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Orrin Morris

Stories by Orrin

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ORRIN MORRIS: Canada thistle is showy, but watch out for those thorns

The Canada thistle is the epitome of the good and the bad, the showy and the offensive. This is the most common and widespread thistle in the U.S. However, it is not that common in the Southeast.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Flowering spurge tolerates dry weather

The 104th Psalm was used by the Hebrew people to praise God for the abundance of the fruit of the earth. “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, so that he may bring forth food from the earth.” (v. 14)

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ORRIN MORRIS: Knots uncoild to become flowers on the forget-me-not

In July 2007, our nation paid tribute to a lady who taught us a new respect for the environment — Lady Bird Johnson. Among the issues that she made us aware of were the visual clutter of uncontrolled billboards and the tons of litter thrown from passing vehicles along our nation’s highways.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Jimson weed highly poisonous to humans, animals

Gossip is dangerous; however, when a person who carefully communicates what he or she actually knows, it can be helpful when discretely shared. Such care for accuracy reminds me of Proverbs 16:20, “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good; and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.”

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ORRIN MORRIS: Find buttonweed in your backyard

The diversity of the wildflower kingdom is minor compared to the diversity of humanity. Every individual is unique although he or she dwells within a family, a community and a culture.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Bladder campion a beautiful flower with the exception of one unusual part

Peter often posed questions to Jesus. One of those times he asked if forgiving a person seven times was the limit. Jesus said that was not enough and proposed 70 times seven (Matthew 18:22).

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ORRIN MORRIS: Depford pinks an import from England

Depford pinks an import from England

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ORRIN MORRIS: Coreopsis, yellow daisy often mistaken for each other

One of the most important lessons I try to get across to my art students is to truly see what I am having them to draw. There seems to be a giant step for some students between “looking” and truly seeing an object.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Yellow star-grass a solitary plant that prefers open woods, meadows

Several years ago, astronomers announced the discovery of a new planet. It is named Gliese 581 and orbits its sun 20 light years away. Of the 200 or so planets outside our solar system it is the smallest; however, every discovery like this adds to the wonder of the universe.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Closely examine stiff verbena to see tiny lavender blooms

One day late in Jesus’ ministry, He was in the Temple near the offering box.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Dwarf dandelions can grow from May to September

Psalm 115:13-14 says, “He will bless those who fear the Lord, the small together with the great. May the Lord give you increase, you and your children.”

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ORRIN MORRIS: Insects nourish the carnivorous pitcher plant

Most branches of science are thought to be precise and consistent. This is especially believed about chemistry, physics and astronomy and least precise in the social sciences. In between these two groups are the many branches of biology, including botany.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Indian Americans, early physicians used birdfoot violet to treat lung diseases

My inward spiritual journey continues with the constant reminder that I am a sinner.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Wild trumpet honeysuckle a spectacular visual wonder for artists

Psalm 104:24 moves me to pray "O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions."

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ORRIN MORRIS: Fire pink, or catchfly, saves its nectar for bees, hummingbirds

Fire pink, or catchfly, saves nectar for bees, birds. The Creator has filled the earth with many wondrous flowers to remind us of His love for all mankind. Their beauty is spread about for all to see. The colors, shapes and habitats seem endless.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Yellow wood-sorrel, nicknamed sour grass, adds bitter flavor to salads

During one of the severe dry spells we endured the past decade, water restrictions were imposed. Suddenly, amid the drought, occasional scattered showers occurred for three weeks.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Pack boots, gloves, bug spray when picking wild blackberries

Picking wild blackberries a thorny task. Luke 6:44 is appropriate for the wildflower we study here.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Greenbrier vines a metaphor for our own entangled lives

Is there a fundamental difference between humans and animals? Or is life for both merely a struggle to survive from birth through maturity, then death?

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ORRIN MORRIS: Make pies, jellies, wine with elderberry

I'm stretching the wildflower definition again and including another shrub or small tree because of the attractiveness of the bloom.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Look for brilliant red, orange flame azaleas in May

One day, Moses was tending his father-in-law's sheep in the Sinai Desert and he saw a unique phenomenon.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Tiny, strange flowers adorn the littleleaf buttercup

Tiny, strange flowers adorn the littleleaf buttercup. According to the Weather Channel, 27 degrees Fahrenheit is the record low for April 19. I remember a strange spring in 2007 when an Easter freeze created a new agenda for planting our gardens.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Always-changing honeysuckle follows the cycles of nature

Always-changing honeysuckle follows the cycles of nature. Psalm 43:5 reads "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?

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ORRIN MORRIS: Thorny hawthorn blooms through May

I am departing from featuring my pretty wildflowers so that I can include flowering shrubs and trees.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Climbing milkvine a special treat for butterflies, dragonflies

In the book of Deuteronomy, the Hebrew people were given a very interesting instruction about harvesting their grapes.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Sweet white violet is named after its pleasant fragrance

Sweet white violet is named after its pleasant fragrance. When we examine the characteristics of a person committed to follow the commandment Jesus repeated several times to "love your neighbor as yourself," we become aware of a very important contrast to the norms of our society.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Ancient magnolia genus has over 100 evergreen, deciduous trees growing in Himalayas

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. It is the celebration of Jesus' royal entry into Jerusalem riding on a colt. People gathered along the roadway and the streets waving palm branches and proclaiming Him as the one to re-establish the reign of King David.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Drought tolerant periwinkle is difficult to contain

The Psalmist spoke of the shelter God provides when he wrote, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust" (Psalm 91:4).

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ORRIN MORRIS: Green and gold grows in locations from New York to Florida

The more I look for and study the wildflower kingdom, the more I am inspired by what the Psalmist wrote, "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches" (Psalm 104:24).

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ORRIN MORRIS: A creeping vine, yellow jasmine is fragrant but invasive, difficult to control

Yellow jasmine fragrant but invasive, difficult to control. The Lenten season is often a time of starting a new habit as well as giving up something.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Ancient tale says dogwood used to make cross for Jesus' crucifixion

The flowering dogwood, though it is not a wildflower, has been chosen for two reasons. First, the brownish-white buds are beginning to show red. Second, because we are observing the Lenten Season.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Bitter cress provides a horse radish flavor in salads, greens

To most Christians, Lent is a solemn journey of contemplation of God's love ultimately expressed in the culmination of the season.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Extended drought makes rain lily scarce in metro area

As I reflect on more than 60 years of giving advice as a pastor, a supervisor, a father and a friend, I've erred more times than I want to recount (or admit).

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ORRIN MORRIS: Leaves of the 3-inch diamorpha resemble tiny hot water bottles

God did not just create the world and walk away. He is still at work, lovingly watching over His creation.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Versatile bloodroot used in toothpaste, dyes

In Genesis 8:22, God is responding to Noah's offering, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

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ORRIN MORRIS: Paulownia has its roots in Japan

How serious are we Christians about the quality life for all families? The Martin Luther King Jr. national celebration has global implications, too.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Star-of Bethlehem blooms only in the sunlight

The Hebrew people were under the rule of the Romans at the time of Jesus' birth. There were soldiers everywhere "keeping order" so that Roman rule was preserved.

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ORRIN MORRIS: An evergreen ground cover, iceplant is drought tolerant

The Apostle Paul, writing to the fledgling church in Corinth, taught them about the Godlike love that seeks what is best for others.

ORRIN MORRIS: A favorite Christmas decoration, American Holly blooms in the summer

AMERICAN HOLLY. Ilex opacaAmerican holly blooms in early summer, yet its fall colors have long been associated with Christmas as a traditional decoration.

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ORRIN MORRIS: The plain, weedy sunnybell is a reminder of God's love for us

At a passing glance, our many granite outcrops look like barren waste places. However, as we have discovered in this column, there are many wonders that testify to God's generosity and the diversity of His creation.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Look for marsh-mallow in a marshy habitat

Psalm 46:10a reads, "Be still, and know that I am God." Be still. That is easy to say, but does God realize the noises that surround me every day?

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ORRIN MORRIS: Dog-fennel offers us a field of dancing, glistening sunlight on frosty winter mornings

Psalm 149 begins with an encouragement to sing a new song of praise to the Lord.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Turk's cap blooms in early summer through the first frost

"Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the downtrodden, he casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving..." (Psalms 147:5-7a)

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ORRIN MORRIS: Toxicity in buckeye requires handlers to be on the lookout for rashes

The Book of Proverbs places much focus on acquiring wisdom. In chapter 3:13 we read, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding" (KJV).I saw an interesting quote that relates to this.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Use oil from the giant sunflower for a healthy alternative

I believe that Almighty God is to be known by one word above all others.

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ORRIN MORRIS: The sunflower turns its bloom to face the sun

Ever since Van Gogh, every artist feels he or she must paint a sunflower. I did, but had to learn a lot in the process.

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ORRIN MORRIS: The prolific purslane makes it a pest in the garden

"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." (Psalm 24:1)

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ORRIN MORRIS: Consult an experienced Southern Cook before preparing polkweed to eat

The U.S. population has passed the 314 million mark, but while that has occurred, the total world population has passed the 7 billion mark.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Indians used strange looking coneflower to make dye, tea

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve met Satan, who was in the form of a serpent.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Yarrow used to treat stomach, liver problems

Matthew 13 tells of a large crowd that assembled by the Sea of Galilee to hear Jesus speak.

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ORRIN MORRIS: Contrary to its name, Siberian wallflower thrives in hot, dry environments

Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."