See what’s blooming at Chinsegut

Friends of Chinsegut Conservation Center

!purple passion flower 2 Purple Passion Flower

Do you want to see how beautiful the Purple Passion Flower is in the wild? Well, it’s time to visit Chinsegut Conservation Center. There is a field full of these beauties along the Nature Center Trail.

!Sparkleberry Sparkleberry 

This native and small-statured tree grows best on sandy and dry soils, and can reach up to 25 feet in full sun to partial shade. Its range extends throughout the southeastern United States, from Virginia south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Kansas. Leaves are deciduous but can exhibit more evergreen characteristics in the warmer climates of its southern range. The simple, alternately arranged leaves are 2 inches long and range in shape from elliptical to obovate. The tips of the leaves are rounded and the margins may or may not exhibit small serrations. The thinly veined leaves are a glossy dark green on the topside and a…

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Excellent Photo Hike


“Started off at Perry Oldenburg WEA and ended with another hike at Chinsegut.

Thank you all for a wonderful photography hike!” Alice


I had a wonderful workout and time of learning with Alice and our group. I learned more about plants and trees, which is what I have been wanting.

It was great to meet new people, new connections. I look forward to more…

When Life seems Hard — The Teacup story

Such a wonderful and timely message. Thank you.

Life Lessons

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

In life we will all face trials and tribultions. My response to the above quote was “Make me stronger for what? So I can deal with something worse? No thank you. I’m having a hard enough time dealing with this.” Anyone else feel this way? Well several years ago I came across the story of “The Teacup.” No, it didn’t make the trials any easier but it does offer a perspective on them. No matter what your religious affiliation, I think you can appreciate this story.

Teacup Story

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”

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A Time for Everything

“A Time for Everything…

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.” ~Ecclesiastes 3, NIV

I am finding that the more I ponder about life, and all things God, the more I am grasping the essence of Ecclesiastes 3, “A Time/Season for Everything”. As I resurrect myself and my online presence, again, God is guiding me into a new journey in my life. He has birthed a dream, well, many dreams, in me but the most profound is to share hope and His beauty with the world through my photography. So here goes-“Through His Lens” is a work in progress. I dedicate this blog to my late father, Lee B. Woods. Dad I miss you more than I can express. Thanks for being my champion, best friend, and the best example of what a true and real father is all about. You are one of a kind.

I always value comments and feedback.




Sandhill Cranes of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

What an inspiration for this very new-in-the-field photographer. Thank you Steve!

Stephen L Tabone Nature Photography


While in Florida in December and early January, I visited Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, a 22,000 acre preserve located on the edge of Gainesville, Florida. Paynes Prairie is very unique with over 20 distinct biological communities that host a significant variety of wildlife, including bison, horses, alligators, and more than 270 species of birds. The Prairie also has a rich history dating back over 12,000 years when its fertile resources were used by Paleo people, Native American Indians, Spanish adventurers and settlers, and eventually farmers and cattle ranchers. When on the Prairie, I can imagine what much of  Florida looked like many years ago.


Although the canal in the below photo is manmade (circa 1930s), the flora and fauna are representative of what is readily seen when on the La Chua Trail on the northeast side of the Prairie.


Sandhill Crane Range Map

This time of year, one of the attractions for me…

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10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training from Admiral William H. McRaven

Workplace Psychology

For those unable to watch the video on my blog, you can watch it directly on YouTube (University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven),

This is an inspiring and powerful 20-minute commencement speech by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014.

Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech is perhaps one of the best commencement speeches I have ever heard. It is on point and offers some fantastic life and business lessons.

Below are excerpts from his amazing speech.

10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training

1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”

2. If you want to change the world, find…

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