Nature

the Web Editors 10-14-2016

Screenshot from 'Planet Earth II'/YouTube

BBC Earth released online on Oct. 14 an official extended trailer for Planet Earth II, an upcoming sequel to the popular television series Planet Earth, which premiered in 2006. The nearly three minutes long trailer for Planet Earth II is visually striking and a clear reminder of our shared responsibility to protect the incredible planet we’ve been gifted.

Timothy King 04-01-2015
Photo by Timothy King

Photo by Timothy King

If you listen, each bucket has its own special sound. First are the empty buckets and their muted ting of dripping sap falling straight to the galvanized steel bottom. Next is the dop that reverberates from the slightly sweet drop running off the spile to a thin layer of liquid below. But it is the soft, and all too rare and timeless plop that I wait for. That quiet plop (or sometimes plip) signals that over half of that the three-gallon bucket is full and the tap is giving in abundance.

There is a slight quickening of the heart when the bucket is heavy enough to need two hands to pull off the hook. Then an involuntary smile to hear the pitch of the shwoosh ascend as the smaller bucket presents it’s offering to the larger. But sometimes, before I touch the bucket at all, I stop and wait to hear what it has to say. Ting? Dop? Plip? Plop?

I look at the tree and then its neighbors. I strain to hear the rhythm of the buckets around me and wonder, what makes one tap run so well when others are nearly dry?

The Editors 10-17-2014

A video on the way trees and plants communicate. 

Sean McDonagh 10-06-2014

The oldest known redwood in the United States was a sapling during the Babylonian exile. Why trees should be part of Christian core curriculum. 

Juliet Vedral 08-05-2014
Nature illustration,  LYphoto / Shutterstock.com

Nature illustration, LYphoto / Shutterstock.com

In these days barren fields will sprout trees

The deaf and blind will hear and see

The dead will raise and begin to breathe

The earth will groan in pain to see

The sons of God declare to be

His full and glorious family

The beautiful, perfect bride of Thee (Wash Me Clean, Page CXVI)

I am a city girl through and through — I’ve never lived outside of an urban context. Although my family lived in Queens (represent!), our church and community were in the dense and often treeless “ghetto” of Alphabet City, a neighborhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. My experiences of nature have mostly consisted of front and back yards, parks, and occasional trips to the beach or camping. And because I grew up in and spent most of my life in communities of the poor and marginalized, most of my experiences of God have centered around what Divine mercy, justice, healing, liberation, and restoration look like in the human heart.

In other words, it’s very easy for me to grasp the idea of a “New Jerusalem” or “a city whose architect and builder is God.” It’s easy for me to see the human component of God’s kingdom and what it means for people. It’s not so easy for me to imagine trees “clapping their hands” or even fully to appreciate the majesty of God’s handiwork in the stars ... because I’ve rarely seen a night sky free from light pollution. It’s not easy for me to imagine what a renewed creation would look like apart from new hearts and restored people.

Rose Marie Berger 03-06-2014

This Day: New & Collected Sabbath Poems. Counterpoint.

To confront climate change, we may need to first deal with our grief.

Alycia Ashburn 05-11-2013

How do we sustain our climate activism? It can't be about fear.

Danny Duncan Collum 04-04-2013

Vernon Bowman speaks outside the Supreme Court following arguments against Monsanto.

"It's time to declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture."

Joshua Witchger 06-13-2012
The Minister's Tree House in Crossville, Tennn. Photo via Wylio.

The Minister's Tree House in Crossville, Tennn. Photo via Wylio.

God told Noah to build an ark, and God told Horace to build a tree house. That’s pretty much how this story goes.

In the 1990s, Tennessee landscaper Horace Burgess discovered a tall mass of trees near the road, and decided he wanted to turn into the world’s largest tree house. After years of working on his epic project, just as he was running out of steam, he became a Christian and then later a pastor.

Compelled, he says, by the Spirit of God, Burgess finally finished his project in 2004. And, to put it lightly, it’s pretty divine.

Christian Piatt 05-18-2012
Invisible Man, Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock.com

Invisible Man, Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock.com

We finally made it to the Oregon Coast yesterday. I took some pictures in the redwood forest that I’ll share soon, but this post isn’t about that.

We got in before dinner and were happy to learn that we had a hotel room with an ocean view. Not only that, but it actually is right on the beach. So of course, we decided to sleep with the windows open.

It’s one thing to fall asleep to the nature sounds on my iPad; it’s entirely another to drift into an alpha state to the real thing.

And then came the noise. It was this periodic buzzing/honking/humming that started sometime in the middle of the night. It sounded like someone snoring through the wall in the next room. Seriously? I drive two thousand miles to sleep next to the ocean and you’re going to keep me awake snoring?

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.
                                                                —Wordsworth         

Nadia Bolz-Weber 02-27-2012
(Lenten Rose photo by Lynn Whitt/Shutterstock.)

(Lenten Rose photo by Lynn Whitt/Shutterstock.)

40 Ideas for Keeping a Holy Lent from House for All Sinners and Saints, the Denver congregation Nadia serves.

Day 1: Pray for your enemies

Day 2: Walk, carpool, bike or bus it.

Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio

Day 4: Give $20 to a non-profit of your choosing

(Sunday)

Day 5: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon

Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before

Joshua Witchger 02-07-2012

Ferris Bueller's Super Bowl ad compared side by side with the movie, North Korea goes polka via Norway with A-Ha's "Take on Me,"Jimmy Kimmel encourages viewers to pull more pranks, timelapse photography from Yosemite National Park, guess who said it: Dwight Schrute or Newt Gingrich? And an in-depth Interview Magazine chat with Grammy nominated Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. See this and more in today's links.

Joshua Witchger 12-19-2011

http://youtu.be/IEc8k4LUQ7g

Senior citizen flash mob performs Glee's "Last Christmas" at Target, Sir David Attenborough narrates "What a Wonderful World" to clips of nature, Christmas decorations seen as tributes to the Pagan Sun-God, Banksy's latest satrical sculpture on the church, Jesus visits the Denver Broncos, a bread nativity scene, year in review lists, and Teddy the talking porcupine wishes you all a very "Merry Christmas."

Tom Montgomery-Fate 07-01-2011

One man searches for balance between family and solitude, nature and technology.

Joel C. Hunter 02-01-2010

I recently attended a private symposium of Christian leaders—scientists, theologians, and pastors, along with other scholars.

Richard Schiffman 07-01-2009

To you who are lost today
like a needle in a haystack, reading this poem alone.
Alone, brother island, sister moon. The ocean is big,

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