Nature Retreat

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“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelations 4:11)
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“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” – George Washington Carver
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“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” – Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

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Nature Photography Links

“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?” – St. Augustine

8 Animals You Won’t Believe Actually Exist – Very interesting! This is a 6-minute video of rare animals many don’t know exist.

2015 Audubon Photography Awards Top 100 – Scroll through 100 spectacular photos of birds

21+ Animals That Want To Be Photographers – Ok, so this is a bit out of the norm, but it will bring you smiles. It’s so delightful to see how curious and smart even wild animals can be.

50 Cute Baby Wild Animals – Video of adorable photos of baby animals

50 Mind-Blowing Examples of Macro Photography – “Seeing flowers and insects in all their minute details, makes you realize that there’s always more than meets the eye. Part of the fun of macro photography is showing this hidden beauty.”

50 Natural Wonders: The Ultimate List of Scenic Splendor – Incredible scenes from giant crystal caves to mud volcanoes and rock formations that look like works of art

50 States – 50 Natural Wonders – CNN showcases a natural wonder in each of the 50 states. Some are world-renowned and undeniably spectacular, while others are less-discovered gems. Each of their favorite spots, in its way, helps define its home state.

51 Natural Wonders So Amazing It’s Hard to Believe They Exist – Incredible wonders no artist but God can paint

100 Fantastic Photos of Reptiles and Amphibians – “Whether these creatures are swimming in ponds or slithering underfoot, numerous talented photographers have found them to be the perfect subjects for many beautiful compositions.”

100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World – From Your Amazing Places – “From majestic waterfalls, and lost cities, to mysterious landmarks and natural wonders, here is a collection of pictures which is worth to be looked on.”

10,000 Birds – “Welcome to 10,000 birds, just the place for people who love birds, pictures of birds, and people who write about birds, birding, conservation, and much more.”

A Window Into the Woods – Awesome photography of wildlife and nature

Abba’s Creations Photography – God’s Creation Captured in Fine Art Photography – awesome landscape photos you can view either singly or in a slide show

Abbott Nature Photography – Galleries of a variety of amazing nature photos (wildlife, macro photos of insects, and more) by John and Kendra Abbott.

African Photography Blog – Stunning African wildlife photos by Greg Du Toit

All About Birds by Cornell Lab of Ornithology – An online guide to birds and bird watching. Includes live bird cams.

Amazed by You Photography: God’s Creation – Stunning nature photos

Animal Expressions – I love this! Not all the photos are wild animals, but I’m certain they will bring some smiles into your day! “A look at the interesting faces of all kinds of creatures and different forms of communication among the species.”

Animal Photography – Discovery News’ Must-See Animal Shots Among Photography Finalists

Animal Safari: Wildlife That Makes You Say WOW! – 40 awesome photos taken by various artists on an African Safari

Animals: Discovery News – Enjoy these exceptional photos of all kinds of animals

Another Bird Blog – Bird watching, bird ringing, and some great photography

Art in Nature Photography -“Floris van Breugel is passionate about exploring nature and sharing his unique perspective through photography with the aim of inspiring viewers to learn more about the natural world.” His photos truly do give inspiring views of nature.

Beauty of Nature: 100 Brilliant Examples of Bird Photography – Wow! Incredible photos!

Beetles In the Bush – An agricultural entomologist with a special interest in beetles shares excellent photos and research

Birder’s Journey – Photos, insight, and inspiration about birding

Birds and Blooms – A celebration of our natural world through stories and photography by Jim Flowers

Burrowing Owl Video – This video of burrowing owls from Cornell Lab is just so cute! I love it!

Colorful Sea Creatures – A photo gallery of 12 colorful sea creatures and photo links to other ocean galleries

Conservation Institute: Earth Matters – Awesome photos and animal facts that “instill a sense of awe and reverence for this incredible world we live in by showcasing the beauty and wonder of nature.”

Crystal Frost Patterns – It always amazes me what unique designs God creates with frost. Here are some shared photos on Pinterest.

Daniel Buck Fine Art Photography – Galleries of amazing Alaska photography – Daniel’s “vision as an artist is for his audience to connect with the natural world around them and foster a greater appreciation for the stunning world that we all call home.”

David G. Hemmings’ Nature’s Photo Adventures – Sit back and enjoy these stunning wildlife photos

Did You Bring Your Camera – Refreshing, awesome snapshots of God’s marvelous creation in various categories from Anita Johnson

Dina’s City Wildlife Adventures – Beautiful photos of birds and nature

Discover Wildlife – Lots of wildlife photography and information

Don Getty’s Wildlife and Nature Gallery – Starts out with an awesome slide show

Evosia Studios – You can’t help but be awed at the beauty and power of our Creator when you view Henry Jun Wah Lee’s spectacular photos and videos.

Explore.org – Oodles of live cams and snapshots of animals, primarily wildlife, along with a blog of the explore team’s travels

Gary Jones Wildlife Photography – Amazing, unique wildlife photos

God’s Beautiful Creation – Breathtaking scenes of nature that will put you in awe of the Amazing Creator. In the background, Brian Doerksen sings “Creation Calls.”

God’s Signs and Seals of His Generous Love – A visit from a Baltimore Oriole and other bird photos

HubbleSite Gallery – “Spectacular pictures of stars, galleries, nebulae, and more. Picture album spreads the universe out before you in its dazzling complexity.”

Insects and Bugs on the Web – “This site aims to help you really see insects for the miniature marvels they represent and to understand how intertwined our cultures have become with these alien creatures.” Includes stunning macrophotography.

Insects and Spiders Photo Galleries – Thousands of spectacular macro photos in various categories of insects and spiders by M Plonsky

Insect Macro Photography Video – by Cyrus Khamak – video showing the fascinating complexities of insects

Interesting Insects by Sayer’s Photography – “Insects up close and personal! It’s amazing how beautiful they can be when you take a closer look with a macro lens.”

Jeff Berkes Fine Art Landscape Photography – Amazing photos of nightscapes, extreme weather, volcanoes, and so much more. There are also some free Android or iPhone mobile backgrounds.

John Shaw Photography – Professional nature photographer shares photos and write blog posts

JS Nature Photos – Awesome nature photos from landscapes to wildlife

Landscape Photographs – 120+ magnificent natural landscape photographs

Lirralirra: The Magical Mystery of Birds – A gallery of intriguing images of wild, unbaited birds in natural light by Kim Wormald

Lucid Images Wildlife Photography – Photographing wildlife in its natural habitat provides an exciting glimpse into the fascinating world of nature and wildlife.

Macaulay Library of Birds – This is an extensive library of over 2 million photos of birds! You can search by location, date, or contributor.

Macro Photography and Wildlife Photography – Macro images of insects and other small, beautiful creatures and photos of birds, wildlife, and other nature landscapes and skyscapes

Map of Life – A searchable map for species all over the world. They recently launched a mobile app where one can discover, identify, and record biodiversity worldwide. 

Michael Libbe Photography – You’ll first see a slideshow of breath-taking views of nature. If you scroll down, you can look at the photos by category.

More Amazing Photography Shots Of Our Beautiful World – 45 Photos – “Our planet is far more impressive than we could imagine. It has the power to build landscapes that amaze us even after seeing them a few times. In this article I have gathered pictures of places in our beautiful world that are simply amazing and must be seen. There are a few man made places that were too good to be left out.”

Most Stunning Natural Wonder in Every State – “From Mount Everest to the Great Barrier Reef, the world is full of breathtaking, awe-inspiring natural wonders. But some of Mother Nature’s most stunning creations can be found right here in the U.S. From lush forests and pristine lakes to majestic gorges and towering volcanoes, the country is home to spectacular sights.” (weather.com)

NANPA: North American Nature Photography Association Blog – The nature photos at these blog posts are spectacular. The stories with them promote nature photography as a medium of communication, nature appreciation, and environmental protection.

National Geographic – Wide variety of nature photos

National Geographic’s 2013: Year in Review – Though these aren’t all nature photos, there are some spectacular sights and sounds in this review.

Nature Is God’s Paintbrush – A variety of amazing nature photography of God’s unique creations

NaturePhoto-Cz – Wildlife and Nature Photo Gallery

Nature Photos by Tim Good – Hundreds of stunning nature photos this photographer shares at National Geographic

Natureview Photography – “Hidden or remote, Natureview tries to give a view on the parts of nature that one normally does not see. Be it Polar Bears, walruses, Penguins and Seals of the remote Polar areas, or the dragon- and damselflies that might be hidden somewhere near your house, Natureview tries to expose them.”

Nature Photographers Network – Spectacular photos focusing on the art and technique of nature, wildlife, and landscape photography, lots of galleries to peruse and enjoy

Nature Photographers Online Magazine – Nature, Wildlife, and Landscape Photography Resource

Nature Photography Adventures – “Diane Kelsay and Bob Harvey lead photography adventures to special natural and cultural destinations around the planet. They have a long history, as professional photographers and as planners of sustainable tourism, in creating dramatic light images of natural and cultural destinations and using those images to help in the protection of fragile resources and the development and marketing of destination-sensitive tourism.”

Nature Photos & Images – Download Free Nature Images

Nature Pictures – Royalty Free Photos of Nature

Nature’s Best Photography – Amazing collections of incredible nature photographs

Nature’s Place – Spectacular macro illustrated photos, mostly of insects

NatureScapes.Net Galleries – Amazing photos from talented nature photographers

Nikon’s Small World – Astounding photos that capture “the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope.”

Ocean Galleries – National Geographic’s ocean galleries of various beautiful views of the ocean and of fascinating sea creatures

On The Wing Photography – Mia McPherson’s bird and nature photography site contains blog posts with her photos and the stories behind the images plus her photo galleries of more than 6000 photos of birds, wildlife, and flowers and trees along with landscapes.

Outdoor Photography – Stunning photos of birds, wildlife, wildflowers, and landscapes by Scott Simons. This is also a great place to learn more about photography.

Patrick Zephyr Photography – Galleries of a variety of nature photography from close-ups of jumping spiders, insects, amphibians and reptiles to peaceful landscapes and waterscapes

 Paying Ready Attention – Photo Gallery – If you love birds, Wild Bird Wednesdays are awesome. Stewart posts amazing photos of a bird, and many other bird-watchers link up to share their bird photos.

Philip Schwarz Photography Blog – Nature photography in the Upper Midwest

Photography by Walter Kitundu – Amazing wildlife photos, also access to more on old site

Pixdaus: Nature Photography – Though there are some photos of people, the core focus of this site is the uploading and sharing of amazing nature photos.

Rich Proctor Photography: My World Through a Camera Lens – Spectacular nature photography

Seven Wonders – Stunning views of 7 natural wonders from every country in the world

Spettacolopuro’s Photosets – Though not all nature pics, still many awesome photos of underwater marvels, interesting critters, flora, and more

Steven Round Wildlife Photography – Stunning photos of wildlife

Tailins Photography Blog – The majority of photos here are of nature, especially a variety of birds.

The Butterfly Movie/Flutter Serenade – “The life cycles of butterflies and moths are nothing less than spectacular, especially when seen in intimate, time-lapse photography.”

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology – “The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Our hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation to advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet.” (Cornell Lab’s description) I love their photo ID tool. You can upload a picture you took of a bird; click on the bird’s eye, beak, and tail; and they will identify the bird for you. I tried it and it really works! They have a phone app for this, too.

The Nature Conservancy – Vibrant nature through the lens of photographers and videographers

These Natural Wonders Are Insanely Beautiful – Huffington Post Photos

Twisted Sifter: Animals – Amazing photos of animals – mostly wildlife but a few pet photos sprinkled in

Twisted Sifter: Nature/Space – Phenomenal photos of nature and space

Vicki’s Nature Photostream – Nearly 3000 amazing nature photos including beautiful and rare close-ups of God’s creatures

Wildlife and Nature Photo Gallery – Oodles of wildlife and nature photos

Wildlife and Nature Photos by Andrew Jackson – Oodles of spectacular photos of wildlife, birds, mammals, insects, scenery, landscapes, etc.

Wildlife Photography Journals – Amazing wildlife poses by Rich Steel

Wild Things Photography – John Hyde’s spectacular photos

Wild Wonders of Europe – Galleries of photos revealing Europe’s Amazing Natural Heritage

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Soaking in God’s creation can soothe a troubled soul and strengthen a fainting heart. Yes! God IS still here! Yes! He has ALL things under His control! Yes! He has the POWER to help!

God’s Paintings and Intricate Designs

sunrise
“His splendor was like the sunrise…”
(Habakkuk 3:4)

My son caught this glorious display.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1)

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American Lady Butterfly

From a dull-looking cocoon to this beauty!  “From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.” (Psalm 50:2)

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Brave House Finch

Because God equips birds with amazing insulation, this little guy braved an April ice and snow storm.  “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” (Matthew 10:29)

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Eagle Reflection
Bald Eagle Reflection

Ken from Florida gave me permission to share this. What a majestic creature!  “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” (Isaiah 40:31 AMP)

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Deer
“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights.” (Psalm 18:33)

My brother’s camera captured this stunning creature.  “Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.” (Isaiah 35:6)

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Falls Park

A photo can never portray the powerful force of water rushing over and around these rocks. (Sioux Falls, SD)   “Your path led through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.” (Psalm 77:19)

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Bee on flower
Honey Bee

It takes two million flowers before a honey bee has enough pollen to produce one pound of honey! Always busy drinking in sweetness… “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)

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Sharp-shinned Hawk
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“God created the great creatures of the sea…”

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)

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Pennsylvania leather-wing
Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle
or “Soldier Beetle”

In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:10)

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Washed clean!
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Thank You, Jesus!

And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:21-22)

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Mackinaw Island

Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and He (Jesus) was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn He went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought He was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.” (Mark 6:47-51)

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Your sins will be as white as snow!

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

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“Bloom Where You’re Planted”
~ Mary Engelbreit

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Swan Reflection

It doesn’t matter if you’re born in a duck yard, so long as you are hatched from a swan’s egg!” ― Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling

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Belted Kingfisher

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” ― Robert Lynd

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Mother Love

Some studies have shown that ducklings hear their mother’s voice before hatching and will follow her call after hatching.

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Spearfish Falls, SD
“Our God is an awesome God!”
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“Peace Like a River”
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The Badlands
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Female Bighorn Sheep
Quite a rack!

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