Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tiger Salamander

Our area of Missouri has received more than nine inches of rain over the norm so far this year. (It feels like we've received nine FEET over the norm.) We haven't been able to cut/rake/bale any hay yet this year; and the garden is the consistency of quicksand.

The ponds are full of tadpoles and frogs, as well as mosquito larvae and many other plants, animals, and insects. My son, Mitchell, was able to capture a Tiger Salamander I had found hiding in one of our window wells.

It was about eight inches long and had yellow spots on a brownish/black background. After I took the pictures, I researched them online at the National Geographic website and the Missouri Department of Conservation XPlor website.
On another website, which I can not locate right now, I found out that it's not good to handle the salamanders because it hurts their protective slime layer. Hopefully we haven't damaged this one - the kids didn't handle it very long.
We released it in a shadowy, wet area next to the pond. Since they can live up to 16 years in the wild, perhaps it has many more years to go.
Genesis 1: 20, 24, & 25b "And God said, 'Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.' And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.' And God saw that it was good."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Flag Day

I've had trouble updating my blog. It is most likely "operator error," but, just the same, I haven't been able to get it working. This was supposed to post last week.

June 14th is Flag Day in the United States. It commemorates the adoption of the American Flag. Over the years, there have been many "human flags" formed.

This picture is of school girls carrying umbrellas for a "Human Flag" Altoona, PA - Sept 25, 1912. The parade celebrated the semi-centennial (50 years) of the Conference of Loyal War Governors. This conference occurred on Sept 24-25, 1862 during the Civil War. It included governors from fourteen states. After the conference, the governors sent an address (letter) to President Lincoln saying they pledged their support and extra troops. This enabled the North to win the war. From: Altoona Mirror Souvenir Booklet

I don't have the picture, but, "at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, located in Baltimore, Maryland, a “Human Flag” first lived and breathed on Defender’s Day, September 12, 1914. That date was the one-hundredth anniversary commemorating the War of 1812’s successful defense of Baltimore from the British. The date also honored the anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s penning the words to what is now our National Anthem.”

Another "Human American Flag" was formed c.1916 by 2500 school children in the Pageant of Escanaba, (Michigan) measuring 46’ x 75’. The entire school district put on a pageant of the town’s history. There were skits or speeches about all the inhabitants from the Indians in 1634 to the melding of immigrants from sixteen countries by 1916.

This Living Flag photo was taken of 10,000 men at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station Nov 1917 by Arthur S. Mole. He stood near the top of the Administration Bldg. The photo was taken for the Dec. issue of the Great Lakes Recruit magazine.

On June 14, 2010, Flag Day, 7,500 Sailors from Training Support Center, Naval Hospital Corps School, Recruit Training Command, Naval Station Great Lakes and other commands onboard the installation, formed up to create a living flag. (Photo credit: Naval Station Great Lakes Facebook page)

The U.S. might do well to heed the words God spoke to King Solomon. 2 Chronicles 7:14, "...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."