Monday, October 08, 2007
On Saturday, September 22nd, our family both attended and participated in a celebration of the 220th anniversary of the signing of our nation's Constitution.
John & Joshua helped with the video-taping of the event. Dad dressed in colonial attire to fit the occasion and the rest of us enjoyed the speeches, patriotic music, re-enactors, and other events of the day.
Thankfully, since everything was outdoors in front of the Historic Lapeer County Courthouse (circa 1845), the Lord gave us a beautiful day weather wise. The day's activities began with a short parade through part of downtown Lapeer. It was followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Then, sprinkled throughout the afternoon, were readings of parts of the U.S. Constitution between speeches by two guest speakers (Dr. William Allen - professor of Political Philosophy at M.S.U. and Col. John Eidsmoe - retired Air Force Lt. Colonel & professor of law).
Also, there was a patriotic concert by the Lapeer Civic Orchestra (some members of our church play in it) and a choral concert by a local church choir.
While all these things were going on in front of the Courthouse, off to one side a group of re-enactors portraying settlers, trappers, and soldiers from our State's early history had an encampment with lots of fascinating artifacts and crafts. Our good friend Brian Ervin was primarily responsible for organizing this wonderful day.
Overall, it was a great time and we thank God for the freedoms we have and the godly heritage left to us by our founding fathers. Hopefully, we will not waste it nor continue to water down the principles upon which this great nation was founded.
[Nothern Saw-whet owl pictured]
The great yellow eyes stared back at my steel blue ones and I felt, at the same time, both glad and sad that the leather gloved fingers of Joe Rogers were wrapped tightly around each talon tipped leg of the beautiful Great Horned Owl. Glad, because they enabled me to get a wonderful view of this powerful predator with no danger to myself. Sad, because this amazing bird that God created will never again be able to fly free in the habitat that God designed it for. You see that owl, like all the other raptors we met that evening had been injured in one way or another and would not be able to survive on their own back in the wild. Before I go any farther however, let me give you a little background.
It was Tuesday, September 18 and we were on our way to the Seven Ponds Nature Center for a program presented by Joe and Barb Rogers, the founders of the Wildlife Recovery Association. The Association is dedicated to taking in injured wildlife, rehabilitating them, and if possible releasing them back into the wild. If they are too badly injured to be released they do their best to make them comfortable for the rest of their lives. At this time all of their patients are birds, raptors to be more specific.
On Tuesday, Mr. Rogers had brought a variety of birds of prey ranging in size from tiny Screech Owls and American Kestrels to a Turkey Vulture and Bald Eagle. The Kestrels were very excitable little fellows who kept flapping their wings for all they were worth and screaming at the tops of their little lungs. Each of the birds that Mr. Rogers uses on his presentations is injured in some that prevents its release. He would never bring a wild bird that can be released back to its natural habitat. Of the birds we met, the most common injury was permanently damaged wings, and a few of them were blind in one eye.
I tremendously enjoyed getting to see these amazing aspects of God’s handiwork up close. Every one of these beautiful birds was created to fit perfectly into its environment. The hawk has powerful stiff feathers to give it strong downward thrust so that it can fly fast enough to catch its prey. The owl’s feathers are much less stiff to enable it to fly silently so that it can stalk its prey.
I thank God for the variety and wisdom that He used in His creation. Also many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Rogers for sharing their love for wildlife with us. May God bless you in your wonderful work.