Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Recently, we laid a few blocks down in the backyard so that I [we] could use our old bench. My goal was to be able to watch some of the numerous birds that stop or fly by. Needless to say, the bench needs a little TLC [tender love and care] This was taken May 14th.

I grabbed my camera and took a few photos, thinking I’d start a new series called: Backyard Birdwatching. Real original, right?

Great White Egret - First bird spotted from bench 05-14-20

Great White Egret – First bird spotted from bench 05-14-20

Had to wait for him to get in the clear.

Great White Egret finally in the clear 05-14-20

Great White Egret finally in the clear 05-14-20

I took a few photos and then the next day, decided that plan may be put on hold for awhile. Why? Hang on.

On the 16th, I was able to capture three different species through our door. We were having breakfast when they all appeared. A Great Blue Heron and Great Egret by the water’s edge and the two pesky Sandhill Cranes.

Three species from our door 05-16-20

Three species from our door 05-16-20

Why was I shooting through the door instead of from my bench? Well, this dude showed up the 15th.

Alligator Taken from my neighbor's yard. 05-16-20

Alligator Taken from my neighbor’s yard. 05-16-20

This Alligator is at the end of our yard. Because of the incline by the bank, we don’t get to see him often. So, I went to my neighbor’s yard and took this. She was with me, so if I had to waddle away fast, she could help me. Our neighbor, from across the water, told us that he comes and has layed on our bank at about 6 or 7 every morning for that last few days. Yikes!!

Needless to say, I have not been using my bench, yet!!

“Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.” (Genesis 6:20 NKJV)

We know that at least two of each kind of birds and creeping things were kept alive in the ark. I wonder if the alligators were on board, or swimming? Never thought about that before. Have you?

More later. We had a great view of this gator and the two Sandhill cranes today. Stay turned!

Double-take on Public Math

Dr. James J.S. Johnson, who writes great articles here, has just written an article for the Bibleworld blog. It is well written and worth reading.

Check out: Double-take on Doing Math in Public

Double-take on Doing Math in Public:

Chinese Fudge Factory Doubles Output

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

HotFudgeSundae-with--Cherry.Braums

Hot Fudge Sundae, with brownie & cherry (photo credit: Braum’s)

Recent reports (April 17, 2020) show that Chinese fudge is being produced, in Wuhan, at numbers now doubling earlier reports.  And more cherry-picked statistics.

The official Covid-19 death toll for Wuhan has been revised [as of April 17, 2020] up by 1,290 to 3,869 as life in the city returns to something like normal as many restrictions are lifted…..

Check out: Double-take on Doing Math in Public

More articles by Dr. Jim:

James J. S. Johnson

 

Count It All Joy!

Joyful Greenbul (Chlorocichla laetissima) Flickr Dave Curtis

Our pastor had another encouraging message for our Wednesday night service. One day we will be able to attend a regular prayer meeting again, but, thankfully, our church is using YouTube and other means of keeping the Lord’s Word before us. This week was no exception.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:2-6 NKJV)


I trust you will enjoy Pastor Osborne’s message.

Wordless Birds

 

He Is Not Here!

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:6 NKJV)

Like many of you, we watched our Easter Services via YouTube, or you may have watched by however your church chose to keep your members encouraged through watching/meeting for this Easter. This “Social Distancing,” is keeping us from our normal services, handshakes, and hugs from our friends. I miss my many friends.

Our pastor had a great message for today, and thought I would share it with you. Faith Baptist Church of Winter Haven has a YouTube site with all the services and additions we are not able to attend in person. I am thankful for these and want to share two of them here. This first one is the Easter Service today with our pastor.

This next one is the “Pastor Jerry’s Musings” He is one of our associate pastors. Enjoy!

He is Risen! He Has Risen Indeed!

The Gospel Message

Sometimes We Have A Blank Mind

Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) ©WikiC

My friendships that have developed with many bloggers in enjoyable. Over the years, many of us become friends even though we have never met personally. That has been one of the benefits of posting articles and reading those of others.

One of those friendships has been with Sandra Conner. She has a variety of topics she writes about on various blogs, plus she has authors several books.

From her “Frustration” post, she was at a blank as to what to write. So, she wrote her poem:

“I am a writer.
Yes, I am; I know I am.
So why is it that
I’m so often in this jam?

I start new novels;
Then, alas, the muse runs dry.
Three novels just sit,
And I have no idea why.

I am a writer.
I’ve said it o’er and o’er again.
“I am a writer!”
Pounding, pounding through my brain.

Since writing novels
Doesn’t seem to work just now,
I’ll write a poem.
They’re much prettier anyhow.

I replied with this:

Yep! I know a little bit about that.

I’m a blogger, but can’t seem to blog.
At times, mind is in a fog.
So here I sit on a log.
Wishing I could come up with a blog.

Australian Logrunner (Orthonyx temminckii) by Tom Tarrant

***

I think we all are at times confronted with not knowing what to do about something. Those of us who blog know about that. Even others hit blank walls about what to do about some issue.

Thankfully, God’s Word gives great answers for those times. One passage in particular helps us:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:5-6 KJV)

Rembrandt, Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (public domain)

Check out some of Sandra Connor’s Blogs:

Ahyoka Happiness

Sandra Conner’s Main Blog List her blogs, and about most of the things she is involved in.

I’m thankful that on this blog, there are other writers who seem to step in there with an article just when my mind is blank. Yeah! Thanks to Dr. Jim, William Wise, Emily, Golden Eagle, and all the others that have contributed here and on Birds of the Bible for Kids.

 

 

A Look Back – Christmas at Faith 2016

“Matthew 2:1-12 KJV
(1)  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
(2)  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
(3)  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
(4)  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
(5)  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
(6)  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
(7)  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
(8)  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
(9)  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
(10)  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
(11)  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
(12)  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

The Gospel Message

Tickle Me Tuesday – Christmas Bird Videos

Just thought you needed a diversion from all the last minute gift wrapping and cooking. Enjoy these birds with a Christmas attitude.

“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (Proverbs 15:13 KJV)

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 KJV)

“Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.” (1 Chronicles 16:9 KJV)

What is the Gospel?

Our Christmas Concert 2019 – Adoration

This video is from last Sunday evening. Our church presented a Christmas concert called “Adoration.” I trust you will enjoy the music and the presentation of the various Bible characters.

“Luke 2:8-14 KJV
(8)  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
(9)  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
(10)  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
(11)  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(12)  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
(13)  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
(14)  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

You can see more of our services here:

Our Services

Woodstock’s Migration Fear

As most of you are aware, the northern birds in this hemisphere, prefer to head south, but there are a few exceptions.

Common Cranes in Israel. Many species of crane gather in large groups during migration and on their wintering grounds

There are many stories of how far they migrate, how many flock together to travel together, and many other amazing feats that the Lord’s Avian Wonders perform this time of the year.

But there are a few exceptions, Woodstock being one of them:

Snoopy and Woodstock - migration fear

Snoopy and Woodstock – migration fear

“He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.” (Psalms 115:13 KJV)

I would have loved to have had my camera handy the other morning. I was walking to the breakfast table and noticed a huge black bird through my glass sliding doors. It appeared that he was swooping up and going to land on the roof corner of our patio/lanai. I mentioned to Dan that I thought I had just seen a cormorant try to land on the roof.

While seated for breakfast, here came the bird again. This time I realized what I was seeing. [No camera handy, of course] It was a huge, immature Bald Eagle being chased by a angry Boat-tailed Grackle. Wow! He swooped up again.

Wild Immature Bald Eagle in Flight

Wild Immature Bald Eagle in Flight ©Pixers

This is similar to what it looked like underneath, but, it was a whole lot closer!!

“For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.” (Jeremiah 48:40 KJV)

This happened one more time and the last time he was just about 20 to 25 feet from where I was seated. When he flew up the last time I had a great view of his head and then all those feathers under his wings as they were fully stretched out. Double WOW!

I came to the conclusion, that this must have been the first time it had been mobbed. [Even though it was just one bird.] Maybe he felt Mugged as Woodstock was worrying about.

P.S. Dan knee surgery was Monday and he is progressing quite well. Has pain, but it gets less each day. Thanks for the continued prayer.

Birds of the Bible – Deuteronomy 14:16-18 IV (WYC)

Rearmouse (Vespertilio murinus) ©WikiC

Rearmouse or Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©WikiC

“16 a falcon, and a swan, and a ciconia,
17 and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,
18 and a calidris, all in their kind; also a lapwing and a bat.” Deuteronomy 14:16-18 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

As we continue our investigation of the interesting interpretation of these three verses from Wycliffe’s Bible, we find another amazing critter. We have been looking at these verse in these recent blogs:

Normally, these verses would read something similar to this:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 KJV
(16)  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
(17)  And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
(18)  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

Or maybe the New American Standard’s Version:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NASB
(16) the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
(17) the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
(18) the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat.

Notice that all three versions us the bat in verse 18, yet now we find in Wycliff’s verse 17 a rearmouse mentioned.

According to information from the internet, the rearmouse is an archaic word used for a type of bat.

Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©Flickr Rudo Jurecek

Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©Flickr Rudo Jurecek

The parti-coloured bat or rearmouse (Vespertilio murinus) is a species of vesper bat that lives in temperate Eurasia.

Their twittering call, similar to a bird’s call, are to be heard particularly in the autumn during the mating season. The parti-coloured bat has a body size of 4.8–6.4 centimetres (1.9–2.5 in) with a wingspan of 26–33 cm (10–13 in), and a weight of 11–24 grams (0.39–0.85 oz). Its name is derived from its fur, which has two colours. Its back (dorsal side) is red to dark-brown, with silver-white-frosted hair. The ventral side is white or grey. The ears, wings and face are black or dark brown. The wings are narrow. The ears are short, broad and roundish. The highest known age is 12 years.

The Websters 1913 addition has this about it:

Reremouse
(1):
(n.) The leather-winged bat (Vespertilio murinus).
(2):
(n.) A rearmouse.

Parti-coloured bat or Rearmouse Wikipedia

This version, Wycliffe’s Bible Version, was taken from Bible Gateways site.

The Bat has already been written about in these two articles:

Birds of the Bible

What is the Gospel?

Whoa!! From My Window

View Though Patio Door

When I showed the first From My Window, you could see this is just a neighborhood with a small retention pond behind our home. Well, the latest photo, taken by Dan, came as a surprise.

While I was finishing up my breakfast, I noticed, what I thought was a crumpled up paper on the other side of the bank. I kept watching as it “floated” toward our side of the pond. As it got closer, I mentioned to Dan that it looked like two eyes. I stopped eating and walked to the door so I could watch closer.

WHOA!!

Finally, my suspicions were verified. A back popped up behind those eyes. AN ALLIGATOR!!!

Alligator in pond between the yards. By Dan

Dan’s camera was handy, but he didn’t have his zoom lens on. So this is the best we could do. Here is the photo after I cropped it.

Alligator in pond between the yards. Zoomed By Dan

Alligator in pond between the yards. Zoomed By Dan

It was not a very large one, maybe four or five feet long. Just a guess. I have been watching for it since Thursday, but so far haven’t seen it again.

We have noticed all the ducks that were around the pond have disappeared. They must have flown off to one of the other ponds in the neighborhood. Playing it safe. I doubt that the gator could have eaten all of them in one day. We saw the ducks on Wednesday.

I did watch an Anhinga swimming with just his head up today. Typical for the Anhingas, but he came out after a while without getting eaten. Plus, a Great Blue Heron safely fished along the bank today. So, maybe Mr. Beedie Eyes [as I have named him] has left.

Stay Tuned!!

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:14-15 NKJV)

“Then he said to them, “The LORD had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go! Beware, for evil is ahead of you.” (Exodus 10:10 NKJV)

 

Who Provides For The Sawfly?

Sawfly on Horsetail drinking dew Cornwall UK Drinking Dew ©Photography of B Smith

“Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?” (Job 38:25-28 KJV)

When I saw this photo today, I asked permission from Barry Smith to use it. Thankfully, he has given permission and also for the usage of others on his Facebook site. Thanks, Barry.

Many species of sawfly have retained their ancestral attributes throughout time, specifically their plant-eating habits, wing veins and the unmodified abdomen, where the first two segments appear like the succeeding segments. The absence of the narrow wasp waist distinguishes sawflies from other members of hymenoptera, although some are Batesian mimics with coloration similar to wasps and bees, and the ovipositor can be mistaken for a stinger. Most sawflies are stubby and soft-bodied, and fly weakly. Sawflies vary in length: Urocerus gigas, which can be mistaken as a wasp due to its black-and-yellow striped body, can grow up to 20 millimetres (0.8 in) in length, but among the largest sawflies ever discovered was Hoplitolyda duolunica from the Mesozoic, with a body length of 55 millimetres (2.2 in) and a wingspan of 92 millimetres (3.6 in). The smaller species only reach lengths of 2.5 millimetres (0.1 in).

Sawfly Larvae Damage by their Larvae ©Pests.org

Predators include birds, insects and small animals. The larvae of some species have anti-predator adaptations such as regurgitating irritating liquid and clustering together for safety in numbers. Sawflies are hosts to many parasitoids, most of which are Hymenoptera, the rest being Diptera.

Adult sawflies are short-lived, with a life expectancy of 7–9 days, though the larval stage can last from months to years, depending on the species.

Woodpeckar Feeding Chicks From Pinterest

They are a pest for humans

Sawflies are major economic pests of forestry. For example, species in the Diprionidae, such as the pine sawflies, Diprion pini and Neodiprion sertifer, cause serious damage to pines in regions such as Scandinavia. D. pini larvae defoliated 500,000 hectares (1,200,000 acres) in the largest outbreak in Finland, between 1998 and 2001. Up to 75% of the trees may die after such outbreaks, as D. pini can remove all the leaves late in the growing season, leaving the trees too weak to survive the winter. Little damage to trees only occurs when the tree is large or when there is minimal presence of larvae. Eucalyptus trees can regenerate quickly from damage inflicted by the larvae; however, they can be substantially damaged from outbreaks, especially if they are young. The trees can be defoliated completely and may cause “dieback”, stunting or even death.

Sawflies are serious pests in horticulture. Different species prefer different host plants, often being specific to a family or genus of hosts. For example, Iris sawfly larvae, emerging in summer, can quickly defoliate species of Iris including the yellow flag and other freshwater species. Similarly the rose sawflies, Arge pagana and A. ochropus, defoliate rose bushes.

They are a pest for humans, yet the Lord, their Creator, cares enough for them to provide dew to drink.

“The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.” (Proverbs 3:19-20 KJV)

Do we not sometimes misbehave, yet the Lord continues to provide water, sun, air to breathe, and other benefits for us? Critters are provided for, but we, humans, have even a greater blessing available to us. Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Photograghy of B Smith

Sawfly Wikipedia

Who Paints The Leaves?

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