Denny and Charles’s Museum by Emma Foster

G. Blue Heron on Gator’s back at Gatorland, by Lee

Denny and Charles’s Museum

Emma Foster

Denny the blue heron was the smallest out of all the blue herons that lived in the Florida reserve, but no one ever made fun of him for it because his best friend was the largest alligator in the reserve, Charles. Denny and Charles spent most of their time crossing the various swamps, with Charles slinking through the mud and weeds and Denny sitting on his back.

Usually, whenever Denny and Charles set out together, they would follow the trails marked in the reserve, so that they were always near the banks. The people who visited the reserve enjoyed seeing them wander down the swamp trails, especially since Denny sat on Charles’s back while Charles swam through the weeds.

One day, while Denny and Charles were traveling through the water, Denny spotted something unusual in the water. It was bright red, and it shone brightly when the sun reflected on it. Denny stuck his beak inside it to pick it up. He lifted the can and placed it onto Charles’s back. Denny wasn’t quite sure what it was, and Charles couldn’t see it because it was on his back. Denny decided to keep it.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) by Raymond Barlow

Farther along down the reserve trail, Denny spotted another interesting object. He wasn’t sure what this was either, but it was bright yellow and small. Denny added it to his growing collection.

Eventually, Denny had several small objects piled on Charles’s back. He placed everything he had found on the bank so Charles could have a look at it. They both thought about what to do with what Denny found. After thinking for a long time, Denny proposed an idea. He thought it would be a great idea to set all of the objects they found in an area where all the other animals in the swamp could see them.

Denny promptly flew off to find a large open area for them to place their things. Charles slowly nudged the objects into his mouth and followed Denny to where he was calling. Charles dumped the objects onto the grass, glad to be of help.

Every day, Denny and Charles added more to their collection. They found two old water bottles, a small pipe, and several pieces of different materials that were several different colors like pink, red, blue, and yellow. Denny kept the can placed in a special spot for everyone to see, since he had found it first.

The birds, insects, and other animals enjoyed seeing all the things Denny and Charles had put out. Some of them thought it was odd that they collected that stuff, since it seemed to serve no purpose.

Gator and Litter @indiatvnews

As summer drew near, it began raining more and more. Most of the animals had a comfortable place to spend every night. Charles was happy to sit in the swamp in the rain, and Denny sat in the trees, keeping a close eye on his collection. However, as he was watching it one evening he saw a little gray mouse pass him nearby. It was so small it could dodge the raindrops, but it still looked very wet and cold. It hid under the leaves in the bushes, but it couldn’t seem to find a warm, dry place for the night. Denny suddenly thought of the things he had found, but he couldn’t think of anything that would make a good house. Then he thought of the can.

Denny called Charles over. He told him about giving the can to the mouse, though he was reluctant to give it away. Charles thought it was a great idea, and he immediately crashed through the bushes to put the can in his mouth. Denny flew after the mouse, told her his name, and explained what they wanted to give her. At that moment, Charles waddled through the bushes and dropped the can beside the mouse. The mouse, Charlotte, was very grateful for what they had done. She rolled the can under the leaves, turned it to the side, and carefully squeezed through the opening to sit down inside.

Mouse in Can (BBC)

Denny and Charles continued growing their collection. The other animals in the reserve enjoyed seeing what they added to the museum, and they sometimes even brought some of their own things that they had found. Charlotte the mouse stayed in her little can house, beside Denny and Charles’s museum, and told them every day how happy she was in her new home.


“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

What an interesting story. Birds riding on gator’s backs isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem.

Thanks, Emma, for another delightful adventure. You continue to find heart-felt stories for us to enjoy. We will be looking forward your next one.

“Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” (Philippians 4:14 NASB)

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Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose, Part 2

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose, Part 2

by Emma Foster

Walter with injured foot, in Part 1

Walter the goose didn’t have to worry about flying south for the winter now that he lived at the veterinary clinic. Whenever winter returned, Walter was safe and warm inside the clinic, and during the summer he could walk outside and explore. However, Walter made sure to stay close to the clinic so he wouldn’t get lost. He was still directionally challenged.

One summer day Walter was walking around by the garage at the veterinary clinic. A truck drove up and parked in front of the garage. Walter had to quickly waddle out of the way to avoid getting run over, but when he was a good distance away he noticed a trailer attached to the back end of the truck. Inside the trailer was a small horse.

Horse in Trailer ©WikiC

The horse looked out the window when Walter approached the trailer. Walter had seen many different kinds of animals during his short time at the vet, but he had never seen a horse before. When Walter craned his neck to see inside, he could tell that the horse was nervous. Every now and then, Walter needed to come into the rooms to calm the other animals down, since they were nervous about being at the vet. Walter asked the horse his name to help him not feel so nervous. The horse said that his name was Angus. He also mentioned that he didn’t know why he was there, but this was his first time at the vet without his mother.

Walter sat by the trailer while the vets came out and Angus was brought out of the trailer. Angus became so nervous that he bolted, jumping a fence and running into the fields. Walter flapped after him, determined that his new friend would overcome his fear.

A Goose and her horse ©Flickr Lisa Donahoo

A Goose and her horse ©Flickr Lisa Donahoo

Walter flew over a small field and a patch of trees. By then, the vets and Angus’s owner were far behind. Walter searched for a long time, turning in different directions before resting on a tree stump to see where he was. To his surprise, when he looked ahead, he noticed the veterinary clinic! He had gone in circles, since he was so directionally challenged.

Deciding to go back the other way, Walter flew in the opposite direction, took a right, then landed in another field that he had never been in before. Walter sat in the brush and thought, but he did not give up. Suddenly he realized that the tall grass around him was moving a little. Walter crouched down, but Angus pulled his head over the grass and looked down at him. Angus had seen him land in the field. Walter explained that he had been looking for Angus, but he had gotten lost. Angus decided that, if Walter could fly around looking for him and not give up or become afraid, he didn’t have to be afraid about being at the vet for a checkup. He knew Walter would be right there with him.

Mini Horse and Friend

Walter flapped up onto Angus’s back, and Angus trotted back to the clinic, where Angus’s owner and the vets had been waiting for them. They were all extremely glad that they had both returned. Walter stood by Angus the entire time he received his checkup. Angus was very healthy. He did have to receive a few shots, but Walter assured him they weren’t that bad. When Angus’s checkup was over, Angus had to say goodbye to Walter. Walter hoped that he would see Angus again soon, but only for a checkup.


Lee’s Addition:

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB)

We met Walter in Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose.  Walter seems to have found his permanent home and a mission to be a encourager. I love Emma’s stories, but it becomes challenging to illustrate these adventures. So forgive the different types of geese and horses.

What I did find is a very interesting story about a real horse and goose. This is not to take away from Emma’s Story, but to show that it could be more true than she thought.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

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Clyde and Benny by Emma Foster

Clyde and Benny by Emma Foster

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

Clyde was an old crow who lived in a tall pine tree in the darkest part of the woods. Because preferred to spend time away from all the other birds and forest animals, he didn’t have any friends. Many of the other birds avoided him because they were afraid of him.

But one day Clyde returned with a large worm in his mouth to his nest to find something in his nest. That something was a little white egg. Clyde had no idea where the egg had come from or how it had gotten there, but he knew he did not want the egg in his nest. While he was thinking about what to do with it, the egg started shaking. A few moments later, a tiny robin chick popped out, peeping loudly.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Hatching ©WikiC

Now Clyde really didn’t know what to do. He wanted to be left alone, but the tiny robin flopped out of the egg and stared at him, thinking that Clyde was his mother. Clyde thought for a long time, thinking that he should find another nest somewhere else, but the chick looked too helpless for him to leave. Instead, he reluctantly gave the chick the worm he found and went to look for its mother.

Clyde searched all through the forest, but he couldn’t find any other family of robins. Many of the birds were surprised at seeing Clyde, and most of them hid in the trees to keep away from him. Clyde returned to his nest, back to the chick, and he decided that he would have to keep him. Eventually Clyde decided to call him Benny.

Even though Clyde gave Benny his name, he still did not want Benny around. Clyde begrudgingly found extra worms for Benny and himself. However, once Benny was old enough to fly out of the nest, Clyde showed him how to find the worms for himself so he wouldn’t bother him so much.

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Unfortunately, teaching Benny how to fly took what felt like hours to Clyde. Benny was a very clumsy little robin. The first time, Benny fluttered out of the nest, dropped, and flopped onto the branch below them. Clyde had to set Benny on his back, take him back up to the nest, then start all over again. Finally, Benny was able to fly a few feet to the next branch, which was a great relief to Clyde.

Once Benny, learned how to fly, however, Benny would not leave Clyde alone. He followed Clyde wherever he went, even after Clyde showed Benny where to actually find food. Whenever Clyde passed other birds or animals, they wondered who the tiny robin was because they had no idea where he came from.

Clyde became so tired of Benny following him around that one day, he took Benny to an unfamiliar part of the forest. Now that he thought Benny could take care of himself, he figured he could lose Benny somewhere in the woods. When they reached a small river, Clyde waited for Benny to start searching for food like he had been told. Once Benny was distracted, Clyde flew off, not looking back until he was far away from the river.

Clyde returned to his nest, but he realized it felt empty and quiet. It was just like before Benny arrived, when all the other birds were afraid of him and he had no one to talk to. Clyde started to feel very lonely, and he realized he shouldn’t have left Benny all by himself. Clyde immediately wanted to fly back to the river.

As Clyde made his way back, he realized he had taken a wrong turn. All of the trees looked unfamiliar. Clyde sat down on a branch and thought for a long time on where to go. He worried abut Benny, since he was lost as well. He cawed for Benny for a long time, but he never received an answer. Finally, Clyde heard a rustling of branches a little way off.

Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

Clyde the Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

When Clyde rounded the corner he saw something flapping from branch to branch, shaking the leaves. Clyde realized that the bird was Benny, and that he couldn’t fly well because he had found the largest worm Clyde had ever seen.

American Robin on Nest ©Alarmy

Benny the American Robin inn Nest ©Alarmy

Clyde returned to Benny, who dropped the worm, surprised that Clyde was so frantic. Benny hadn’t even known that Clyde had gone, but Clyde still apologized. He helped Benny take the worm back to the nest. Every day after that, Clyde and Benny spent all their time together. Even after Benny grew up. Benny placed his nest directly in the tree beside Clyde’s.


“Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.” (1 Peter 5:2 MSG)

Lee’s Addition:

Emma sent this delightful story to me recently. I trust you will enjoy it as much as I have putting the photos in. She, like many students, college or younger, has been finishing her classes at home.

The verse above has to do with pastors, but the principles apply to this story. Not so sure Clyde was so willing at first, but he came around. Thanks again,Emma, for another tale for us.

See All Of Emma’s Stories Here

 

Reginald the Turkey Commander: The Spring Party

Turkey by the River ©(Photo Kelly Preheim) FWS-GOV

Turkey by the River ©(Photo Kelly Preheim) FWS-GOV

Reginald the Turkey Commander: The Spring Party

by Emma Foster

   It was nearly springtime, and the turkeys were able to leave their fortresses in the woods to search for food without worrying about hunters or too much snow. There hadn’t been a lot of snow that year, which meant that the closest river to the turkeys wasn’t usually covered in ice.

One day, when it was almost March and the air was cool, the turkeys decided that it would be a good idea to head to the closest lake to celebrate another winter soon over. Reginald, the leader of the turkeys, decided that it would be best to build boats out of the bark of the wood from the trees in order to float down the river to the nearest lake.

The turkeys set to work, finding different trees around the forest where they could easily peel off the bark or branches to make boats and rafts for the river. Oliver followed Reginald around as Reginald looked for something he could use. Reginald found some trees where the bark had been torn off from a storm. He gave several pieces to Oliver to take back to the camp, though Oliver had a difficult time carrying all of them at once. He started kicking a few pieces ahead until Reginald picked up the last pieces and helped him back to the camp.

Some of the smaller turkeys floated on the large pieces of bark they had found, while Reginald and a few others tied the thinner pieces together with moss. When all the boats were finished, Reginald and the turkeys cast off down the river. Reginald knew where the closest lake was, and he knew that the river would split off in two different directions at one point. He knew that the turkeys needed to head east.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Ian

Reginald, Oliver, and the other turkeys started floating down the lake, steering and rowing with branches. The sun was shining through the trees, and the water was cool and shallow. Reginald made sure that Oliver didn’t float to far away or that he was steering too far ahead.

But when they came to the place where the river went in two different directions, Oliver got caught up in the rapids and drifted the other way, toward the west. Reginald changed course and followed, letting the other turkeys go ahead to the lake.

The water seemed rougher on the side Oliver and Reginald were on. Oliver looked behind him as Reginald tried to catch up and flapped his wings violently. Because he wasn’t paying attention, his boat hit a rock and started to break apart. When Reginald got close enough, Oliver panicked and jumped onto Reginald’s boat. Reginald did his best to keep Oliver from sinking his boat by paddling to the side of the river. He pulled Oliver out of the boat and made his way back to the other river so they could follow it down to the lake.

After walking for what felt like hours, Reginald figured that they were lost and started following the direction of the sun because he knew that the lake had to be north. Oliver trailed after him the entire time, completely forgetting where they were even going. Reginald just shook his head and kept walking.

Turkeys ©Pixabay

Reginald eventually realized that they had been going around in circles. He decided to go straight ahead, and eventually he and Oliver came through the bushes and found the other half of the river. They followed it down stream for a long time before they came to a tree trunk that had fallen across the river. The turkeys had left the boats there because it was too low for them to row under it. Reginald guessed they had walked the rest of the way, which shouldn’t be that far.

Oliver immediately hopped onto the tree, took a few steps to cross the river, and fell in, flapping his wings in terror. Reginald ran after him, urging Oliver to keep his head above water. Suddenly, Oliver disappeared. Reginald reached the edge and realized Oliver had fallen down a small waterfall and had landed in the lake all the other turkeys had reached. Many of the turkeys sat by the side of the lake, enjoying the sun, and they were not surprised to see Oliver flailing about in the water. Reginald finally decided to just jump in after Oliver, leaving his army helmet by the shore. The rest of the day, Reginald, Oliver and the other turkeys sat by the lake in the sun, happy that winter was slowly fading and that they had another year to spend where it was warm before they needed to go back to the fortresses.


Lee’s Addition:

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.” (Psalms 36:8 NKJV)

I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:16 NKJV)
“that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.” (John 18:9 NKJV)

These verses seem to me to sort of apply. Jesus applies these to us, but the turkey definitely enjoyed the time at the river. Our hero, Reginald, made sure all the turkeys arrived safely. Our Lord wants to make sure that we all arrive safely in Heaven with Him.

Another great story, Emma. Thanks for keeping us up to date on the latest adventures of Reginald and this flock.

See More of Emma’s Tales of Reginald and others at:

Emma’s Stories

Anniversary Number 12

Hooded Merganser Diving Duck, Georgia, by William Wise

Here we go again with another anniversary of the blog. Around February 13th or so, was the 12 anniversary of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. During this year, we hit the two million visitor mark. Wow!

Eastern Phoebe on Beautyberry

Eastern Phoebe on Beautyberry 12-19-19

Looking at all the articles written about the 11th anniversary, I’ll let this one be simple. I just reread all the comments and encouragement that you sent last year. Those were and are again so appreciated. Now, the blog has slowed down some, but we are still blogging. Because of health and our new house, most of my birding adventures seem to be out my back door. I love the avian visitors!

This year, William Wise has joined us with some very interesting articles and photos. Welcome Aboard, William!! Dr. Jim has continued to contribute articles, which are always enjoyable. Ian Montgomery is still sending posts, and Emma Forster continues to enlighten us with her stories. Me, I’ve written less, but we are still at it.

Raven in Pumpkin by Linda Marcille

The Lord is always faithful and keeps us interested in His Creation.

Stay tuned to see what this new year of blogging will discover about our Avian Wonders from the Lord.

(9)  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
(10)  And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago;
(11)  but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.
(12)  For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:9-12 NKJV)

Tilly’s Pumpkin House – by Emma Foster

Tilly’s Pumpkin House

by Emma Foster

Tilly the raven normally lived in a tree, but as winter came closer, the weather felt colder, and Tilly knew she needed to find a warmer place to live.

Her tree was near a small pumpkin farm, and several pumpkins had been left behind, going unused for Halloween. Tilly observed the different kinds of pumpkins that were still in the field. Many of them looked old, with green and yellow splotches on them. One of the pumpkins, however, looked perfect.

The pumpkin was large and perfectly round. When Tilly pecked at it with her beak, she noticed that it was soft enough for her to make a little door in it. She pecked her way into the pumpkin and surveyed the inside.

For a while, Tilly pulled out the seeds and guts from the inside of the pumpkin, until she had enough room to sit comfortably. Tilly felt protected from the wind and cold. Eventually, she fell asleep.

Gathering Pumpkins ©casienserio.blogspot.com

The next morning, Tilly woke up to her pumpkin house shaking. Someone had picked up her house and was taking it somewhere. Tilly peeked her head out of the door of her house. She noticed groups of people taking the old pumpkins and placing them to a pickup truck.

Pickup Truck With Pumpkins

Someone placed Tilly’s house in a pile beside other pumpkins. A second later, she rolled around and around and around as her house fell down a hill.

Splash! Tilly landed in the river. Fortunately, her house floated to the top, and the door she had made pointed up to the sky. Tilly carefully climbed out and flew back to land, sad that her house was floating away.

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Snow started to fall to the ground. Tilly needed to come up with another plan. She decided to leave the pumpkin field and find somewhere else to live. Flying through the air as the snow fell, Tilly searched and found another pumpkin field. She searched for the next perfect pumpkin she could use. One of the pumpkins was soft and round just like the other one, and by the time she settled down inside, night had fallen and Tilly fell asleep instantly.

The next morning, Tilly woke up to something knocking against her new house. A deer she didn’t recognize was sniffing at her pumpkin and then took a giant chunk out of the top. Tilly looked up at the deer and the deer stared back at her. She flew out of her house, forced to watch the deer eat the rest of her pumpkin.

Deer Looking at Tilly ©CC

Deer Looking at Tilly ©CC

The snow made everything colder until Tilly could barely fly. She flew into some woods, hoping to find a tree in which to get warm. Eventually, she found a tree with a small hole in it. Tilly flew inside only to discover a small owl in the hole in the tree.

The owl introduced herself as Milly the long-eared owl. Tilly offered to leave since this was Milly’s home, but Milly explained that she was only stopping there for a minute. She said that she had found a nest in a tree a few miles away that had belonged to a raven. She also explained that long-eared owls liked to live in nests that belonged to ravens.

“Milly” – Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) ©Flickr Slgurossom

Tilly grew excited, believing that the nest Milly was talking about was hers, which meant she had to explain the pumpkin houses she had had, and how she had ended up there. Milly offered to let Tilly keep the tree to stay warm. Tilly also said that it was perfectly all right if Milly kept her nest.

All throughout the winter, Tilly stayed in the tree where she had met Milly, while Milly lived in Tilly’s nest next to the pumpkin field. When spring came around, Tilly and Milly remained friends, and Tilly even showed Milly how to make her own pumpkin house, though she didn’t recommend living there.

*

Linda Marcille carved the Raven in pumpkin.


“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.” (Luke 10:38 KJV)

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6 KJV)

What a great story from Emma. It is enjoyable to watch her talent developing. Also, it is good to see Tilly and Milly being so hospitable. This is only fiction, but how did the animals interact with each other before the fall and the curse affected all of nature? Maybe this story is just a glimpse of how they got along so well.

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