Monday, January 20, 2014

The Eagle Factor

My first eagle photos taken just last month!  I was thrilled to end 2013 with such pictures.   They are around but either I am in the right place without my camera or the wrong place with my camera... in other words, it is a matter of timing, sighting and "shooting".  These great birds happened to be close by and within range of the zoom of my camera.  The eagles didn't stay long; just time enough for a quick look around before flying off.  I wasn't able to get a photo of them in flight since I was enjoying watching them and not thinking about the camera.   The below shots may not be the best of eagle pictures that you see, but they are my first that I share with you my dear friends and readers.

As I looked at the surrounding scene where the eagles perched,  the tree branches look so dead and devoid of life with a few dried leaves still attached.  A stark setting but in its simplicity,  I am reminded of the power of life contained within these trees unseen to the naked eye. They surprise us each spring as the branches burst forth with amazing fullness of green in proud foliage of life.

Eagles are symbolic of so many noble defining moments, which we as humans can display, such as.... bravery, beauty, freedom, honor, courage, determination, grace, pride, strength.  As situations unfold before us, God has equipped us with wings of eagles that we can soar and rise above the storms of life. We just need to become spiritually aware that we were meant to fly.  Isaiah 40:31 says, "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles."  This is easier said than done sometimes when we are embroiled in a struggling situation, which can or cannot be of our own making.  

Some interesting facts about the eagle that can illustrate a spiritual lesson in trust and rejuvenation:
Learning to trust... an eaglet learns to trust the nudgings of its parents when it is time to fly.  The eaglet doesn't know it has this ability to fly until it first tumbles from the nest and spreads its wings.
    How often do we struggle in trust towards our Father God. When we fear rather than trust, we are unable to spread our wings to rise above circumstance and experience freedom.
Rejuvenation... an eagle molts and loses its feathers periodically throughout the year... a little here and a little there; just enough to require nature's maintenance to renew and repair the eagle for continued strength and ability for its preservation and flight.  
    It is necessary for us, as God's children, to become quiet and allow the healing power of God to renew and repair our hearts and minds that have become worn from adversity. 

I discovered this video showing what it is like to fly like an eagle and how it must feel to be airborne in flight above earth's landscape.  Enjoy being with the movement of this magnificent bird as it is in flight near the French Alps, Chamonix.   A small video camera was cleverly attached to the eagle to give us this amazing viewing pleasure.  Many thanks to Srachi - Flying Eagle Point of View.  Chip Ivory presents it with music "Fly Like an Eagle" by the Steve Miller Band.  Part of the lyrics say, "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'  into the future...."

"I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I'm free...."

You can also watch the clip at this link:

There is a similar post on eagles which I wrote on December 31, 2012 which gives additional information on the eagle.  At that time, I hadn't had the opportunity to take any photos of eagles until these two showed up last month.  You can also read this particular post, "Fly Like an Eagle" at this link:

Can you tell that I think eagles are amazing??  Can you tell that I think Isaiah 40:31 is amazing??

We'll meet again at "The Turn-Up Patch" on February 3......  see you then!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Megaload

What is a megaload?  Since our area has been introduced to a megaload, the following facts are given to help understand the "what, where and why" of such a megaload.
- It is a gigantic shipment of massive equipment that is heading for the tar sands oil region of Northern Alberta, Canada.  There are three such megaloads which will travel through Eastern Oregon as part of the route to the Alberta destination.  At the time of this post, two megaloads came through our area at separate times during December.  
- The equipment carried is called an "evaporator" and used in the extraction and processing of the tar sands into crude oil.  The first megaload that traveled through is 22 feet wide, 376 feet long and weighs 901,000 pounds. The equipment is made in Portland, Oregon, shipped to the Port of Umatilla, where it begins transport across Eastern Oregon, Idaho, Montana and into Alberta.
-  The industrial transporter, Omega Morgan out of Hillsboro, Oregon, mostly travels at night between the hours of 8:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m. to avoid traffic problems and in compliance with ODOT.  Traveling speed is only 35 miles per hour in ideal weather and road conditions; often it crawls at 8 to 12 miles per hour.
-  Eastern Oregon was chosen after previous megaloads faced opposition through the Nez Perce Reservation and a federally designated scenic river corridor on U.S. Highway 12 in Idaho.
-  The new route through the John Day Valley has also been met with environmental protesters resulting in arrests made due to disorderly conduct.
1st Megaload - (click on photos for larger view)
2nd Megaload
The second megaload came through Mt. Vernon on the evening of December 30th.  There has been a lot of "buzz" about these megaloads making a turn in its approach from Highway 395 onto the intersection to Highway 26.  Mt. Vernon is a small community of about 500 and the cross intersection is tiny for such a mega turn.  Since it was determined that the load couldn't negotiate a left turn onto the highway in Mt. Vernon, the load negotiated a tight right turn, then reversed course on nearby private land to head east on Highway 26.  "We have to turn right to go left," Omega Morgan explained.

I was told the expected time that the megaload would be coming through Mt. Vernon, so I grabbed my camera to take some shots of this epic event.  Here are a few photos shown for your spine tingling excitement of seeing a megaload making a right hand turn at an intersection where the stop sign pole had to be removed to make more room.  A string of Christmas lights adorned the load to add festivity for the occasion.
Approach from Hwy 395
  Mt. Vernon Intersection where Hwys 395 & 26 meet
Spectators watching the tight turn
Making the turn
Continued travel on Hwy 26
An excellent news article can be found on the following link.  It also has a map showing the route up into Alberta.  If you click on the map, it entails the route in full detail into Lethbridge, Alberta.  However, the map doesn't show that the route continues on into the upper northern region, destination at the tar sands near Fort McMurray. 
Other recent Megaload news links:

Hmmmmm!  How can megaloads be equated over to our personal lives???  Let's take a look at a few illustrations:
- We can take on megaloads of worry and cares that slow us down in our journey in life. We weren't really meant to carry megaloads; this alone is to be borne by the Almighty God.  You'll notice the name "Mighty Matt" on the industrial truck, first photo on the top; no little half-ton truck displayed here carrying such a load.  That would incur a breakdown fast!  
- Worries seem to compound themselves during the night causing lost sleep and anxiety of heart and mind.  Never take burdens to bed, as they only increase as they unravel in darkness.   
- Your path in life can be slowed to a crawl trying to carry a load that was not meant for you to bear in your own strength.  Wisdom can be clouded, wrong choices made and back roads taken for a long and wearing journey with a faded destination.

The Bible says in Matthew 11:28 to 29... "Come unto me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Join me in two weeks at The Turn-Up Patch on January 20!  As we live out our days throughout this new year of  2014, let us not try to carry megaloads of cares, troubles and worries.  Instead, cast it to the "Mighty Matt",  which is in this case, the power of God well able to carry the load and help us arrive at our destination, most often peace.