Do You Take Your Shoes Off – or Pluck Blackberries?

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes,
The rest sit around and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thank God for the Birds

Outside our patio window we have bird feeders. I love to watch all the beautiful birds and think of what a creator our God is.

He could have made one kind of bird. Checking National Geographic and various other sites, I found that it is estimated there are between 10,000 to 18,000 different species of birds. Wow!

Birds are some of the most successful vertebrate animals on earth and are found from the North Pole all the way to the South Pole and everywhere in between.

While I love all the birds we see outside our window: cardinals, blue jays, junos, robins, my favorite are the doves. Their “cooing” sound to me is so peaceful. I love to watch them as they walk around the yard. To me, they appear to waddle as they walk. Since I have arthritis very bad in my knees and one leg is shorter than the other, I also waddle. So I laugh as I watch them. I love their grey coloring with touches of black and white.

Doves mate for life. However, their life expectancy is small – only one to two years. Great parents they both feed their new babies. They feed the babies “crop milk.” This food is secreted by the parent’s crop lining and regurgitated to the babies.

Doves have been used for thousands of years as symbols for harmony, peace and love. The ancient Egyptians cultivated them and later the Romans.

Doves appear in the Bible. Noah released one out of the ark to see if it could find dry land. Solomon compared his beloved to a dove and wrote about how sweet her voice was. The book of Leviticus listed many burnt offerings. The doves were used in offerings that were regarded as voluntary offerings representing surrender and commitment to God. When Jesus was baptized by John the heavens opened and a dove descended on Jesus. Bible scholars believe this was a symbol of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus sent His disciples out to witness of the Kingdom of God he told them to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

Doing research on my favorite bird, I was surprised to find that there are different species within the class of doves. The one I am enjoying is the mourning dove. This bird can be found from southern Canada through the lover 48 states and even in Mexico.

Other doves include the Barbary dove found in New Zealand.

The Mexican dove.

The purple-winged ground dove found in South America.

(Thanks to Pixabay.com for pictures of the doves.)