Reginald The Turkey Commander: The Great Snowstorm

Reginald the Turkey Commander: the Great Snowstorm, by Emma Foster

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Thanksgiving was beginning to draw near and Reginald knew it was time for the turkeys to trek through the forest to their fortress, which they had built years before to keep safe from hunters. The turkeys were hoping to travel in a few days, but something about the weather began to concern Reginald. He decided it was best to check to see what the weather would be like when they would be travelling.

Reginald had to walk to a nearby farmer’s house to see the weather because the farmer that lived there always had the weather on the television early every morning because he was always concerned about the weather. Sometimes Reginald would leave the turkeys and go watch the weather so he would know if bad weather was headed to the forest. Reluctantly, Reginald let Oliver come along so that Oliver wouldn’t get into any mischief.

Wild Turkeys ©Pixabay

Reginald and Oliver hurried through the forest and across a field to where a lonely house stood. Reginald warned Oliver to be as quiet as he could when they reached the farm because there was a chance the farmer wouldn’t mind having them for Thanksgiving dinner like the other hunters. Oliver cautiously followed Reginald to a chicken coop, which stood near the window of the living room. Reginald climbed into the coop through the chicken wire by cutting part of the wire with a sharp piece of wood he had brought and was pulling it back to make a hole. Oliver attempted to crawl through, but some of his feathers got caught. Reginald told him to calm down and to stop gobbling so the farmer wouldn’t hear him. After pulling him out, Reginald quickly blended in with the chickens, hurried to the window, then peered inside to see what the weather was like. The television was on, and the weather report stated that a record amount of heavy snowfall would be coming before Thanksgiving.

Turkey looking in window. ©Julia@Home on 129Acres

Reginald knew they would have to hurry to make it to the fortress so he turned around to tell Oliver to run back and warn the turkeys. When he looked back Oliver had gotten his head stuck in the chicken coop and the chickens had gathered around him and had started clucking while Oliver’s army helmet (worn to protect them from hunters) clanged against the walls of the coop. Reginald shook his head and dragged him out, telling him to tell the turkeys about the snowfall and that they needed to build sleds out of pieces of wood from trees that they could pull with roots to their fortress.

Oliver raced back to the turkeys while Reginald stayed behind to watch the weather. Eventually, the farmer turned the news off and Reginald had to hurry back to the turkeys. When he got back, the turkeys had already begun building their sleds, which would be used to carry the elderly and baby turkeys through the snow that was already falling. All of the turkeys were present except Oliver.

Turkey looking in window. ©Pinterest

When Reginald asked about Oliver, the turkeys said he had gone back for him. Reginald shook his head and impatiently walked all the way back through the snow to the farmhouse. Oliver was standing by the window, watching a gameshow on the television. Reginald shook his head again and told Oliver to come back with him to the turkeys.

The turkeys had finished building the sleds when Reginald and Oliver returned, and lots of snow was now on the ground. Using the sleds, the turkeys were able to arrive at their fortress before the snowbanks grew too high and the winds were too strong. They were able to spend their Thanksgiving nice and warm underground, while yet again the hunters had to hunt for turkeys in other woods.


“…but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:25b-26 KJV)

Looks like Reginald and Oliver have returned in time for another Thanksgiving adventure. Thanks again, Emma, for providing an entertaining tale, for a favorite holiday.

Emma’s Stories

Especially:

 

Albert and the Midterm

(African) Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus lenne) at Parrot Mountain by Lee

Albert and the Midterm by Emma Foster

Once there was a parrot named Albert who lived with a family who had a son called James. James had
just graduated from high school, and summer had just ended. Albert, whose cage was in James’s room,
could tell that every night before he went to bed James was getting more and more nervous.

James left for his first day of classes early Monday morning. Albert waited patiently by his cage all
morning, for James to come home. When James came home, he took the time to tell Albert all about his
day. Because Albert was an African Grey Parrot, Albert understood nearly everything James said and
was able to repeat a lot of his words back to him.

After a week, James came home with his first homework assignment. He was taking psychology, and as
he worked on his homework Albert watched him write down the answers and read through the textbook.
James made sure to highlight the important stuff he needed to know for the test.

After a while, Albert started to learn some important terms in psychology. He would often open up the
book whenever James left his room and read through several sections. Eventually, Albert began
squawking out different words that James had to learn for his upcoming test.

As the first test for James’s class drew closer, he became more and more nervous about it. He started
writing down terms on notecards to memorize and highlighting different sections in the book that he
thought would be on the test. Albert watched intently, following along and moving the flashcards around
with his claws. Every now and then Albert would shout out some of the terms.

Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) WikiC

Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) WikiC

Suddenly James had an idea. He decided that it would be a good idea if Albert quizzed him using the
flashcards. Because Albert was able to say the words, he began squawking out everything James had
written down on the notecards. Albert and James practiced for the entire weekend because James’s test
was on Monday.

Albert waited all Monday morning, wondering if James would do well on his test. Albert had gone over
all of the terms with James so much that he was sure James would do well, but he couldn’t help still
feeling nervous.

James had to wait a few days before he received his test results. When he came home he told Albert he
had gotten at A. In fact, he had received the best grade in the class. He told Albert that his professor had
been very impressed and that he had been surprised when James had told him that Albert had helped him
study. For part of the class period, James’s professor had explained how African Grey Parrots were a very
smart bird because of how many words they could learn, and that they had been studied many times in
psychology. At one point, James’s psychology professor allowed James to bring Albert to class so he
could elaborate on how smart African Grey Parrots were.

From then on Albert helped James study for all of his classes, and James was able to do well in all of
them because of how much he studied. Though sometimes Albert would get carried away by
squawking out the terms in the middle of the night.

Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) by Dan

Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) by Dan


“For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; …, and him that hath no helper.” (Psalms 72:12 KJV)

“My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:2 KJV)


Thanks, Emma for another truly interesting tale. We look forward to each new adventure from your pen ,with great anticipation.

Wikipedia said, “The species is common in captivity and is regularly kept by humans as a companion parrot, prized for its ability to mimic human speech, which makes it one of the most popular avian pets. An escaped pet in Japan was returned to his owner after repeating the owner’s name and address.”

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Emma’s Stories

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Shelly and the Sand Castle

Common Gull (Larus canus) by Robert Scanlon

Common Gull (Larus canus) by Robert Scanlon

Shelly and the Sand Castle by Emma Foster

One day a seagull named Shelly decided that she should fly to the beach to lay her very first egg. Shelly had previously been living near a seaside port beside a large white beach, but she felt it was not the proper place to lay an egg, especially when it was going to be her very first one. Leaving the nest that she had built on top of a pole, Shelly flew across the beach onto a giant rock.

After resting on top of the rock, Shelly surveyed the beach, searching for sticks and dirt with which to build her nest. Looking around, however, Shelly noticed that there were several children building houses out of sand. Thinking that it was a wonderful idea, Shelly promptly decided to build her first nest out of sand.

Children Building Sandcastle -©Pixabay

Flying near the waves, Shelly scooped up some wet sand with her beak until she made a small pile. She spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to get all of the sand on top of the rock. Fortunately, after glancing around, Shelly found a small plastic shovel that no one was currently using. She had seen a few children use a shovel to help them scoop up sand, so Shelly knew how to use it.

Kids Building Sand Castle ©Pinterest

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:” (Matthew 7:26 NKJV)

After shovelling enough sand onto the rock, Shelly dropped the shovel and began meshing the sand together in a big pile, finally sitting on it so when she hatched her egg it wouldn’t fall out.

Shelly’s egg hatched a few days later. She was so excited she quickly found some food to celebrate then came back to her egg. While she was on the hunt for some food, storm clouds gathered and rain began to sprinkle. Quickly flying back to her nest, Shelly was horrified to find that her nest had dissolved and her egg was gone.

Shelly frantically began her search in the sand, but the rain began beating down so hard that Shelly was forced to stop her search and find shelter. When the rain subsided, Shelly tried to search some more, but was so anxious that she completely forgot which rock she had nested on.

Shelly searched the beach until it was too dark to see anything. Finally she had to rest in some shrubbery until morning, though she barely slept because she was so worried.

Mew Gull (Larus canus) by Daves BirdingPix

Mew Gull (Larus canus) by Daves BirdingPix

The next day was bright and sunny, and at once Shelly began her search. She noticed that there were many more people at the beach than yesterday, which made her even more worried. Shelly flew around in circles, trying to spot her egg and hoping that it hadn’t washed away into the sea.

As Shelly flew closer to the ground, she noticed a group of children building a sand castle. One of the children scooped a huge pile of sand, and Shelly could see a huge lump in the sand. When the child put the clump of sand onto the sand castle, the egg rolled down.

Seagull carrying egg to safety

Shelly swooped down and snatched her egg out of the sand with her mouth. She flew away happily, even though she could hear the children screaming and laughing behind her. Thankful that her egg was safe, Shelly immediately decided to build a nest made out of twigs and branches like the other birds. From then on, whenever Shelly hatched an egg, she made sure that her egg was hatched in a proper nest instead of in the sand.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”  (Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV)


Another great story by Emma. Thank you again for reminding us to heed wise instructions.

Emma Stories

The Great Graduation Ceremony by Emma Foster

The Great Graduation Ceremony  ~ by Emma Foster

“A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.” (Proverbs 17:8 KJV)

Once there was a family of common wood pigeons that lived deep in a large forest. The father and mother, David and Susan, had three children, Billy, Louisa, and Will. The children had not been in the nest for very long, but were now almost old enough to fly from the nest to make their own homes.

Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) with newly hatched young ©WikiC

Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) with newly hatched young ©WikiC

One day when Susan was flying through the forest searching for worms, she met an owl named Winston who was casually sitting on a branch. Because Winston was considered the wisest owl in the entire forest, all of the birds and other animals came to him for advice on how to solve their problems. When Susan explained to Winston that her children were nearly old enough to begin flying to find their own place to live, Winston immediately suggested holding a graduation ceremony.

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) ©Flickr Slgurossom

Susan, confused on what exactly a graduation ceremony entailed, waited patiently for most of the afternoon as Winston slowly explained every detail of what a graduation ceremony was, what must be done, and the reason for it. Susan almost wished she hadn’t said anything because Winston had a history of being extremely long-winded. From what Susan gathered, however, graduation ceremonies were for people who had reached a certain point in their lives. They left a place called ‘school’ where they learned everything they needed to know before being given a piece of paper and going to another place to learn. Susan thought it was almost like the way her children would fly from the nest.

Common Rock Pigeon Pair ©ARKive

Susan quickly flew back home and told David everything that Winston had said, and David thought it was a great idea. They began to prepare for the ceremony by inviting all of the birds and animals in the woods, though they were informed that the turkeys couldn’t attend because hunters had been spotted and the turkeys were not taking any chances.

That Saturday, Winston flew over to a large nearby branch while all of the pigeons and several other birds and animals gathered around to listen. Winston’s speech lasted a very long time, and by the time he was done Billy, Louisa, Will, and most of the others were fast asleep.

David and Susan quickly woke their children up so they could rise for their diploma. David and Susan both decided that the perfect substitute for a diploma would be the biggest worms they could find. Winston called out each of their children’s names one by one, and, while the rest of the birds and animals all cheered, Billy, Louisa, and Will took their worms. The ceremony was officially over. Everyone had a party afterwards with all of the birds bringing worms and all the squirrels volunteering to bring nuts and berries for the others. Some of the animals even gave the young birds a few graduation presents. One kind squirrel brought the largest nut he could find, while a raccoon brought an assortment of leaves she had found that would look nice in a nest.

Bok Santuary Squirrel

Bok Santuary Squirrel by Lee

When Billy, Louisa, and Will began to prepare to fly away to make their new nests, Susan tried not to cry. Finally, all of the guests left and her children flew away. She hoped they would come home to visit soon, and that they would not fly too far.


Lee’s Addition:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit….But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 11 KJV)

Our young writer, Emma Foster, has been growing up and has just graduated from High School. We trust you have enjoyed her Bird Tales over the last 5 1/2 years. She started writing for us on the blog in January of 2012. Her stories have continually improved as she has matured. I still chuckle over her first story of the parrot, Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot, that was too large to come home in the car.

About a week ago, I asked Emma to write a story about birds graduating. This was her answer to the request. I wanted to honor her for her graduation and the wish her well as she starts college and the future.

Now that she has graduated, she plans to work on a degree in writing. She has also assured us that she will continue to send more Bird Tales for us to enjoy. I look forward to those and will continue praying for her as she enters this new phase of her life.

Emma’s Stories

Some of my favorites: (All of them actually)

Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot

George The Hummingbird

I give up, they are all my favorites. Thank you, Emma, for all these enjoyable Bird Tales.

Pete’s Soccer Game ~ by Emma Foster

Goose with Soccer Ball ©Pixabay (Pete’s Friend)

Pete’s Soccer Game ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a duck named Pete who was taking his usual morning route around the pond in which he lived. It was Saturday and the weather was cool and breezy. On this morning Pete noticed a large group of people gathered inside a huge patch of soft green grass. Most of the people were children and they all wore matching colored uniforms.

Pete grew curious and decided to flap up and peer through the fence to see what was going on. All around Pete people were cheering as the children ran back and forth with some kind of black and white ball. At one point, Pete watched one of the children kick the black and white ball into a small net and he listened to everyone cheer ecstatically. A man wearing a black and white-striped shirt blew a whistle loudly and the team members who wore the same green uniform as the boy who scored the goal ran back to the bench cheering. Apparently, whatever game they were playing was over and Pete guessed that the green team had won something.

Pete became very interested in this game and how it worked. He decided to stay and watch another game to understand the rules. The more Pete watched from the sidelines the more interesting the game became. Eventually, he realized that the name of the game was soccer, the black and white ball was called a soccer ball, and the players could not touch the ball with their hands.

Upward Soccer 4-5 yr olds Girls

Upward Soccer 4-5 yr olds.

As Pete looked around, carefully taking in every detail, he noticed a shed that stood near the edge of the field. Glancing inside, Pete found an assortment of cones, soccer balls, and uniforms. Pete automatically decided to get into the spirit of things and pulled a green uniform out of a box and put it on. Shoving his head into the shirt, Pete wriggled and pushed his head through one of the arm sleeves. This seemed to work, but he found it difficult. Despite this difficulty, he made sure not to touch the ball with his wings just like the players.

Eventually, Pete waddled out of the shed in his green uniform with the soccer ball. He attempted to kick it again but only succeeded in rolling it onto the middle of the field. Pete flew after it to try to bring the ball back. Suddenly the referee blew his whistle and stopped the game. Embarrassed, Pete kicked the ball as best he could off the field. All of the players, however, were impressed that Pete was able to kick it so well because he was a duck. Since the team with green uniforms was short a player they were able to convince the referee to let Pete play even though his uniform was not quite right. The referee called Pete over, and Pete happily flapped back onto the field to finish the game.

Pete did his best to waddle back and forth and catch up with the other players. Every now and then he was able to kick the ball to another player. The game was tied because each team had scored one goal.

As time began to run out and there were only a few minutes left, one of the players suddenly passed the ball to Pete. Because Pete was close to the other team’s goal he quickly waddled down the field with the ball, trying not to fly.

Once Pete reached the goal he did his best to kick the ball. He kicked the ball as hard as he could and was surprised when the ball sailed over the goalie’s head into the net. The entire crowd cheered for Pete because he had helped the green team win the game. Pete had never been so happy until that moment when he scored the goal, and the team was very grateful that Pete had been there to help them. From then on, Pete watched every single game that the people played, and always wore the green uniform he had found in the shed just in case the green team was short a player.

“… to be ready to every good work,” (Titus 3:1b KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

Another great story from Emma Foster. I felt since our Duck Pete was small, he may have played with our youngest Upper Soccer team.

You might enjoy these videos I found to help show off Emma’s Soccer Duck.

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More of Emma’s Stories

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Celebrating the Life-Saving Heroism of Alaskan Dog Mushers (and their Sled Dogs) – Repost

What an interesting article that James J. S. Johnson wrote on his blog. I thought you might enjoy it. The video of an actual dog slide ride is really challenging.

rockdoveblog

 Celebrating the Life-Saving Heroism of Alaskan Dog Mushers (and their Sled Dogs)

James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CNHG

sleddogs-alaska-iditarod

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.  Galatians 6:10

Imagine a celebration of Siberian husky sled dogs, harnessed together as a racing team, guided by their human driver (called a “musher”), zooming across frigid snow trails in rural Alaska:  this is what happens in a commemorative festival/event called the IDITAROD TRAIL RACE.  (See the YouTube video footage below.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI3bliK7R94

The Iditarod is an outdoors reenactment-like celebration of dogsled mushing, to remember the heroic relay race – through day and night, blizzard winds, snow, and ice – to save human lives, during a life-or-death crisis in January-February AD1925, when a highly contagious diphtheria plague struck like a serial killer, menacing the almost-unreachable population of Nome, Alaska.

The crisis…

View original post 1,707 more words

Lily’s New Camera ~ by Emma Foster

Lily’s New Camera ~ by Emma Foster

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Cockatoo - Brevard Zoo

“Lily” – Galah Cockatoo – Brevard Zoo

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:8 KJV)

In a large zoo in the center of a city, a Galah the zookeepers affectionately called Lily lived contentedly in the parrot/cockatoo exhibit. Lily was very glad to be living in such a nice zoo. One of her favorite activities was meeting all of the people who would pass by the parrot exhibit every day. The crowds that came to the exhibit always noticed Lily because of her bright pink feathers.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) trying to off juice.

“Lily” curious about camera

One day a man with a large camera stopped by the exhibit to take some pictures of the tropical birds for a magazine. Curious to see what he was holding, Lily flew off the tree branch she was sitting on and landed directly on top of the camera without any fear at all. The man holding the camera and the people beginning to surround him laughed as Lily pecked at the buttons in curiosity. All of a sudden Lily pressed a large button near the top of the camera and took a picture.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Hopping on the camera

“Lily” Hopping on the camera

The man holding the camera was surprised at how well the picture turned out and he decided to set the camera down carefully to see what Lily would do next. Lily, however, had no idea what happened when she pressed the button, but she found great enjoyment in pressing it.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and Dan

Next, the man picked the camera back up and moved it back and forth as Lily kept pressing the same button to take pictures. Eventually, Lily had created an entire series of photographs that the man and the crowd thought were actually quite good.

Impressed by Lily’s talent, the man decided to take the pictures to the head zookeeper. The man, who called himself Steve Watts, explained that he was a photographer for a local magazine and told the zookeeper that Lily had taken the pictures rather than himself. The zookeeper was happy to hear that Steve was going to put the pictures in the next edition of the magazine. Lily was exited too, even though she had no idea what a magazine was.

"Lily" the Galah and Dan

“Lily” the Galah and Dan (a/k/a Steve Watts)

Steve Watts

A few days later, a crowd even larger than normal gathered around the parrot exhibit to see Lily. Lily was surprised at the amount of people, especially when all of the people clustered around her as the zookeeper brought her out of the exhibit on his arm.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Up Close

Lily – Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Up Close

Most of the people in the crowd were holding up the magazines that they had bought which contained some of the pictures Lily had taken, including one she had taken when she had placed her face in front of the lens. Lily was happy to know that everyone loved her pictures, and looked forward to being able to take more. Fortunately Steve came to the zoo often. He eventually gave some of Lily’s pictures to a local art gallery, which brought increased business to the zoo. People enjoyed coming to the zoo to see Lily. From then on, the parrot exhibit was the busiest section of the zoo. Lily loved the crowds of people, and became one of the most contented bird in the entire zoo.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11 KJV)


Lee’s Addition:

And now you have the birds view of Dan’s Galah encounter. Or, at least, this is Emma’s Version of the incident. Emma, we love it. Thanks you so much for keeping us entertained with your constantly improving tales of birds from their Creator. [Her parents, I, and others have been encouraging her to write about this event.]

See More of Emma’s Stories

See the Galah Encounter Article

Reginald’s Second Christmas

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Reginald’s Second Christmas ~ by Emma Foster

Christmastime was coming in the forest and Reginald had to prepare all of the turkeys for the heavy winter that was about to arrive. Already flakes of snow were falling onto the ground and the wind was cold. Fortunately, snow meant that there wouldn’t be any hunters around. The turkeys hoped that the winter wouldn’t be as bad as before when they lived closer to the hunters. Luckily, they had been able to travel deeper into the forest early before Thanksgiving to get away from all the hunters.

As the snow began to fall harder, Reginald made sure that the forts he and the other turkeys were building were ready for Christmas. They had made the forts out of different sized tree branches to make three walls and a roof to keep them from the cold wind because there was no time to build forts underground with the snow. Reginald soon found out that Oliver needed some help building his fort because Oliver kept knocking his branches over accidentally. Eventually Reginald had to build Oliver’s fort for him because Oliver kept knocking over the branches whenever he tried to help.

To prevent Oliver from doing any more damage, Reginald brought him farther into the woods in order to look for berries and acorns for the winter. The turkeys Reginald brought with him used their army helmets, which they used to protect themselves, to gather up the acorns and berries to take home. Because Oliver had lost his in the river on the way to their new home at Thanksgiving, Reginald let him borrow his own helmet to use.

Turkey in Snow ©SABaking

Turkey in Snow ©SABaking

At one point, the turkeys came to the river they had crossed before that hadn’t yet frozen over in the winter. Reginald watched as Oliver wandered close to the edge, and before Reginald could stop him Oliver dropped the helmet into the river and the helmet drifted away.

Reginald just shook his head and hopped down the river to try to catch his helmet. But the water rushed faster than he thought it would, and soon Reginald was far away from the other turkeys. Reginald finally found his helmet hanging on a stray branch that leaned over the water, but next to it was another helmet, which Reginald guessed was Oliver’s because he had lost it on the way to their new dwelling.

Turkey Track in Snow ©WikiC

Turkey Track in Snow ©WikiC

Reginald took both of the helmets home and made sure that Oliver didn’t see his old one. Eventually the snow began to fall hard so the turkeys had to stay in their forts. But on Christmas morning Reginald built a fire to melt the snow away so the turkeys could exchange their Christmas presents. Most of the presents were made out of branches to make rakes so each of the turkeys could keep the snow out of their forts. But Reginald gave Oliver his old helmet back as a Christmas present. Oliver was so happy he accidentally knocked over his fort again. Reginald just shook his head.

In the end the turkeys were very happy in their new homes, even though there was a lot of snow in that part of the forest. Fortunately, that meant that no hunters were nearby. But even though no hunters were seen Oliver still wore his helmet everywhere, at least until he dropped it in the river again for Reginald to retrieve.

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“How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength?” (Job 26:2 KJV)

“They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.” (Isaiah 41:6 KJV)


Lee’s Addition:

Emma, that is another great story in the life of Reginald. He is proving himself to be quite a leader and a helper to those in need. Especially, Oliver.

Keep up the great articles. We are all enjoying them as your writing just keeps improving. Lord’s Blessings as you finish up your Senior Year in High School in just a few more months.

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More of Emma’s Stories

Reginald The Turkey Commander – Part 3

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Reginald The Turkey Commander – Part 3

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Reginald the Turkey Commander – Part 3  ~~ By Emma Foster

Once again Thanksgiving was coming and Reginald was keeping watch with the rest of his turkey friends to see if any hunters were nearby his home in the woods. This year Reginald and most of the other turkeys had congregated together to determine whether or not they should migrate to another location deeper in the woods. They had kept themselves hidden for the entire year but Reginald had seen several hunters nearby.

Eventually Reginald and the other turkeys decided that it would be best if they traveled deeper into the forest to keep away from the hunters. Reginald decided that they should all travel south where the forest was thicker and the trees were taller. One by one the turkeys all put on their army helmets to sneak off farther south. But Reginald’s cousin, Oliver, had some difficulty putting on his helmet. He kept putting it on backwards. Reginald simply shook his head and spent a good ten minutes trying to pry the helmet off Oliver’s head before finally it popped off.

Reginald set off with the rest of the turkeys behind him. Oliver was the last out of all the turkeys, convinced that a hunter might come out at any moment. He assumed it would be better if he kept watch behind all of them.

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey heading out

The turkeys trekked all day long. At one point a large old tree tipped over and crashed nearby. Oliver, thinking it was a gunshot, began to run around gobbling hysterically. Reginald had to run after him and try to calm him down so the hunters wouldn’t hear Oliver gobbling loudly. After some time Reginald was able to explain in exasperation to Oliver that the noise had only come from a tree. To keep Oliver from getting into any more trouble, Reginald simply shook his head and placed Oliver next to him for the rest of the trip.

WildTurkey(Meleagrisgallopavo) Flock ©WikiC

WildTurkey(Meleagris gallopavo) Flock ©WikiC

Eventually the turkeys came upon a wide rushing river. Lying across the river was a fallen tree trunk that the turkeys could easily use to cross. In single file the turkeys marched on the log across the river. Reginald and Oliver went last, and when they were both halfway across Oliver slipped and fell into the river.

Oliver continued to gobble loudly and flap his wings as the turkeys ran down the bank after him. One of the turkeys grabbed a stray branch and held it out for him. Oliver grabbed the branch and, with the help of Reginald, was dragged back to shore, soaking wet and without his army helmet. Reginald simply shook his head and marched on.

WildTurkey(Meleagrisgallopavo) Flock ©OhioDNR

WildTurkey(Meleagris gallopavo) Flock ©OhioDNR

Reginald led the other turkeys farther into the forest, not wasting time to let Oliver dry off. Oliver did have time to dry off late that night when Reginald and the other turkeys built a small fire deep in the forest. They were sure to make the fire just big enough so that no hunters would see them.

After a lengthy discussion, the turkeys decided that this part of the forest was just the right place to hide from the hunters that Thanksgiving. Once again Reginald was able to keep the turkeys safe and they were able to celebrate their Thanksgiving without fear of the hunters. Even Oliver was able to celebrate Thanksgiving although he caught a cold from getting wet. As for the hunters, in order to find any turkey at all they had to hunt at the very other end of the forest far away from Reginald and his friends. Once again, the turkey’s journey had been a success.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) at LPZ

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) Resting by Lee at LPZoo

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming [even turkeys]; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

“Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” (Isaiah 55:4 KJV)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Praise the Lord For All His Blessings!

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We have another delightful and interesting story about Reginald, the Commander Turkey from Emma. If you have missed his other adventures, you can read them here:

Reginald, Turkey Commander

Reginald the Turkey Commander on Christmas

More of Emma’s Stories

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Abigail and the Pumpkin Carving Contest

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Female-©WikiC

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Female-©WikiC

Abigail and the Pumpkin Carving Contest ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a small Robin named Abigail who lived in a tiny nest in a massive oak tree by a pumpkin patch. As autumn steadily approached, more and more red and yellow leaves fell into Abigail’s nest. Every day Abigail pushed them off down into the pumpkin patch on top of the growing pumpkins. Eventually, Abigail noticed that most of the pumpkins had grown really large and the leaves no longer covered them up.

pumpkins-small-nipomo-pumpkin-patch

Several families began coming to the pumpkin patch near Abigail’s nest. The parents picked heavy round pumpkins to take home to carve. Sometimes the owners of the pumpkin patch would come and teach some of the children how to carve a small pumpkin of their very own. One day Abigail decided that she should carve her own pumpkin for Halloween.

Flapping down into the pumpkin patch, Abigail surveyed a small pumpkin left alone in the corner. Carefully watching to see how the kids carved their pumpkins with small knives, Abigail began to carefully peck with her beak to make a small hole. She decided that this would be the eye. Abigail pecked out an identical hole next to it and another hole underneath the two, making the other eye and nose. Lastly, Abigail pecked out a long wide oval to substitute as the mouth. But looking around, she noticed that several children were cutting a hole in the top of their pumpkins and pulling out seeds. Abigail followed them, pecking until she could pull off the top by the stem with her beak. Abigail began pulling out gobs of seeds and pumpkin insides with her beak. This proved to be her favorite part because of how much she loved pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkins Tasty Bird ©Nipomo Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkins Tasty Bird ©Nipomo Pumpkin Patch

After triumphantly finishing her pumpkin, Abigail realized how late it was. Almost everyone had already gone, but one of the owners was nailing a sign up on a telephone pole. Flying over to it, Abigail read the sign. The sign read: PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST THIS SATURDAY.

Abigail grew excited. Today was Monday. If she began practicing, she could carve a pumpkin good enough to enter the contest.

Wind up Bird Pumpkin ©Daneof5683

Wind up Bird Pumpkin ©Daneof5683

For the next several days, Abigail spent most of the day carving pumpkins until pumpkins with all kinds of faces were scattered about the pumpkin patch. When the contest day arrived, Abigail rolled her best-carved pumpkin over to the judges who had gathered near the crowd as the contest began.

Everyone in the crowd was astonished that a bird had entered a carved pumpkin in the contest, but the contest continued as planned. Abigail waited patiently as the judges examined each of the carved pumpkins by each of the participants, and eventually the winner of the contest was called. Abigail did not win the contest, but she had fun anyway. She considered the most fun part of the day was giving away the rest of her carved pumpkins to each of the contestants.

Pumpkin Inspector came by to check out Abrigail's Pumpkins.

Pumpkin Inspector came by to check out Abigail’s Pumpkins.

From then on, Abigail entered the contest every year. She even won a few times. She was sure to carve a pumpkin for each of the contestants in the contest whether she won or not. For Abigail, the best part of carving the pumpkins and giving them away was being able to eat the pumpkin seeds.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) ©Laura Erickson

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) ©Laura Erickson

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35 KJV)

(Photos added by Lee. Sorry, but I couldn’t resist these photos. I just imagine Abigail’s Pumpkins had to be rather fancy.)

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See Emma’s Other Stories

Fly Away: Tips on Getting Started with Bird Photography

Fly Away: Tips on Getting Started with Bird Photography

~ by Joan “Jones” Kissler

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matthew 6:26

Are you enjoying the newfound appreciation for life, nature, and God’s undying love that birdwatching has taught you? Take it to the next level by documenting it through photography. But do not take just any photo—bring out the exquisite beauty of birds with these bird photography tips for beginners:

First things first: get the right equipment

Birds are God’s work of art. So make sure you get the gear that allows you to easily glorify the Great Artist through your photos. Most bird photographers use a DSLR camera since its interchangeable lenses feature gives more control. For beginners, experts suggest using at least a 20mm lens.

Telephoto lenses allow you to capture every detail of a bird in its full glory. Image-stabilized lenses enable shooting in low-light conditions and while the bird is in motion. If you are not ready yet to shoot photos without support, you can use a monopod, a portable alternative to the heavy, bulky tripod.

When using your DSLR, make sure to set it to aperture-priority mode for the flexibility of a wide aperture and the ability to set the shutter speed to your desired setting.

On the other hand, some enthusiasts use smartphones for bird photography. They use a technique called digiscoping, which is combining a smartphone camera with a spotting scope. For on-the-go shooting, I recommend using an adapter to combine your phone and the spotting scope, so you can easily snap a photo instead of painstakingly trying to hold up your phone correctly against the the spotting scope. Also, you can install some apps and maximize your camera phone’s built-in features to churn out better-quality photos.

Parakeet being photographed by Phone

Parakeet being photographed by Phone

Know your birds

You do not have to look far to know where to find birds as your next subject. Just open your Bible, and you will find the answers:

  • In trees (Psalm 104:17, Ezekiel 31:6)
  • On the ground (Deuteronomy 22:6)
  • In clefts of rocks (Num 224:21; Jeremiah 48:28)
  • In deserted cities (Isaiah 34:15)
  • Under the roofs of houses (Psalm 84:3)

Read up on the behavior and habitat of different kinds of birds so that you will know how to get them to come to you or to get as close to them as possible.

If that is not your style, join an expert birder in taking photos. You will definitely pick up some pointers on which birds come out during which time and season, where they usually live and breed, and what they usually eat.

Feed them as the Father would

The Great Creator cares for birds so much that He makes sure that they are always fed well, as stated in Matthew 6:26. Show your compassion for these creatures by giving them something to eat when you are photographing them on location.

To make birds feel naturally at home, plant some shrubs and trees they normally feed on in your garden or lawn. For instance, expert photographer Matt Mcray planted Rose of Sharon and hibiscus to attract Ruby-throated hummingbirds to his yard.

You can also strategically put bird feeders where you want to shoot your subject. Just remember to place them on the side from where you’ll be taking the shot to keep the feeders off the frame. Also ensure good natural lighting in the area where you will stage your shots.

Make them feel safe

God created birds to be free, so avoid threatening their sense of freedom and respect their need to hop from one space to another and fly.

One of the biggest mistakes that beginners make is to haphazardly approach their subject and click on the shutter button in haste. This normally ends up with the bird flying away and the shot being ruined.

To keep this from happening, remember these tips:

  • Do not disturb the birds in their natural habitat.
  • Do not come too near their nests, especially when their nestlings are there.
  • Give them ample breathing room so that they won’t feel threatened in your presence.
  • Do not shoot immediately.

Here are some tips on taking your first successful photo:

  • Go where the birds feed or drink.
  • Walk as calmly and quietly as possible around the birds.
  • Repeat for days or weeks until the birds get used to your presence (Yes, patience is a virtue).

After repeating these steps for quite some time, your subjects will eventually warm up to you, and you will be able to take several shots easily.

Capturing a shot of a creature as elusive as a bird reminds us of the gift of freedom that God bestows upon us. With the ups and downs of everyday life, it can be easy to forget that we are free. May your foray into bird photography serve as a constant reminder that we are.

Lee’s Addition:

Joan contacted me about putting an article on the blog. After reviewing this article, I think you will find this article fits well with the objectives of our blog. To honor our Lord. Thanks, Joan, and I trust that you will provide us with more interesting articles like this.

Birdwathcing Tips

 

Patty Becomes a Teacher ~ by Emma Foster

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) ©WikiC Female -2 young

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) ©WikiC Female -2 young

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (Job 12:7 KJV)

Patty Becomes a Teacher ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a finch named Patty who lived in a large oak tree by an elementary school. She had built her nest up in one of the highest branches of the old oak tree so she could watch all of the students in the elementary school go out and play for recess and come back inside for class.

One day Patty decided that she would teach her own children different subjects just like the teachers in the school. In order to accomplish this, Patty watched the teachers every day through the window just to see what they taught. However, most of the subjects the teachers taught didn’t apply to her. For example, a bird wouldn’t have any reason to learn math.

Patty decided that her children should be taught subjects that birds would learn as they grew up. By now, they both already knew how to fly, but Patty knew her children would have to learn other things as well.

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Nest ©Animalspot

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Nest ©Animalspot

Patty began to teach her two children, Maggie and Robert, on Monday because Patty noticed how school always began on Mondays. Her first class was Advanced Nest Building, as Patty called it, which taught Maggie and Robert how to build extravagant nests that could span an entire tree branch. Patty had Maggie and Robert follow her around and explained to them what type of sticks and moss to pick up to make their nests large and sturdy so that they didn’t break apart in the rain.

Birds Learning About Worms ©BirdsOutsideMyWindow

The next class Patty taught Maggie and Robert was what Patty titled Advanced Worm Catching. Maggie and Robert watched their mother sit on top of a tree branch before swooping down to catch a large round worm. Throughout the week, Patty taught them how to catch worms at the right time and place and added that the best time to catch them was after it rained.

The third class Patty taught them was Self Defense, in case something ever attacked the nest. One day, a squirrel crawled up the tree in search of some acorns and Maggie and Robert watched as Patty batted the squirrel away with her wings. They were sure their mother must have done a good job because a teacher from inside the school opened up the window to see what was making all of the racket outside.

Bird Chasing Squirrel ©Houston 2 - Mark Rogerson

Bird Chasing Squirrel ©Houston 2 – Mark Rogerson

Patty was sure to teach Maggie and Robert these subjects every day just like the teachers did with the students at school. When Maggie and Robert grew up they built their own nests just like Patty taught them in Advanced Nest Building. And when Maggie and Robert had children of their own they taught them the same things that Patty had taught long before so that they knew how to catch good worms, build large nests, and keep their young protected.

The teachers at the school never understood where the loud squawking was coming from inside the large oak tree, but Patty knew it was her grandchildren practicing in case a squirrel ever climbed the tree. Patty felt very proud that her children and grandchildren thought that she had done a good job as a teacher.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalms 32:8 KJV)


Lee’s Addition:

Wow, Emma! Your stories just keep getting better all the time. Lord bless you as journey through your Senior year in High School. May you continue to develop your writing abilities the Lord has given you.

(Photos and verses added by Lee [that is why the pictures don’t exactly match the birds in the story])

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More of Emma’s great stories. You can see her steady development in her Bird Tales.

Watch for a new page for Emma’s Stories in the left menu soon. We need to honor her with her own page. She has well earned it.

UPDATE: Just Add A New Page For Emma – – Emma’s Stories

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