Florida oak hammock

Groves and Hammocks

Creation feeds me. Being out in it feeds my soul, and there’s always something new to learn that feeds my mind!

A few weeks ago hubby and I traveled to Florida to visit family and friends. We took a stroll one morning around the Circle B Bar Reserve, and I saw something I had never even heard of before: an oak hammock. Here’s just a glimpse:

Florida oak hammock
Sun streaming through an Oak Hammock at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Florida

These Live Oak trees covered in Spanish moss look nothing like oaks that grow in the northeastern part of the country. Who knew oak trees could look and grow so differently? I had to know more!

Straight from the National Audubon Society: “Hammocks are well-developed evergreen hardwood and palm forests, which grow on soils that are rarely inundated. They often occur as “islands” of high ground within wetland habitats. Soils are sandy and mixed with organic matter from leaf litter.”

On the other hand, an oak grove is a small group of oak trees. Plain and simple.

“Oak Grove” is a popular name for towns, schools, apartments and cemeteries. Here’s a map of public transportation around the city of Boston, and take a peek at what’s at the top!

Map of public transportation around Boston
Boston MBTA Map

Here are a few more tidbits I found:

  • There are about 600 types of oak trees that grow around the world, 90 of which are native to the United States.
  • Even within the United States, the number of oak species growing within smaller regions varies widely, from zero to 20.

I thought I knew what oak leaves looked like. I was right–about a few species! I would have guessed a bunch of others wrong simply based on shape. They look nothing like what I’m used to seeing.

Nature provides endless opportunities for learning. We’ll never run out of new things to experience, observe, or comprehend.

Learning for Life

You know, the Bible also has endless resources of wisdom and knowledge. I’ve been reading it for a few decades, and still discover new tidbits quite regularly!

“Your laws please me; they give me wise advice” (Psalm 119:24).

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Each section of God’s Word provides a different type of wisdom.

Through its books of history, we find examples of how to live as well as how not to. The books of poetry provide wisdom for living, and the prophets provide warnings and promises tied to how we live before God.

The New Testament begins with walking us through the life of Christ, our ultimate example, followed by the history of the beginning of the Church. Then come letters to churches and individuals explaining how to live our new life in Christ. The Bible ends with the Book of Revelation, giving a peek into the end of the world as we know it and the arrival of God’s new heavens and new earth.

When we open the Bible to read for understanding, praying first is a great way to begin! David provides us with many good prayer examples, but here are just two:

“Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions” (Psalm 119:17-18).

“Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word” (Psalm 119:37).

The Bible is a treasure trove of truth. What will you discover today?

6 thoughts on “Groves and Hammocks”

  1. Beautiful post, Lauri! I love traveling and learning, too. We have many different types of Oak trees in Missouri (red, white, pin, post!), I’ve never seen an oak hammock before–wow! I begin each day discovering something new from my daily readings in my Bible! As I grow older, like the trees, I hope to keep gaining more wisdom. I hope you’re doing well! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Somehow, it seems the more years we have behind us the more we realize we don’t know. The wisdom of age brings humility, which helps us to live with eyes wide open to what God has for us, both in his Word and in the world around us. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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