In the rustling grass...

Florida Butterfly Orchid

Following his Syracuse University education and theological training at Auburn Theological Seminary, Maltbie Babcock became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Lockport, New York, in 1882.


Maltbie had been an outstanding athlete in college, and he delighted in running and hiking through the beautiful countryside around Lockport during his pastorate there.


As he left for a run or hike, he was known to say, I'm going out to see my Father's world.


Before Maltbie left Lockport in 1887, to pastor the Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, he wrote a poem with sixteen stanzas - each beginning with the words, This is My Father's World.

Legless glass lizard

Maltbie was just 42 years old when on May 18, 1901, he died of a bacterial infection en-route to the Holy Land - the trip a gift from the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City where he was the pastor at the time.

Giant Swallowtail

That same year, Maltbie's writings, including the lovely hymn This Is My Father's World, were compiled by his wife and published into a book entitled Thoughts for Everyday Living.

Pileated Woodpecker

School Days
by Maltbie Davenport Babcock
Lord, let me make this rule, 
To think of life as school, And try my best 
To stand each test, 
And do my work, 
And nothing shirk. 
Should someone else outshine 
This dullard head of mine, 
Should I be sad? 
I will be glad. 
To do my best, 
Is Thy behest. 
If weary with my book,
I cast a wistful look 
Where posies grow, 
O let me know 
That flowers within 
Are best to win. 
Dost take my book away 
Anon to let me play, 
And let me out 
To run about? 
I grateful bless 
Thee for recess.
Swallow-tailed Kite

In his article (reprinted from 2005) Nature-Deficit Disorder - Is Your Child at Risk?, Dr. Al Mohler shares this from Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods:
Louv tells of interviewing thousands of children in the course of previous research. At one point, he received this candid comment from a fourth-grade boy in San Diego: I like to play indoors better, ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.
Southeastern Five-lined Skink

Mohler concludes with this (emphasis mine):
This is our Father’s world, and we would do well to receive this world and enjoy it, while giving praise and glory to God for the beauty and bounty it contains. We understand that nature is not an end to itself, and we affirm that the creation exists as the theater of God’s glory for the drama of redemption. All this should help Christians to remember that we honor God most faithfully when we receive His good gifts most gratefully. Christians should take the lead in reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from machines.
British Soldier Lichen

Creeping Oxeye with Adult Agapostemon splendens (Lepeletier), a sweat bee

{*All photos from my Pollywog Creek backyard the past two weeks}