It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood! – by Nate Simons

Yesterday my neighbors were these hazelnut

male hazelnut catkins dancing in the spring breeze
Male hazelnut catkins dancing in the spring breeze

shrubs next to a wetland filled with the symphonic music of the chorus frogs. The male catkins of the hazelnut shrub, puny and stubby all winter, were elongated and dancing in the breeze as the wind pollinated female flowers on nearby branchlets. The fruit will form and hazelnuts will be borne in the fall. And chipmunks and squirrels will relish them.

I anticipate this harbinger of spring…the flowering of the hazelnuts. And I am reminded that our Dad is still in control of and cares for and is in love with his very good creation. All if it. Yes, even his dearly-loved kids!


Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in

the easily-overlooked female hazelnut flower
The easily-overlooked female hazelnut flower

vast reservoirs. Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command. But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.  Psalm 33: 3-9, 11, 13-15, 18-22  NLT

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