Skip to main content

Watch your tail!

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

We found this fine and unusually large specimen of a Mediterranean gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) in our attic yesterday. Unfortunately, as I was releasing him our cat Gator suddenly appeared and pursued the poor lizard, chasing him through a fence. He made it out with his life, but the cat got ahold of his elegant tail, which she proceeded to eat. I know geckos are made to release their tails to distract predators, but I felt sorry for him all the same. But he will grow another one eventually, though perhaps not as perfect as the first.

The Champion Pecan Tree

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

This is the biggest pecan tree in Texas, which grows not far from where we live. Finally, after living out here fourteen years, we found time to go see it!

(Click to see larger photos)

The tree is on private property, but the folks who own it are kind enough to let people come and see it. The tree is 90 feet tall, and has a trunk diameter of nearly seven feet. It has been estimated to be from 900 to 1,100 years old.

Hymn of the Week – We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

Words by Elizabeth Mills (1836)
Music by William Miller (1859)
Sheet music

O land of rest, for thee I sigh!
When will the moment come
When I shall lay my armor by
And dwell in peace at home?

We’ll work till Jesus comes,
We’ll work till Jesus comes,
We’ll work till Jesus comes,
And we’ll be gathered home.

No tranquil joys on earth I know,
No peaceful, sheltering dome;
This world’s a wilderness of woe,
This world is not my home.

To Jesus Christ I fled for rest;
He bade me cease to roam,
And lean for comfort on His breast
Till He conduct me home.

I sought at once my Savior’s side;
No more my steps shall roam.
With Him I’ll brave death’s chilling tide
And reach my heav’nly home.

Ah Lovely Appearance of Death!

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

A while back I interlibrary loaned a reprint of the 1816 hymnal Kentucky Harmony.  As I paged through the old fasola hymns, one caught my eye, set to the tune “Savannah.”  The poetry was strikingly morbid, and I was intrigued.  Later on I researched the poem, and found it in its entirety in a book of poems by John and Charles Wesley.  I am still not sure which of them wrote this particular one, but it does present some very interesting thoughts.  As you read it, listen to this MIDI file of the tune “Savannah” to set the mood.

Hymn V
On the Sight of a Corpse.

Ah lovely appearance of death!
No sight upon earth is so fair!
Not all the gay pageants that breathe,
Can with a dead body compare: Read More

Field Flowers

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

A wheat field stretching in billowy greenness as far as the eye could reach, with a promise of grain in its swaying tops, and countless wild flowers crowding and pushing among its growing stems for a glimpse at the sun.

“Do not crowd me so,” said a wheat stalk, swelling with a sense of importance and rejoicing in an incipient head. “Do not crowd me; make way for your betters.”

The little purple flower drooped its head timidly at the rough tone, but, on second thought, raised its dewy face, and made answer: “I am not crowding you, but I must have room to grow as well as you.”

“Why must you have room to grow?” said the wheat stalk, querulously. “Of what use are you in the world, anyway?”

“I adorn it; I help to beautify it; I add my humble flowers to celebrate the coming of spring.”

“Fiddlesticks!” said the wheat stalk, contemptuously. “You are of no use whatsoever. Read More