Many Thanks!

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©Brindusa Art

As many of the readers of this blog know, I had back surgery on August 3rd. Before I mention the results of the surgery, I want to give some thanks.

#1  I want to thank the Lord for His Watching over all that has happened during this. Thanks and praise to a wonderful Savior who cares so much about us.

“O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” (Psalms 105:1 KJV)

#2  I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes. Also, for continuing to keep up with the blog. I cannot thank you enough for that. Thank you.

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: ” (1 Peter 3:12a KJV)

American Oystercatchers (American Bird Conservancy photo)

#3  I want to especially thank Dr. James J. S. Johnson, who has been practically carrying on this blog, by providing almost an article a day. The articles have been very interesting and entertaining, as I detect by the remarks that have been posted. He posts occasional posts here, but Dr. Jim, as I call him, has written the last 11 posts. Thank you, Dr. Jim.

“We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.” (3 John 1:8 KJV)

My forty-five (45) minute surgery and an overnight stay in the hospital ended up being a two and a half hour surgery and five nights in the hospital. Then we I returned home on Tuesday (100 mile ride), I ended up in the Emergency Room the next day, here in town. It is taking me a while to get back up to strength.

I just found out yesterday why the longer surgery. While they were placing the wedge/cage by my vertebra, the vertebrae fractured due to soft bone. I started bleeding immediately and they had to stop to get that stopped. Then they had to figure out what to do with the vertebra. [How many times I have prayed for other’s surgeries that the Lord would guide their hands, and their thinking.] Thank you for praying.

As a result of that, I ended up with fluid in the sac by the lung. That had to be drained a few days after the surgery. I believe I am now on the mend. I am still weak and on medicine that has slowed me down from even thinking about blogging. See why I am so thankful for the last 11 articles by Dr. Johnson. Needless to say, I have not done any birdwatching. :)

SNOWY EGRET wading & shading (Mrs. Bursk Science Class blog)

Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts and prayers, and especially for the Lord who knew all about this before, during, and after the surgery, and never left me.


If you missed the latest 11 articles by Dr. Jim:

Shake a Leg (or 2 or 3 or 4), Crab-Eater! – Aug 7

Crazy as a Coot! – Aug 8

Pinyon Jay, Grand Canyon’s Forester – Aug 9

Killdeer atop Killdeer: Appreciating Help from Others – Aug 10

Loggerhead Shrike: Converting Thorns into Meat-hooks – Aug 11

Oystercatchers Must be Gentiles – Aug 12

Eggs Taste Better if Salted – Aug 13

Penguin Eggs Tragedy – Aug 14

Shades of Snowies – Aug 15

Peregrine Falcon – Proactive Hunter – Aug 16

Egret Feathers Worth More Than Gold – Aug 17

The Watch Out Better Watch Out!

Northern Shrike at Viera Wetlands by Lee

“Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.” (Psalms 59:1 KJV)

We were back at Viera Wetlands on Monday. Not much activity going on this time of year. I had an appointment Tuesday with the surgeon, so we went over the day before. It is 100 miles to Melbourne, FL. and it breaks up the trip to take our time.

Northern Shrike at Viera Wetlands cropped by Lee

After my meeting with the back surgeon, I will be having a 45 minute corrective surgery on August 3rd. With follow up visits I will need to go over there for into fall, maybe the birds will get back down here from their summer breeding and vacation. :)

Northern Shrike at Viera Wetlands by Lee

The photo at top was taken about 150 feet or more away. I zoomed in, trying to figure out what bird was sitting on the house. It was a Northern Shrike. Yet, when I got home, here is what I discovered. I couldn’t believe that the wasp had such detail, considering how far away and in only “program mode” on my Panasonic Lumix. Wow!

Northern Shrike Zoomed with Wasp at Viera Wetlands cropped by Lee

That Shrike better watch more carefully or he might get stung.

Really cropped

Even when birding seems slow, there are always surprises awaiting us. Just like the Lord. Just when we think we are going to live with a walking handicap, a surprise corrective surgery is presented. He, the Lord, always cares about us. Stay tuned to see if this will fix the issue.


Viera Wetlands (Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands)

Other Viera Wetlands Birdwatching Trips

Sunday Inspiration – Shrikes and Vireos


Tiny Birdwatching and Back Doctor Visit

Young Northern Mockingbird at Click Ponds

“Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.” (Psalms 103:22 KJV)

On Thursday, we were in Melbourne, Florida to see a back Doctor to see if he could do my very much needed surgery. After driving over on Wednesday, we went to Vierra Wetlands in the morning, to do a little birdwatching while waiting for the appointment. When we arrived, they had a rope across the gate for cars, so I stayed by the car while Dan walked up to see what birds he could find. [It was open to walkers and joggers]

Immature Little Blue Heron

With camera in hand, I just had to catch what flew by, but the Lord always sends some of His avian wonders near for me to see. Three prize photos were this bird that gave me a fit trying to figure out what it is. After scanning my Birding Guides and then Google photos for about 20 minutes, I found out that it is a juvenile Little Blue Heron. Yes!

Another prize was a Loggerhead Shrike who decided to sit on a palm tree nearby. My 600 mm zoom sure comes in handy when you can hardly stand, let alone walk closer.

Loggerhead Shrike

After our sort of disappointing birdwatching, we drove to the Click Ponds, across the street, and it was totally dry. Nothing found other than this young Northern Mockingbird. My third prize. They are as dry in Melbourne, as we are in the central Florida. We are in severe drought conditions throughout most of the state.

Young Northern Mockingbird at Click Ponds


When the Doctor saw my MRI, he said, “WOW!” It is the worst slipped disc he has seen in a long time. Said it hurt to even look at it. Wondered how I lasted this long. [My local doctor no longer does this kind of surgery that I need, so, I have been searching for a doctor to do the surgery. One could see me, but not until July 17th. This doctor was scheduled for June 9th, but, Praise the Lord, they had a cancellation while I was chatting with them, and I saw him Thursday. He was very positive about fixing it. I had soft bones when I had the last surgery and they only put in one rod. Technology has changed in the last few years and if they are too soft, they insert something like concrete to strengthen the pedicles.

Slipped L4 Disc Image cropped

I’ve said all this for several reasons. One is to ask for prayer for the upcoming surgery and that it is set up SOON! Also, that all goes well and the recovery goes well. Also, if the blog gets a little off, not to be concerned. I plan on scheduling the devotions ahead of time but will try to keep you informed.

I am so thankful for all the Lord has been doing in this situation. He is so Faithful! Also, the new medicine I was given is easing my nerve pains. YES! I was getting to where I could hardly walk. That is why there have not been many birding adventures to write about. There hasn’t been any. :(

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:15-17 KJV)

Most of these photos are cropped obviously.