They Come with Spots? – Mount Rainier

It’s always cool to find out that your favorite animal comes in another form you never heard of.  Squirrels and fish that fly, worms that melt, black bears that are brown, albino moose.  It gives you a new perspective, more reasons to like the creature.  It may even make it seem like there are more of that particular animal now that you know there’s another kind.

And considering that last effect, I now introduce you to another of Mount Rainier’s strange inhabitants… the Spotted Skunk!  That’s right, there are more of these delightful creatures in the world than you realized.  And they’re spreading the love just like their stripped cousins.  There are a few types of Spotted Skunks, and the type in Mount Rainier are simply known as the Western Spotted Skunk.

These guys are smaller and faster than their cousins, and they have finer pelts.  And they have the stink cannon too.  They’ll give off a warning before spraying, usually tapping their feet and raising their tail.  Sometimes they’ll even stand on their front legs and lift their rear end, where the spray comes from, up into the air.  Watch out, they can spray accurately up to 15 feet away.  They can pack up to five shots at a time before taking a week to reload.

Hydrogen peroxide or baking soda are the easiest things to use to get rid of a shot of skunk perfume.  Be careful, these can alter hair color on people as well as animals.  Bleach is also effective in getting rid of the odor, but obviously one should be more careful when using bleach.  Your best bet… just stay far away from them.  Don’t leave food out, they’ll get into just about anything an average camper packs to eat.

Some may want to brave finding one of these little guys for the sake of seeing such a unique creature, or maybe even for the sake of adding to their personal photo collection.  The key to finding more of these unique creatures in Mount Rainier… hike through as much of the park as you can.  The more ground you cover, the more chances you’ll have of seeing what few others have seen.  Mt. Rainier has many different terrains, as we have seen in our series on Life Zones.  To safely and comfortably navigate all areas, make sure you’re fully equipped.  The best place to get all your Mount Rainier equipment… Whittaker Mountaineering.  Not only do they likely have whatever gear you’re looking for, they’re also staffed with experts on Mount Rainier.  Check them out at http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/pg/home

Remember to give God glory for all His creativity!!!

No stones? (John 2)

When you read the stories in the New Testament you don’t often get the picture that the Jews of Jesus’ time were people who sat by and took whatever was dealt to them.  Often times we see them trying to stone people to death, and once we saw them try to push Jesus off of a cliff!

I’m not posting this to say that the Jews were a violent people in general.  But when reading the second half of John 2, one should consider the tendencies that many of the people had when it came to deeds and services related to God.  In religious matters, one could not go about doing as he pleased if it was in opposition to the religious leaders.

One certainly couldn’t go around overturning the merchant tables at the temple, and threatening people with a whip.  But we see a unique event recorded in John 2.  Jesus turned the tables over, threatening violence.  And guess what…

They had nothing to say for themselves, and they did not threaten Christ.

There was something about Jesus, a presence, it seems, that people could not deny.  Here in this passage nobody attacks Jesus.  In fact, nobody even accuses Him of wrong doing.  Sure, they ask Him by what authority He did what He did.  But that’s all they did.  They never even defended their market.

We see Jesus’ presence come into play in other places too.  The main one that comes to my mind is when the soldiers first came to take Christ away to be crucified.  When they ask for Jesus He replies with “I am He”, and they all fall to the ground!  I don’t know what exactly happened, but it cannot be denied that Jesus had a special presence.

And I think that it may be good for us to remember that Christ has the right to be that way in the hearts of other Christians.  Sometimes we see a brother or sister struggling in sin, and we neglect our duty to tell them what Christ says.  Sure, we’re to do so in gentleness, but we are to approach them just the same.

So if you have let Christ be the Lord of your life, listen to Him and let others hear what He says.  Trust that Jesus is the only one who can truly help people.  And trust that if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself.

We destroyed His body, and He rose it up in three days.  We are God’s temple, and he can raise us up as well.  Nobody has grounds to deny His zeal. 

None have stones to throw when Jesus clears the temple.