It’s the perfect day to take a break from the world and consider beauty around us in unlikely places. The Pinelands is a perfect place to do just that. Called the Pine Barrens by early settlers because they could not plant anything in the area due to the poor quality of the soil, the Barrens sits on top of a large aquifer. The combination of these two seemingly opposite qualities has made it an enormously biologically diverse place.
Congress created the Pinelands National Reserve for several reasons: to protect the area. It’s large, covering about 22 percent of the state. There are at least 900 diverse species of plants and trees, including wild orchids.
When you walk in the Pine Barrens you will see it is not barren, that is, empty. The wildflowers are small and one must be observant to see them. There are different varieties of Asters along with Gentian and crown Vetch, Butterfly Weed, all sorts of ferns, Mountain Laurel, Evening Primrose, just to name a few. Last year courts denied suits by the Sierra Club to stop encroachment with a pipeline by New Jersey Natural Gas. What next?
Prayer for the Day
Filtering through the shade, pitcher plants and gentians greet the morning sun, Crown Vetch and Butterfly weed welcome the nectar seekers;
Only the sounds of birds and turtles splashing in the water
As they give thanks to God for the water and land around them.
Hold us fast, O Lord, to protect your creation from encroachment,
And let not the voices of greed destroy your creation.
In the name of the One who blesses us all,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
From the fire tower on Bear Swamp Hill in Washington Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, the view usually extends about twelve miles. To the north forest land reaches to the horizon. The trees are mainly oaks and pines and the pines predominate.
- John McPhee, nature writer
Blueberry culture has a great future.
- Elizabeth Coleman White, Whitesbog, blueberry cultivator (1871-1954)
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in creation
The Lord who looks on the earth and it trembles,
Who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to God while I have being.
Psalm 104: 31-33