Friday, October 23, 2009


Yesterday, Adam and I traveled with some friends from church to the mountains in Virginia. We ate at a buffet restaurant, and then drove to the mountain home of one couple. They have such a peaceful spot, with calming views and clear skies and many porches. We sat and talked. And I took a walk.

I found some milkweed pods on the side of the road. I've always enjoyed these odd-shaped things and their downy contents, so I gently pulled one open. Here's what I found:
I know the image is fuzzy (sorry), but isn't that pattern beautiful? I ran my finger over it again and again. And I wondered immediately, why did God put the pattern of fish scales, inside a milkweed pod?

It's the same pattern. Now, the milkweed (if it had eyes) will never see a fish, and a fish will certainly never see the inside of the milkweed. So whoever put this pattern in both must have wanted a 3rd party -- me? -- to notice the design.

Well, I showed my milkweed to two friends also on a walk. I asked them what I reminded them of. One of them said, "an ear of corn."

What do you think? An ear of corn? Actually, the above photo is neither the corn nor the milkweed. It's a picture of fish scales.

I showed my milkweed pod to my husband, you know -- My Resident Brainiac. He said that actually there is a mathematical explanation for this pattern in all these locations, and it's found in many places in nature.

Uh huh. Here it is in a pine cone:

Look at a tighter cone, from the side.
Fuzzy again, but I hope you can see the overlapping sections.

A painter is known by his brush strokes. A composer is known by his stylistic effects. A writer can be recognized by his predictable turns of phrase. God, the real creator, has left his brush strokes on his creation for us to see. Spend some time noticing his patterns today.


  1. Oh, this is wonderful! I read your poem mentioning milkweed pods and I didn't know what they looked like, and afterward I came to this post and am quite charmed by them. Glory to God!

  2. I'm thrilled by finding these patterns in God's natural world, GJ. It quickens my heart to see evidence of his mind.

  3. Suzanne and I had this same conversation - about knowing an author by his work. God's wonders are breathtaking.

  4. I'm watching birds from my window, the tiny winter birds, the swooping, darting, lively ones - chickadees, and titmice, and juncos and a blue nuthatch - and a few days ago a woodpecker with the loveliest crimson splash down the back of his head. There are also squirrels and the occasional chipmunk or rabbit or cat. But birds! How did God ever think of birds?


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