Monday, March 23, 2015

Jewel # 210 (March 23, 2015)

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“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord
of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

Salamanders Like to Hide 

“God made . . . everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind:
and God saw that it was good.”
(Genesis 1:25)

We might think that God wouldn’t be very interested in a little creature like a salamander.  But as our opening verse tells us, He not only created the little salamander, but He also “saw that it was good"!  One reason He made them was as a benefit to mankind - they help keep in check the harmful grubs, slugs, worms and insects that damage man’s food supply.

These harmless creatures usually have four legs and a long tail.  There are over 300 kinds, ranging in size from one inch to five feet long.  The most common North American salamander is the spotted salamander, about six inches long.

Most salamanders stay hidden during daylight hours.  Since they must keep their skins moist, they live where it is cool, dark and damp - ponds, swamps, caves or under logs, stones or wet leaves.  Some live in underground burrows.

One unusual species in the tropics spends its entire life in trees, sometimes 100 feet above ground.  It makes its home in the plants that grow on tree trunks and hold water in their leaves.  These salamanders have flat bodies so they can move around in these tight places.  They also have webbed toes and ”suction cup” feet so they can scamper over tree leaves easily.

Another interesting species, the red eft, is only about three inches long.  It starts life in the spring as an egg laid on the leaf of an underwater plant.  When it hatches, it drops as a larva to the bottom of of the pond where it lies for about a year while its lungs develop.   Emerging in the fall, it crawls out on land as an air-breathing creature, brick-red in colour, and heads for a safe, winter hiding place.  In spring, it comes out and spends most of its time waiting for an insect to come close.  Then it flicks out its sticky tongue - so fast it can hardly be seen - and captures it.

Like lizards and newts, God has also given salamanders the ability to grow back lost or injured parts of their bodies.  If a tail or leg is lost, it will grow back quickly.

We might wonder why God put these interesting little animals on earth.  They are part of His whole design  in balancing the rest of His creation.  How wonderfully He has equipped each one to fit its own way of life - whether down in the ground, in water, on the surface or up in a tree.  How good it is to believe the truth of Scripture, that God is not only the creator of mankind too, but also that His Son came to be our Lord and Saviour as well.  

“There is but one God . . .  and one Lord Jesus Christ, 
of whom are all things.” 
(1 Corinthians 8:6)  

Love you all,
Grandpa

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