Words and Birds of Encouragement: Habitat Restoration

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Snowy Egret wading in a salt marsh tidal flat at Mitchelville Fish Haul Beach Park on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. May 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:10, 13

Things aren’t that bad (yet). But even if they were, and all upon this earth were destroyed, God has promised a divine habitat restoration project. Think of how our beautiful egrets and herons suffered, senselessly extirpated by plume hunters and habitat destruction. Yet human efforts restored their populations.

How much more our heavenly Creator will restore all things in the New Heaven and the New Earth… no matter how bad things become. Yes, we look forward to paradise with a new heaven and new earth, and with new bodies, but you can also have “new” here now: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Overcomer

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Male Yellow-rumped Warbler in bright breeding plumage. Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, USA. April 2018. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

We are called to make it through the days of trial and adversity. But we aren’t supposed to just grit our teeth and endure, coming out the other side angrier than we went in, like Godzilla breaking from the rubble of a building collapsed upon him. Instead, we are to be overcomers; we are to pass through trial and adversity with our testimony intact!

And to the overcomer there is a reward: like the Yellow-rumped Warblers that eat the late winter fruits of the holly and Wax Myrtle, we will dine upon the fruit of the tree of life in the paradise of God! This virus quarantine will end in a harvest of souls into the church as the doors re-open. So keep your chin up, overcomer, greater days approach… in this world and the next!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Reverse the Curse

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Healthy male House Finch; Clarke County, Georgia. April, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” Revelation 22:1-3

Coronavirus is a curse. All viruses that bring sickness and death are a result of the curse. And that curse pronounced in Genesis 3 didn’t affect man alone, but “this thing all things devours: birds, beasts, trees, flowers.” I’ve seen the curse of disease first-hand as a House Finch confusedly flew through my backyard unable to find the feeder.

House Finch Eye Disease infection.

But God promises a reverse of the curse and a restoration of paradise! One day, we will walk along the river among the fruiting trees. We, and all the other creatures, bird and beast alike, will be free of disease. Without a coronavirus face mask to block our view, we will adoringly look upon the Lamb seated upon the throne!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Paradise

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Orange-crowned Warbler; Walton County, Georgia. December, 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:43

What will paradise be like? Let your imagination roll… sunsets without haze and smog; rivers and lakes without floating trash; streets filled with smiling people free of anger and worry; and clear, wide blue skies filled with the flight of birds… and no window strikes! And even better, we will walk in the cool of the garden with our Lord and Savior whose blood re-opens the door to Eden.  It will be paradise for all! It may not be today (but then again, it may!). Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Breathtaking Beauty

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Painted Bunting; Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love Him—these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Think of the breathtaking joy you experienced upon spotting a new, beautiful life-bird. That was me when taking my first photo of a vibrant Painted Bunting. I could barely hold the camera still and nearly fumbled for the shutter button in excitement! Now, imagine the joy as you open your eyes in the hereafter and get your first glimpse of heaven! Breathtaking amazement and vibrant color beyond compare; unending joy and delight; eternal fellowship with our Savior! True, nobody here has seen it. But God has revealed it by His Spirit… and by His creation. If a birders first spotting of a bunting can be so breathtaking, imagine heaven!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Garden Longing

“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where… even as the garden of the Lord” Genesis 13:10

All winter, we long for spring and the day we can get back to dressing and keeping our backyard gardens. We feel a strong inward desire to rejuvenate our backyard bird sanctuaries for the return of our beloved hummingbirds and other avian friends. But why is there such an affinity within us for gardens?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird in my backyard garden; Clarke County, Georgia. July, 2014. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, the nomads Abraham and his nephew decide to split up and settle down. In making his choice of a new homeland, Lot looks towards the plains of Jordan and sees a fertile land “like the garden of the Lord” (Genesis 13:10). That same internal “garden longing” in his heart was triggered and leads Lot east.

I believe our love of gardens stems from a longing to return to Eden, that perfect state of beauty and fellowship with our Creator that man enjoyed in the beginning; where man walked with God “in the garden in the cool of the day”. When Adam’s eyes were opened, his first sight was a garden with “every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden.” Our love of gardens stems from a desire to return to Eden, to return to a place that place of paradise that was lost through sin.

Even though we see disease, decay and corruption in this world today, one day we will return to paradise. As the story of this present age comes to its final chapter, a new book will be written. One where we will see a new heaven and a new earth brought forth (Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1). Until then, let us enjoy our backyard gardens as a small piece of Eden; as a reminder of the blessed and perfect garden in world yet to come. As you till your soil with your hands, remember in your heart that one day, “thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.