All Creatures Great and Small

All Things Bright and Beautiful

by Cecil Frances Alexander

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,

And lips that we might tell,

How great is God Almighty,

Who has made all things well.

You may have read this poem, probably sung the words to the Presbyterian hymn #20, or watched the PBS series based on the books by English veterinarian James Herriot. I was inspired this week to write about the creatures who have appeared in abundance now that summer is here. The birds are everywhere! Building homes, singing, feeding, and “challenging each other” over territory. We have house wrens who are building a nest in the hanging flower baskets. Not sure what’s wrong with the nearby bushes! Their song is so loud that it seems like they are in our house. Then we have the woodpeckers who, despite the multitude of trees in our woods, choose to drill into our wood siding! The robins are everywhere, competing with the squirrels to see who can eat the most mulberries. Of course, we have blue jays, cardinals, doves, chickadees, and my favorite, the hawks. They are majestic. They rule the top of the food chain. Just ask the birds I’ve named above. On our many trips to Winton Woods and Marsh Lake, we have seen great blue herons, white egrets, cormorants, ducks, turtles. There is rumored to be an eagles’ nest, but we haven’t seen it.

Unfortunately, this year we have not seen as many rabbits or deer. I am afraid the encroaching Rumpke landfill has driven them away, maybe toward the Great Miami or to the farms and forests of Indiana. And I never see raccoons, who used to come around to check out the trash cans before we decided to lock them in our shed. In fact, one of them rang the doorbell in the middle of the night a few years ago. Desperation? Maybe.

I think what this proves to me is that God’s creatures are adaptable. They are looking for the best and most creative ways to survive. We at PRP can take a lesson from all of them. Adapting to a new environment is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and resourcefulness. And a great way to preserve the species.The bald eagle has made a return to the Ohio River Valley region. This is a picture taken by my friend Rick, who is an amateur nature photographer (although he could be a professional!). Perhaps the greatest success story of the last 50 years. A beautiful example of God’s handiwork