is mine.
God the Creator
1 My soul, praise Yahweh! LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with majesty and splendor.
2 He wraps Himself in light as if it were a robe, spreading out the sky like a canopy,
3 laying the beams of His palace on the waters above, making the clouds His chariot, walking on the wings of the wind,
4 and making the winds His messengers, flames of fire His servants.
5 He established the earth on its foundations; it will never be shaken.
6 You covered it with the deep as if it were a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At Your rebuke the waters fled; at the sound of Your thunder they hurried away—
8 mountains rose and valleys sank— to the place You established for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross; they will never cover the earth again.
10 He causes the springs to gush into the valleys; they flow between the mountains.
11 They supply water for every wild beast; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky live beside the springs; they sing among the foliage.
13 He waters the mountains from His palace; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of Your labor.
14 He causes grass to grow for the livestock and provides crops for man to cultivate, producing food from the earth,
15 wine that makes man’s heart glad— making his face shine with oil— and bread that sustains man’s heart.
16 The trees of the LORD flourish, the cedars of Lebanon that He planted.
17 There the birds make their nests; the stork makes its home in the pine trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for hyraxes.
19 He made the moon to mark the festivals; the sun knows when to set.
20 You bring darkness, and it becomes night, when all the forest animals stir.
21 The young lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises; they go back and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work and to his labor until evening.
24 How countless are Your works, LORD! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, vast and wide, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.
26 There the ships move about, and Leviathan, which You formed to play there.
27 All of them wait for You to give them their food at the right time.
28 When You give it to them, they gather it; when You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
29 When You hide Your face, they are terrified; when You take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30 When You send Your breath, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in His works.
32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they pour out smoke.
33 I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to Him; I will rejoice in the LORD.
35 May sinners vanish from the earth and wicked people be no more. My soul, praise Yahweh! Hallelujah!