Home Again After 2,000 Mile Trip

Home Again After 2,000 Mile Trip

We arrived home yesterday and are working on getting back in the routine of being home. The suitcases are unpacked and put away. We enjoyed sleeping in our own bed last night. If you have traveled, even overnight, you know the feeling of a night’s rest in your own bed.

American Wigeon flocks

We offered some of the migrating birds a ride south, but they declined our offer. [NOT!] Actually, we didn’t see sunshine for six days while we were north. Therefore, we wouldn’t have seen the birds anyway to offer them any assistance in their journey south.

“Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Osprey Road by Dan - (Old Bartow Road)

Osprey Road by Dan – (Old Bartow Road)

We have a line of power poles on a road that goes to Bartow, Florida that is lined with platforms for bird nest. The Osprey come back every winter and rebuild their nest. I wonder if they feel like we did when we got to sleep in our own bed?

Because of the rain, overcast skies, and the approaching Hurricane Florence, we made the decision to come home several days early. We skipped the visit to the Cincinnati Zoo unfortunately. No bird photos to share from this trip.

Bird Fossil at Creation Museum

We did get to go through the Creation Museum in Kentucky though. It has changed since we were there 8 or 9 years ago. Improved quite a bit, but they removed the bird [Finch] exhibits. I only found one fossil exhibit of a bird.

Because of a storm outside with lots of lightning, I think I will end this for now and post again tomorrow, Lord willing.

Stay Tuned!

 

Lots of Ducks and Geese

Mallards

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

So far we haven’t seen many birds. My sister-in-law has a pond behind here with Mallards. Also, a Blue Jay has been calling, but has refused to show himself.

The ponds around town, Indianapolis, has lots of Canadian Geese hanging out. The one batch/flock had about 20 or so, and they were all faced south. Maybe they were getting aligned so they could get started South for the winter. Yet, up here it is still summer weather. Maybe they aren’t sure when to leave. Also, the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon is going to come through tomorrow. The rain chance is 100% and flood warnings are being issued starting tomorrow. Welcome to Indiana.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Dan’s 60th High School reunion starts today and will be having gatherings for the next two days. We plan to leave here Sunday afternoon to go to Cincinnati area. Plans, depending on all this rain, we hope to go to the Cincinnati Zoo and then the Creation Museum. Then mosey home.

“But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.” (3 John 1:14 KJV)

So far, praise the Lord, I have been handling this trip. My recent back surgery is still causing pain, but doing okay so far.

Unfortunately, my relative has NO INTERNET!!! :(   So here I sit at McDonalds. Yeah, for free internets! That is why the posts are intermitten. Trust to post photos from the Zoo later. Hope they won’t have raindrops dripping off of them. :)

Stay tuned!

Happy Memories, Accented by Black Skimmers at Madeira Beach

BlackSkimmer-Florida-migrant.Wikipedia

BLACK SKIMMER in Florida   (photo credit: Don Faulkner / Wikipedia)

Remember His marvelous works that He hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.   (1st Chronicles 16:12)

Madeira Beach, near St. Petersburg (Florida), is a nice place to see white beach-sand, gentle surf tidewaters, and some of the most splendid seagulls, such as gulls, terns, and skimmers.  On Labor Day (earlier this month), I was providentially privileged to visit there with my 2 good friends, Chaplain Bob and Marcia Webel, who have encouraged and strengthened my Christian faith for 40+ years.  (Bob is the best Bible teacher I have ever known.)   During our treks up and down the beach, amidst the happy noise of seagulls at sea and ashore, we saw on the beach a few Black Skimmers.  It had been quite a while — perhaps more than a year or two — since I had seen Black Skimmers, so it reminded me of earlier years, and “auld lang syne” (i.e., old long times ago) — times of friendship and fellowship, accented by birdwatching, a continuing reminder of God’s sovereignty and watch care (Luke 12:4-7).

BlackSkimmer-in-Texas.DanPancamo

BLACK SKIMMER near Freeport, Texas  (photo by Dan Pancamo / Flickr)

Black Skimmers have an easy-to-remember bill; the bottom half (i.e., lower mandible) sticks out farther than the top half (i.e., upper mandible), enabling the tern-like seabird to skim the water’s surface, using its unusually long wings, to catch little fish (like anchovies and silversides) and other prey located at sea, also feeding in tidal pools, in saltmarsh drainage channels, or at seashores.  Apparently more than 90% of a skimmer’s diet is fish.  The skimmer’s prominent red-blending-into-black bill is also used to occasionally catch small shellfish, such as crustaceans (like decapods or amphipods) and mollusks (like cephalopods or gastropods), as well as available insects (mostly coleoptera).  Parent skimmers feed their young by regurgitation.

BlackSkimmer-feeding-youngJimGray-Audubon

BLACK  SKIMMER  feeding  young  (photo by Jim Gray / Audubon)

These seabirds prefer oceanic and estuarial beaches, as well as salt bays, saltmarshes, lagoons, inlets, sandy islands, and other coastal wetlands.

America’s southeast coastlines (especially all of Florida’s coastline) provide year-round habitat for Black Skimmers, from southernmost Texas to midway up the North Carolina coast.  Also, many migrating Black Skimmers winter in the bottom part of Florida’s peninsula, afterwards returning to Mid-Atlantic state coasts (from North Carolina to Connecticut) for summer breeding.  [See, accord, Roger Tory Peterson, EASTERN BIRDS (Houghton Mifflin / Peterson Field Guides, 4th edition, 1980), pages 98-99 & Range Map 87.  See also “Black Skimmer” at http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-skimmer .]

BlackSkimmer-on-beach.AndreasTrepte

BLACK SKIMMER on beach   (photo credit:  Andreas Trepte)

Viewing Black Skimmers is fun enough, but it is more fun to view them with friends.

One of the most pleasant forms of outdoor recreation and fellowship, when visiting old or new friends (especially Christian friends), is to take a walk — whether hiking in a forest, or ambling up a mountainside, or trudging through new-fallen snow, or strolling in beach-sand, or splashing in coastal tidewaters — all the while noticing nearby birds who busily fly or swim or strut about, tweeting or chirping out their various songs.

So I recalled the nostalgic old song (usually sung on New Year’s Eve, AULD LANG SYNE, but I changed the lyrics to fit the memories, redubbing it “Auld Lang Birdwatching”.

(Sing to the tune of AULD LANG SYNE.)

Should old birdwatching be forgot

    And lifers go unseen?

The fowl so fair, in air we spot

    Or perching as they preen.

 While drinking coffee, birds we gaze

    On earth, at sea, in sky;

God made them all, us to amaze,

    Birds run and swim and fly!

God has given us many blessings in life, for which we must ever be grateful.  Godly friends are one of the greatest blessings that a man or woman can ever have.

(Having a godly spouse, as one’s best friend, is the ultimate example of such blessing, of course — and I am one of the few men who can honestly say that my wife is my best friend;  and, although I have many faults, I think that I am likewise my wife’s best friend.)

But, furthermore, there is one friend to be loved and treasured, above all human friends, the One of Whom we sing, in the song “WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS“.

Accordingly, as much as we esteem and treasure our earthly blessings  —  and we should  —  we must always exceed those appreciations with our love for and devotion to God Himself, because a loss of one’s “first love” (for God) constitutes a tragic (and treacherous) loss indeed.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent….  (Revelation 2:4-5a)

Spiritual decline soon follows whenever one’s devotion to God slips or erodes, unless a clean correction is quickly made.  (The exhortation in Revelation 2:4-5 is for each of us!)

May God help us to appreciate our blessings —  both friendships and fowl-watching opportunities — yet may He nudge us, daily, to remind us that our most precious blessing in life (and thereafter) is God Himself, for He is truly (as Paul says in 1st Corinthians 15:28) our “all in all”, and it is a wonderful privilege to belong to Him (Psalm 100).

BlackSkimmer-with-young.MichaelStubblefield.jpg

BLACK  SKIMMER  with  young   (photo by Michael Stubblefield)

 


Magellanic Penguin Swims 5,000 Miles For Reunion

Magellanic Penguin Swims 5,000 Miles For Reunion With Man Who Saved His Live

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) ©Globo TV

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) ©Globo TV

Best Buds

Dr. Jim sent this article to me today and I thought we would work it up. After checking online, there were quite a few news articles about Dindim the Magellanic Penguin and his rescuer. Here is the article:

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralToday’s most heartwarming story is brought to you from a beach in Brazil.

It’s the story of a South American Magellanic penguin who swims 5,000 miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.

Retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found the tiny penguin, covered in oil and close to death,
lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011. Joao cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers and fed him a daily diet of fish to build his strength. He named him Dindim.

After a week, he tried to release the penguin back into the sea. But, the bird wouldn’t leave. ‘He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,’ Joao recalls.

And, just a few months later, Dindim was back. He spotted the fisherman on the beach one day and followed him home.

The prodigal penguin returns. Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) ©Globo TV

The prodigal penguin returns. Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) ©Globo TV

Look who’s back

For the past five years, Dindim has spent eight months of the year with Joao and is believed to spend the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile. It’s thought he swims up to 5,000 miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) ©Globo TV

Dindim the Magellanic Penguin ©Globo TV

‘I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,’ Joao told Globo TV. ‘No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, and allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up. It’s thought Dindim believes the fisherman is also a penguin ‘Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me for the past four years. He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February and every year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me.’

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) ©Globo TV

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) ©Globo TV

But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name. (3 John 1:14 KJV)

Biologist Professor Krajewski, who interviewed the fisherman for Globo TV, told The Independent: ‘I have never seen anything like this before. I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family and probably a penguin as well. ‘When he sees him he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight. And, just like that, the world seems a kinder place again.

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You might want to check out these articles as some of them have videos of these two.

Penguins belong to the SPHENISCIFORMES Order, the Penguins – Spheniscidae Family.

Wordless Birds

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