Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Snow at Walney Pond

"Snow at Walney Pond"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite places to photograph comes to life in the winter months after a snowstorm.

I enjoy walking the trails at Walney Nature Center. By the pond there is a trail that takes you over the bridge then breaks off into two directions.  One trail takes you back around to the bridge while the other will take you up the hill to the Walney Visitors Center and other trails.

Across the street from the pond is Cabell's Mill, built prior to 1800 and operated as a mill until 1916.  Up from the mill is where you can walk the Big Rocky Run Trail which follows, yes- you guessed it- the Big Rocky Run.

Along the trail are beautiful scenery offering bazillion opportunities to photograph.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Photographing The Seasons! Snow at Great Falls National Park, VA

"Snow at Great Falls National Park, VA"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
So far this winter, and it's only the end of January, we have not had any snow to amount to anything.  I've had to reschedule a few meetings and photo shoots due to icy roads but not much else. Unusual for winter in Virginia where our average snow is 25" a season.

I am sharing "Snow at Great Falls National Park, VA" celebrating no snow - so far- this season.   Don't put away the snow shovels yet........

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Rocky Run Stream at Walney"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Your future is in His Hands
by Dr. Jack Graham

"Blessed be the God and  Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

—1 Peter 1:3-4

In these troubling times, have you ever wondered if we can really be hopeful about the future?  I want to assure you that it is possible to live with hope, despite what may be going on around us.

Because while hope is ultimately about the future, it’s also about the present. And that’s because we have a living hope.

Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have hope.  It’s because He lives that hope can reside in your heart if you’re a Christian.

And because of that, there is no need to fear the future!  If you are a child of God, you are chosen and called by Him.  You’re not an accident, an afterthought, or a mistake.  You have been in the heart and mind of God forever, and He has already been planning and preparing your future.

In fact, God knows the end from the beginning… and everything else in your life.  That’s comforting when we face tough times and when we’re tempted to give up.  It’s encouraging to know that we are never, ever without hope!

So today, if you’re tempted to give up on your marriage, don’t!  If you’re thinking about giving up on your kids, don’t!  If you want to give up on your dreams… or even life itself… don’t!

Remember that you have a living hope that is working in your past, your present, and your future.  And as the Scripture teaches us in Romans chapter 5, that hope does not disappoint!

Today, give god thanks for keeping your future in his hands!

To learn more about God's Plan for your life, please visit PowerPoint Ministries with Jack Graham, New Life in Christ.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson
"Put on the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to stand 
against the schemes of the devil."

- Ephesians 6:11

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

National Mail Order Gardening Month-

(C) Used by Permission Clem Onojeghuo, Unsplashed

I hadn’t heard of National Mail Order Gardening Month in January until just a few weeks ago. It should be no surprise since I receive many catalogs, flyers, and brochures in January tempting me to drool over every flower, shrub, bush, tree, ivy, bulbs, and the list goes on- that I didn’t know existed until the catalogs came and I dropped them on the floor of my studio.

I love looking through all of the catalogs and brochures and dream especially on those cold winter days of January when my gardens look like they packed up and went south forgetting to take me with them. So, I drool over their replacements since they won’t know anything until Spring.

Typically, I do not need to replace most plants, except the annuals, every year. Occasionally, we’ll have a nasty cold, snowy, and blustery winter which will kill a plant or two but I won’t know that until Spring arrives and my plants return from their winter vacation.

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
I haven’t been one for mail ordering my plants over the years simply because I can go to the local nursery to see plants. However, even the largest nursery in the universe doesn’t sell every plant known to man. Practically, but not every.

This is when National Gardening Mail Order catalog deluges are a most handy product to have. I can’t count the number of unique plants I’ve found by looking through the catalogs or the many ideas I’ve created.

When the gardening mail order catalogs come, take time to look through them and see what you can see and dream what you can dream- remember Spring will be here before you know it. And, you’ll want to be prepared. If you do not want paper catalogs, and all that mail, you can receive the sales catalogs by email.

When I first started gardening, I used a mail-order catalog and had a bit of a disappointment. The plants came surprisingly small which meant they wouldn’t be their full size until next season. I knew they would be small, but not as small as they were. Pay attention to the details about the plants, the size when delivered and how they are delivered. In my experience, I was pleased with ordering plants and not having them delivered until time to plant. The pricing was pleasing too.

While I am not endorsing or recommending any mail-order nursery, I have had excellent results and customer service from Spring Hill Nurseries.

It is good to have a plan where you will or want to plant plants before you spend tons of money then find yourself trying to “find” places to plant them. Draw out a sketch and keep it somewhere to use when the plants arrive.

Be sure to save catalogs that are your absolute favorites. By that, I mean the ones which you’ve ordered products from and ones which have great photos of plants you like. In a future post, I will share a few ideas to repurpose those awesome catalogs. If you receive more than one catalog from a company, many not necessarily a duplicate, keep those two- you’ll need them.

Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson

"For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish 
but have eternal life."

- John 3:16, ESV

It was hard for me to believe that God would give His Only Son to die on a cross for me.  For you too.  Why would someone do something like that?  Out of love, of course.

Growing up, I was the nerd that many people liked to pick on or ignore or all those fun things that kids, and now even adults, liked to do or say to others who are different from them especially a bit nerdy.  Before I retired, I was called the office nerd- but didn't understand why they meant it to be rude.

As I grew older, I learned to ignore those people who liked to pick on others that were a bit nerdy, if not a lot nerdy in my case and grew past that but it still made understanding of God's Love a bit difficult since I cannot see Him but I can see people.

I accepted Christ as a young child, around age 6, and decided to reconfirm things with Him- just in case- when I was in college.  I have believed in God all of my life but have had a few periods of time when I wondered especially when a Christian or a ministry worker would be really obnoxious or rude even in my adult years.

Despite what you or I have been through or who we are or our status in this life, Christ gave His Son to die for us on a cross.  Two days later, he rose from the grave, ascended to heaven so we could spend eternity with Him.  He did this for you, for me, even us office nerds!  Everyone- all you have to do is accept Him as your Savior.  You can do this by following the steps in this graphic!

(C) Allen Pearson
  If you would like to learn more, or have questions, please visit Peace With God!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday's Foto! Norfolk Southern at Horseshoe Curve

"Norfolk Southern At Horseshoe Curve"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
A trip to Horseshoe Curve Historical Landmark was an incredible journey. My wife and I spent four hours watching trains and easily saw fourteen go by!

"Norfolk Southern at Horseshoe Curve" was created during the September afternoon of watching trains go by.  Prints and note cards are available at Allen Pearson's Photos.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson

"But, as it is written, 
'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
 nor heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him-'"

- 1 Corinthians 2:9, ESV

Why Plant Natives?

Used by Permision, PlantNoVaNatives

Do you want to save the environment? Start by planting native plants, at your own home or workplace.

The future of songbirds, frogs, and all the other wildlife we love is dependent on our making room for their habitat on our properties. The crucial first step for creating habitat is to use native plants, because most of the caterpillars and insects that larger wildlife need to eat can only themselves eat the native plants with which they evolved over the millennia. They are incapable of surviving in a landscape dominated by turf grass or other plants that were introduced from other parts of the world, which are increasingly dominating our land.

Do you also want a beautiful property with little maintenance required? Native plants are the ones for you! There are hundreds of native species to choose between, all of them adapted to our particular growing conditions and therefore requiring no fertilizer or pesticides, and watering only until established. Many are familiar to any gardener – phlox, dogwood, redbud, and black-eyed Susan are examples.

All the information you need to get started in Northern Virginia can be found at PlantNoVaNatives - Naturally Beautiful!.

Though I plant natives, this post was repinted with permission from www.plantnovanatives.org!

Used by Permission


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"The Northern Cardinals in a Blizzard"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Live Forgiven
by Max Lucado from Live Loved

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." – 1 John 1:9

“God’s well of grace must have a bottom to it,” we reason.

“A person can request forgiveness only so many times,” contends our common sense.

“Cash in too many mercy checks, and sooner or later one is going to bounce!”

The devil loves this line of logic. If he can convince us that God’s grace has limited funds, we’ll draw the logical conclusion. The account is empty. God has locked the door to his throne room. Pound all you want; pray all you want. No access to God.

“No access to God” unleashes a beehive of concerns. We are orphans, unprotected and exposed. Heaven, if there is such a place, has been removed from the itinerary. Vulnerable in this life and doomed in the next. The fear of disappointing God has teeth…

Nothing fosters fear like an ignorance of mercy.

May I speak candidly? If you haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness, you are doomed to fear. Nothing can deliver you from the gnawing realization that you have disregarded your Maker and disobeyed His instruction. No pill, pep talk, psychiatrist, or possession can set the sinner’s heart at ease. You may deaden the fear, but you can’t remove it. Only God’s grace can.

Have you accepted the forgiveness of Christ? If not, do so.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

Your prayer can be as simple as this:

Dear Father, I need forgiveness. I admit that I have turned away from You. Please forgive me. I place my soul in Your hands and my trust in Your grace. Through Jesus I pray, amen.

Having received God’s forgiveness, live forgiven!

When Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed.

How amazing, precious Lord, is Your forgiveness. No matter how many times we fail, we will confess our sin and accept Your faithful mercy. Lord, You are always listening to our prayers, and there is no limit to Your amazing power. Your love never quits or gives up. We awaken each day to Your magnificent love, amen.

"I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me."
 – Psalm 86:12-13

"I will praise You, for You have… become my salvation." – Psalm 118:21

"You, Lord, are good and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You." – Psalm 86:5

Used by permission of Max Lucado.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson
"Therefore put away all filthiness
and rampant wickedness
and receive with
meekness the implanted word,
which is able to save your souls."

- James 1:21, ESV

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Photographing the Seasons! Fall in Loudoun

"Fall in Loudoun"
(C) 2016 Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
"Fall in Loudoun" is a great example of taking your camera with you everywhere you go.

The day began with me helping a friend.  I brought my camera with me hoping to capture some Fall landscapes in the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

My journey that day took me through back roads but not into the battlefield.  However, I was able to catch several great Fall scenes as I traveled through the area.

Prints of this scene is available at my website, Allen Pearson's Photos.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Railroad Photography: The Coal Train

"The Coal Train!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
When I was a young sprat, many years ago in a time very far away, I spent time at my grandmother's house.  Besides spending time with my grandmother, I loved sitting on the porch of her house watching the trains go by.  Couldn't be enough trains to go by for my tastes.

A few years ago, I got to visit the town where my Grandmother's old house is located.  She'd moved away many years before and now she's gone on to heaven.  Of course, great times had on her porch came to mind.

The coal train was a staple of my "growin' up" years.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"A Cedar Waxwing"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Finding Your Contentment in Jesus

...and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said,
‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’” - Hebrews 13:5-6

As you face the new year, I want you to find your contentment in Jesus, your companionship in Jesus, and your confidence in Jesus. Then you’ll find your comfort and your courage in Jesus. When you are contented in Jesus and He is closer to you than any one on earth could possibly be; when you are confident in the midst of trials and testing that He will provide...then, and only then, will you know the courage that comes from His comforting presence.

Pray, “Lord, with all my heart, with all I am, I want to know you. I want our relationship to be close and my faith to grow. Cleanse me and make me new that I may be all that You want me to be this year.”

To learn about salvation, please visit Love Worth Finding - Assurance-of-Salvation.

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday's Foto! A Grey Winters Morning

"A Grey Winter's Morning"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
For me, when I had to commute to the office, "A Grey Winter's Morning" is much better than a snowy one.  At least I could get to work without worrying about sliding into another car or one sliding into mine or falling down as ice I didn't see.

Fog has always caught my attention so it's no wonder that I find beauty in its mysterious presence.  I've found several places to photograph the beauty of fog throughout my career like a local walking trail or just in your own neighborhood.

"A Grey Winter's Morning" was captured when I got out of my car at Walney Pond in Centreville, VA.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

National Bird Day!

"American Robin"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Happy National Bird Day!

While working on a pet topic calendar for my dog Noah's blog, From The Dog's Paw, I found this listing on one of the animal calendar references for National Bird Day and had to share it with you.

The basic purpose of National Bird Day is to remind people to take time to appreciate the native wild birds in our own backyard and community. It is a day to bring attention to improving the lives of birds in captivity and to support the efforts to protect them in the wild.

The day caught my attention as I love watching the birds in my backyard. I love providing food, water, bird houses, and a habitat garden to support the birds which may have lost habitat due to development.  Some of the birds which stop by for a snack, a drink of water and maybe a bath are just flying through, while many others are native to the area.

When I began landscaping my property and designing the wildlife garden, I installed the birdhouses and birdbaths first. These would be the primary focus of the rest of the landscaping and garden.  Eact time I've done this, I've had the opportunity to view the birds up close!

Celebrate National Bird Day: January 5th www.NationalBirdDay.com!

"The Northern Cardinal"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday Word's

(C) Allen Pearson

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation.
The old has passed away;
Behold, the new has come."

- 2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
Once again, another New Year has come!  I think it's fun to make New Year's Resolutions and try to keep them for me than a day or two!

The best decision I made in my life many years ago was to become a Christian.  Over the years, I've learned more about the Bible, God, and Jesus thanks to the many teachers and Pastors which I've met over the years.
Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Becoming a Christian hasn't provided me the easiest life with everything going absolutely perfect with no problems. However, a joy in my heart from Christ has helped me get through life's events with comfort and a peace that often passed my understanding.

Following Christ takes faith and always have faith.  Sometimes, I analyze things I cannot see or understand way too much. Whatever I cannot see, I really analyze. So the times I doubt, I follow my faith and believe.  It's been the greatest experience I have ever had.

If you would like to learn more, please read through this-

Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we  confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

"(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
24) and are justified by his grace as a gift,
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
- Romans 3:23-24, ESV

"(23) For the wages of sin is death, 
but the free gift of God is 
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 - Romans 6:23, ESV

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

(16) “For God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only Son, 
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life."
 - John 3:16, ESV 

Confess of your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

(9) "because, if you confess 
with your mouth that Jesus is Lord 
and believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead, you will be saved. "
- Romans 10:9, ESV

(13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  
 - Romans 10:13, ESV

"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation 
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
 for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."


If you prayed this prayer with your whole heart and believed what you did, you are now a Christian.  My suggestion is to find a local church and become involved.  Talk to the pastor about this experience and ask him to teach you where to go or what to do next.

If you are not familiar with a local church, a few excellent resources to get you started or who can follow up with you are:

Southern Baptist Convention

Additional resource in Virginia, Southern Baptist Conservatives

Peace With God

In Touch Ministries, Dr. Charles Stanley

David Jeremiah

Thru the Bible

May God Bless you!

Used by Permission, GraphicStock