The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

The thoughts expressed here are my personal thoughts and sometimes reflect my political views. As a private citizen I have every right to express these views.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More Big Birds

Cormorant with a fish
If you're a regular reader of this odd blog of mine, you'll know that I find birds especially interesting. Over the years I've taken note of a wide variety of things, ideas, and experiences and gathered them under the heading "Personal Proofs of God's Existence." They are "personal" proofs because many likely have meaning only to me or to those few who share my strange way of viewing creation. The number of these proofs now approaches 100, and the presence of birds in our world was among the earliest. Some day, perhaps, I will list and explain them all...but not today.

I find the existence of birds to be inexplicable from a human or scientific perspective. Those who believe that birds and other flying creatures simply evolved are fooling themselves. When you consider all the physical changes that would be necessary to turn a terrestrial creature into a flying creature...well, those changes simply could not happen all at once; and there would be zero likelihood of them happening one at a time over time since each change in itself would have no evolutionary purpose. 

No, to me birds are wonderful examples of God's whimsical approach to creation. It's as if He looked forward to us still-to-be-created humans and thought, "Let's give these earth-bound, air-breathing creatures of My image and likeness something to contemplate, something to set their minds a-soaring, something they would never imagine on their own. We'll give them birds and bugs, creatures that can fly above the earth and through the air." What a delight that creative act must have been -- and "God saw that it was good."


Owl #1 giving me the eye
As a former Navy pilot, someone who truly enjoyed flying, I was amazed that I, too, could fly above the earth and through the air. I also enjoyed watching birds in flight and could only marvel at their capabilities. And then, one day, while flying my Navy helicopter off the coast of Southern California, I spotted a large cormorant maneuvering over a school of fish. He was beautiful to watch, a remarkably skilled aviator, who suddenly dove into the sea and finally surfaced with a large fish in his beak. It was then that I asked myself a fascinating, rather profound question. Would man have invented airplanes and other flying machines had God not created birds or other flying creatures? Without God's creative act would man have even considered the possibility of flight? It's an interesting question without a definitive answer. But my guess is "No."

Anyhow, as you might recall, some weeks ago I was enthralled by the osprey who had taken up residence in a large live oak tree behind our home here in Florida. (See posts here and here.) He visited us daily, usually in the morning and evening, for almost six weeks. And then, just a few days ago, he was gone. We had grown accustomed to his high-pitched screeching and his shyness when it came to photography. Whenever I entered the yard, camera in hand, he would stare accusingly at me, and then moments later fly off. We will miss him but trust he'll return next year.
Owl #2 ignoring me
Interestingly, though, nature has apparently replaced our osprey. Two days after his departure, we noted the arrival of two large owls that have taken up residence in the same tree. I know little about owls, so perhaps a reader can let me know what type we have here. Sometimes the two of them perch on the same branch, five or ten feet apart, but they're usually father apart on separate branches. We see them in the late afternoon or early evening, probably getting ready for a night of hunting. Our neighbors have begun to notice them too, especially those who own tiny, yappy, toy Yorkies -- you know, the kind some women carry in their purses. I suspect a three-pound dog wouldn't have a chance if one of our large owls chose him for dinner. 

God is good. Through His Creation He gives us so much to think about and talk about.

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