Standing Firm

Great Blue Heron standing in the water at Brevard Zoo

While at the Brevard Zoo last week, I was able to watch a wild Great Blue Heron standing in the river there. His feet, provided by our gracious Creator, caught my attention.

Great Blue Heron’s Feet – [wild] Brevard Zoo

This brings to mind several verses that has to do with “standing firm.”

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15 NASB)

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 NASB)

Over the years, I have been fascinated with the feet of birds. Especially the larger birds that have more height or weight to support in water, land, or on Lilly pads.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15 NASB)

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) Feet Brevard Zoo by Lee

African Finfoot with puffy feet ©WikiC

African Finfoot with puffy feet ©WikiC

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;” (Ephesians 6:13-15 NASB)

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Wiki

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) ©Wiki on Pads

“for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:8 NASB)

All of these birds were given feet that are meant to meet their needs. The Lord has given us the “Armour of God,” Traditions/teachings of Godly preachers and teachers, preparations, etc. Then He tells us to Stand Firm, because He has provided just the right training for us, just as He has provided just the right feet for the bird’s situations.

Osprey Feeding On His Catch of the Day

Osprey at Viera looking to the Creator and hopefully he is thanking Him for the fish.

“Who provideth for the raven [and Ospreys] his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.” (Job 38:41 KJV)

Dan took a couple of really nice photos of the hungry Osprey.

Now for Dan’s great photos.

Time to strip the innards! Yuck!

When we were last at Viera Wetlands, we caught an Osprey eating a fish. Apparently he doesn’t like the “guts.” We watched it pull them out and then drop them. Did that several times, and then started eating the fish.

“But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (1 Corinthians 15:38-39 KJV)

I am thankful that the Lord let me be born as a human. I am also very thankful that He provided salvation for our fallen sinful human nature.

What will you do with Jesus?

Other Photos by Dan

Cardinals Watching Out For Fallen Baby

Cardinal Brevard Zoo

At the Brevard Zoo today, we saw some Northern Cardinals flying really close to where I was standing.

Cardinal Brevard Zoo 7-3-18

I was enjoying getting some photos, when we noticed that they were feeding a youngster who had fallen out of the nest. It had landed on a palm leaf right above the walkway where I was standing.

Cardinal Baby Brevard Zoo 7-3-18

That is when I realized the Momma Cardinal was also keeping an eye on the situation.

Momma Cardinal Brevard Zoo 7-3-1

We were quite concerned that it might fall into the walkway and someone would step on it accidentally. At the next exhibit, we told the keeper. He asked if it was the one in the palm tree. Yes. Well, he had just put it back in the nest about 10 minutes before. Said he would go back and put it back in again.

We sure hope it makes it and quits getting out of the nest. It is too small to survive on its own and can’t fly yet. He also told us that there were no other little ones in the nest. I am sure that those concerned Cardinals will do their best.

“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (Psalms 50:11 KJV)

I know the Lord, who Created Cardinals, knows all about the situation. If He cares about the littlest baby Cardinal, rest assured, He cares about you and I.

Photos aren’t the best, but I am writing this on my laptop and away from the editing program.

Avian And Attributes – Scale

Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus) by Michael Woodruff

Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus) by Michael Woodruff

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:12-14 NKJV)


Avian and Attributes – Scale

SCALE, n. [L. id. If the sense is to strip, it coincides with the Gr. to spoil.]
1. The dish of a balance; and hence, the balance itself, or whole instrument; as, to turn the scale.
Long time in even scale the battle hung.
3. The small shell or crust which composes a part of the covering of a fish; and hence, any thin layer or leaf exfoliated or separated; a thin lamin; as scales of iron or of bone.
4. A ladder; series of steps; means of ascending. [L. scala.]
5. The art of storming a place by mounting the wall on ladders; an escalade, or scalade.
6. A mathematical instrument of wood or metal, on which are marked line and figures for the purpose of measuring distances, extent or proportions; as a plain scale; a diagonal scale.
7. Regular gradation; a series rising by steps or degrees like those of a ladder. Thus we speak of the scale of being, in which man occupies a higher rank than brutes, and angels a higher rank than man.
8. Any instrument, figure or scheme, graduated for the purpose of measuring extent or proportions as a map drawn by a scale of half an inch to a league.
9. In music, a gamut; a diagram; or a series of lines and spaces rising one above another, on which notes are placed; or a scale consists of the regular gradations of sounds. A scale may be limited to an octave, called by the Greeks a tetrachord, or it may extend to the compass of any voice or instrument.
10. Any thing graduated or marked with degrees at equal distances.
SCALE, v.t.
1. To climb, as by a ladder; to ascend by steps; and applied to the walls of a fortified place, to mount in assault or storm.
Oft have I scal’d the craggy oak.
2. [from scale, a balance.] To measure; to compare; to weight.
3. [from scale, the covering of a fish.] to strip or clear of scales; as, to scale a fish.
4. To take off in thin lamins or scales.
5. To pare off a surface.
If all the mountains were scaled, and the earth made even –
[Edited]


Scale- Birds

Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus) ©WikiC

The Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus) is a species of bird in the family Tyrannidae. It was given its name for the small crown-like ring of feathers on the top of its head. It raises these feathers both to attract a mate and to seem larger when frightened.

It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, and possibly Honduras. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. Not much is known about the habits or breeding of the bird.

Scale-feathered Malkoha

Scale-feathered Malkoha (Dasylophus cumingi) ©WikiC

Scale-throated Earthcreeper

The Scale-feathered Malkoha (Dasylophus cumingi) is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. It is endemic to the northern Philippines.

Scale-throated Earthcreeper (Upucerthia dumetaria) ©WikiC

Scale-throated Hermit

The Scale-throated Earthcreeper (Upucerthia dumetaria) is a species of bird in the Furnariidae family. It is found in Argentina and the Altiplano; it winters in the Pampas and east of Córdoba. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, and subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland. They build their nests at the end of tunnels measuring between one and two meters. These tunnels are almost exclusively based on slopes; however, rock crevices are occasionally used. It formerly included the Patagonian forest earthcreeper (U. saturatior) as a subspecies.

Scale-throated Hermit (Phaethornis eurynome) by Dario Sanches

The Scale-throated Hermit (Phaethornis eurynome) is a species in the hummingbird family, Trochilidae.

It is found in the Atlantic forest in north-eastern Argentina, south-eastern Brazil, and eastern Paraguay. The supposed “black-billed hermit”, described as P. nigrirostris, has turned out to be a mutant P. eurynome with an all-black bill.


More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “S”

Good News

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Lee’s Six Words – But If You Bite And Devour

Crocodile at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 3-27-18

Crocodile at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 3-27-18

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:13-15 KJV)

Crocodile at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 3-27-18

Crocodile at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 3-27-18

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[African Gharial or Long Nose crocodile]

Daily Devotionals

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The Created Sun and Moon – Re-post from I.C.R.

Solar Eclipse 2011 ©WikiC

“The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.” (Ecclesiastes 1:5 KJV)

It is He Who sits upon the circuit of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are like grasshoppers; it is He  Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in (Isaiah 40:22)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson (usually appearing as “JJSJ” on this blog), from the Institute for Creation Research, has released a Podcast about our Created Sun and Moon. Especially with the Total Eclipse of the Sun today (August 21st AD2017) by the Moon, across North America, we thought you would enjoy this information.

“What does Scripture say about the sun and the moon? How do these two “great lights” rule the heavens? Dr. Jim Johnson describes the sun and moon’s impact on our planet, as well as their effects on plants, animals, and humans. He also sheds light on a historical controversy involving Galileo…..” CLICK TO HEAR

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More from James J. S. Johnson

Surprised to See So Many Glossy Ibises – Migrating?

About 60 in this group of Glossy Ibis(Plegadis falcinellus) at MacDill 7-29-16 by Lee

“and for a long time birds and hedgehogs, and ibises and ravens shall dwell in it: and the measuring line of desolation shall be cast over it, and satyrs shall dwell in it.” (Isaiah 34:11 Brenton)

A week or so ago, while in Tampa, we spotted a huge flock of Glossy Ibises. One or two, three maybe, but well over 90? That was a total SURPRISE!

Glossy Ibis - about 60 in this batch

Glossy Ibis – about 60 in this batch

That is one of the joys of going birdwatching. You never know what may appear to when you think it will just be like last time. We go over to MacDill AFB every couple of months and half the time we take our cameras. They have a beach on the tip of the peninsula it sits on, and there usually is some avian wonders down there to observe. [As I’ve mentioned previously, my back has been acting up and we haven’t done much birding.] We can park just a few yards from the beach, which doesn’t require a lot of walking for me. This time of the year, there is usually not a lot of activity.

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. (Psalms 37:16 KJV)

Birds at the Shore at MacDill

Birds at the Shore at MacDill

I did catch Dan who had walked over to where most of the birds were. I only concentrated on a small shore bird near me.

09-MacDill AFB 7-29-2016 (14)

Western Sandpiper, I Think.

We had spotted all the Glossy Ibises in the field along the road to the beach and were hoping that they were still there when we returned from the beach. We were almost back to them when we were delighted to spot two Roseate Spoonbills.

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Not far past them, we arrived where the Ibises had been and sure enough, they were waiting for us. My thinking is that they were on their way somewhere, in migration, and had landed to rest and feed. Possible to avoid a coming storm. Right after these photos were taken, we got soaked by a rainstorm as we were entering the commissary (Grocery).

Wikipedia has this to say about the “glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae. The scientific name derives from Ancient Greek plegados and Latin, falcis, both meaning “sickle” and referring to the distinctive shape of the bill.”

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) (1) by Dan's Pix

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) in breeding plumage taken previously by Dan’s Pix

But still, why so many? Here is an answer, again from Wikipedia, “Populations in temperate regions breed during the local spring, while tropical populations nest to coincide with the rainy season. Nesting is often in mixed-species colonies. When not nesting, flocks of over 100 individuals may occur on migration, and during the winter or dry seasons the species is usually found foraging in small flocks. Glossy ibises often roost communally at night in large flocks, with other species, occasionally in trees which can be some distance from wetland feeding areas.” (bolding mine)

I’ve included a gallery of photos so you can see them better. If you look in the background, you will see many more of them. Also mixed in is another Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egrets, White Ibises and at least one Snowy Egret. When I zoomed in, the photos aren’t all that clear, but you can see the species.

Birds of the World – Threskiornithidae – Ibises, Spoonbills

Birds of the Bible – Ibises

Birds of the Bible – Isaiah 34:11

Glossy Ibis – Wikipedia

Glossy Ibis – All About Birds

Glossy Ibis – Audubon

Glossy Ibis – WhatBird

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An Elegant Quilt of Relationships – Creation Moments

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Passing Berries ©WikiC

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Passing Berries ©WikiC

“The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.” (Psalm 104:16-17)

There are many incredible designs around us that are unlikely to exist if everything is the result of mindless chance. Many birds eat insects through the summer. While such high protein diets like this are good in mating and reproductive season, they do not prepare the birds to survive the cold weather of winter.

Alaska Wild Berries ©WikiC

An Elegant Quilt of Relationships – Alaska Wild Berries ©WikiC

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralWhat they need to do is build a layer of fat both for calorie storage as well as insulation. So, as winter nears, the berries that have been growing and ripening all summer on various shrubs become more numerous. The high sugar content of the berries’ juice helps the birds to quickly build up fat. The freeze on cold fall mornings even helps to increase the sugar concentration in the berries. Even more amazing is that the various types of berries eaten by the birds ripen in a staggered fashion so that berry season is long and the supplies are always available. For example, as the elderberry supply is just about consumed, highbush cranberries are in production. Often, the summer’s hatchlings’ plumage doesn’t reach full color until they eat the various pigments in the berries, and those pigments are incorporated into the new feathers. In exchange, the birds spread the seeds in the berries.

Cranberries ©Pixabay

Cranberries ©Pixabay

All of these complex, interrelated systems depend on each other in an elegant, fine-tuned design.

Prayer:
Father, thank You for the beauty and song of the birds which bless and enrich our lives. Amen.

Notes:
Val Cunningham, “Why bushes are better for birds.”

©Creation Moments 2016

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More Interesting Things

Designed For Flight – Creation Moments YouTube

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” (Isaiah 40:28 KJV)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

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Interesting Things

Creation Moments

Wordless Toucan

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Hummingbirds! – by Brian Thomas, M.S.

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) in Flight by Raymond Barlow

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) in Flight by Raymond Barlow

That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. (Isaiah 41:20 KJV)

I wanted to share an article from the latest Acts and Facts. Acts and Facts is a monthly magazine from the Institute for Creation Research. Here are a few quotes from “Hummingbirds!”, by Brian Thomas, M.S.

Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) by Judd Patterson

Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) by Judd Patterson

“Who doesn’t pause to marvel when a hummingbird flies by? These tiny, colorful birds perform amazing aerobatic feats, and yet some very smart scientists insist that mere natural forces mimicked a real engineer to construct these fascinating flyers. Authors of a Nature paper on hummingbird flight wrote in 2005 that “the selective pressure on hummingbird ancestors was probably for increased efficiency.”1 They imagine that hummingbirds….”

Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti) by Michael Woodruff

Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti) by Michael Woodruff

“Hummingbird beaks, bones, and feathers differ from those of all other living or extinct bird kinds.3 Their wings don’t fold in the middle. Instead,….”

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

“New hummingbird research has revealed other fascinating features. Birds generate a lot of heat when they fly. Considering their speed, you might expect hummingbirds….”

To read the article  CLICK HERE.

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Acts and Facts

“Hummingbirds!”, by Brian Thomas

Institute for Creation Research

Trochilidae – Hummingbirds Family

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Arctic Terns Set Mileage Records As Frequent Fliers

Artic Terns 1
ARCTIC   TERNS   SET   MILEAGE   RECORDS   AS   FREQUENT   FLIERS

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

For  the  kingdom  of  heaven  is  as  a  man  travelling  into  a  far country… (Matthew  25:14a)

Arctic Terns (Sterna paradisaea), which weigh only about a quarter-pound,  are the ultimate example of global migrants, accomplishing the longest-known migrations, every year, from near  the top of the world to near the bottom, then vice versa.  In fact, some Arctic Terns fly >50,000 miles in their pole-to-pole-and-then-back-again migration!  (And, if an Artic Tern lives 30 years, as some do, that could mean about 1½ million miles on his or her lifetime “odometer”, which is comparable to 3 round trips to the moon (i.e., that’s like 3 times, to the moon and back again)!

Imagine how inconvenient it would be for a bird to arrive at the South Pole during May or June, when the weather is freezing cold and food is scarce. Or imagine a similar scenario at the North Pole during November or December, when the weather there is harshest. Thankfully, arctic terns follow the opposite schedule, synchronizing with temperature and seasonal food availability.

Why? These birds are purposefully preprogrammed to operate by these schedules; God fitted them to do so. This programming is critical for these migratory birds to travel over the Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and vice versa, every year. At more than 40,000 miles round trip, they are the ultimate frequent fliers! A recent study pointed out:

The study of long-distance migration provides insights into the habits and performance of organisms at the limit of their physical abilities.

The Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea is the epitome of such behavior; despite its small size (<125 g), banding recoveries and at-sea surveys suggest that its annual migration from boreal and high Arctic breeding grounds to the Southern Ocean may be the longest seasonal movement of any animal. Our tracking of 11 Arctic terns fitted with miniature (1.4-g) geolocators revealed that these birds do indeed travel huge distances (more than 80,000 km [>50,000 miles] annually for some individuals).…

Arctic terns clearly target regions of high marine productivity both as stopover and wintering areas, and exploit prevailing global wind systems to reduce flight costs on long-distance commutes.

Ecologically speaking, it’s all a demonstration of “survival of the fitted”. Arctic terns, like all birds, survive because they are divinely fitted to survive all of the interactive factors in their diverse and geographically extensive environments.

Providentially, the arctic terns select season-synched flight times that repeatedly avoid the harsh winter months at both the North and South Poles. Likewise, the terns select flight plans that take advantage of global wind patterns and incorporate helpful stopovers for rest and refueling.

Timing factors are interactive throughout this cyclical migration: the seasonal weather cycle, wind patterns influenced by daily rotation of the earth, food availability influenced by annual seasons, and the reproductive cycle of the terns themselves.

In all of this, providential programming is both complicated and critical!

[Quoting James J. S. Johnson, “Survival of the Fitted: God’s Providential Programming”, Acts & Facts, 39 (10): 17-18 (October 2010), quoting Carsten Egevang, et al., “Tracking of Arctic terns Sterna paradisaea reveals longest animal migration”, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(5): 2078-2081 (2010).  See also Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, “The Longest Animal Migration in the World Revealed” (press release, n.d.), quoting Carsten Egevang —  and “The Arctic Tern Migration Project” website — showing “the impressive journey of the Arctic tern from the breeding grounds in Greenland to Antarctica and back in this Google Earth Tour combining maps, animations and photos”.]

Artic Tern near Iceberg

Fair Use photo credit:

Arctic Terns are circumpolar, i.e., their range largely covers the polar regions.  Its “normal” turfs include its breeding grounds, spread variously over Arctic lands (like Iceland and Greenland), as well as the sub-Arctic parts of Eurasia (such as Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) and North America, —  plus its migratory “timeshare” stopover lodgings,  — plus its Antarctica wintering grounds (such as Wilkes Land), including “down under” islands near Antarctica, such as Weddell Sea islands or New Zealand’s South Island.

Thus, the historic fame of Thingvellir, Iceland not only derives from hosting the annual Althing events (ever since Viking times), but also from hosting the critical-habitat nesting activities of breeding Arctic Terns!

Unsurprisingly, these noble and courageous seabirds have been celebrated by postage artists and philatelists alike in Nordic countries (and quasi-autonomous jurisdictions), such as the Åland, the Færoe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Sweden   —   as well as in Canada  —  and in other countries (or quasi-countries, like the Isle of Man) that appreciate either the Arctic or Antarctic activities of this globe-flier.

Stamp 1 Stamp 2 Stamp 3

Stamp 4 Stamp 5

 

Yet even the ever-traveling Arctic Terns have their share of enemies – such as predatory Arctic Foxes who are happy to raid Arctic Tern nests, if they can.  But, Arctic Terns won’t tolerate such predatory thefts without a fight – the Arctic Tern colony defenders will challenge (“mob”) such foxes!         ><> JJSJ

 

Picture1

Fair Use photo credit: 

Artic Fox and Artic Tern b©Arkive

Fair Use photo credit: 

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Orni-theology

James J. S. Johnson

Arctic Tern Family – Laridae

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