Gatorland’s Greedy Snowy Egret

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

May you have a great day enjoying family, friends, and fine food. But please, do not bite off more than you should! [This video of a Snowy Egret was taken at Gatorland this week.]

“A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalms 100:1-5 NKJV)

Family: Building a Home God’s Way

More Gatorland Adventures

Gatorland in Orlando, Florida

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Who Supplied The Food For The First Thanksgiving? – Re-post

Our writer here, James J. S. Johnson, has his own blog, over at RockDoveBlog. I thought his Thanksgiving post is so interesting, that I am sharing it with you here:

Who Supplied the Food for the First Thanksgiving?

James J. S. Johnson

1st-thanksgiving-accurate-painting

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without [outside], and that ye may have lack of nothing. (1st Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28)

Recently my happy-hearted 5-year-old grandson was taught a little Thanksgiving song, in kindergarten. It was a catchy tune, yet some lyrics contained a PC (i.e., politically corrupt) “gotcha”. The little ditty went something like this:

The Indians brought the food; the Pilgrims set up the table…

Of course, I chose not to admonish my enthusiastic grandson that the little chorus was historically twisted – revisionist “history” in song – giving the impression that the Pilgrims were just invasive “takers”, as if the Indian natives alone provided all the food eaten during the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth. But it bugged me (and it continues to bug me) that trusting kindergartners are misled into believing…… [Read the rest of this blog]

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Happy Thanksgiving From All of Us Here At Lee’s Birdwatching!!!

RockDoveBlog

James J. S. Johnson’s Articles Here

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Reginald The Turkey Commander – Part 3

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Reginald the Turkey Commander – Part 3  ~~ By Emma Foster

Once again Thanksgiving was coming and Reginald was keeping watch with the rest of his turkey friends to see if any hunters were nearby his home in the woods. This year Reginald and most of the other turkeys had congregated together to determine whether or not they should migrate to another location deeper in the woods. They had kept themselves hidden for the entire year but Reginald had seen several hunters nearby.

Eventually Reginald and the other turkeys decided that it would be best if they traveled deeper into the forest to keep away from the hunters. Reginald decided that they should all travel south where the forest was thicker and the trees were taller. One by one the turkeys all put on their army helmets to sneak off farther south. But Reginald’s cousin, Oliver, had some difficulty putting on his helmet. He kept putting it on backwards. Reginald simply shook his head and spent a good ten minutes trying to pry the helmet off Oliver’s head before finally it popped off.

Reginald set off with the rest of the turkeys behind him. Oliver was the last out of all the turkeys, convinced that a hunter might come out at any moment. He assumed it would be better if he kept watch behind all of them.

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey heading out

The turkeys trekked all day long. At one point a large old tree tipped over and crashed nearby. Oliver, thinking it was a gunshot, began to run around gobbling hysterically. Reginald had to run after him and try to calm him down so the hunters wouldn’t hear Oliver gobbling loudly. After some time Reginald was able to explain in exasperation to Oliver that the noise had only come from a tree. To keep Oliver from getting into any more trouble, Reginald simply shook his head and placed Oliver next to him for the rest of the trip.

WildTurkey(Meleagrisgallopavo) Flock ©WikiC

WildTurkey(Meleagris gallopavo) Flock ©WikiC

Eventually the turkeys came upon a wide rushing river. Lying across the river was a fallen tree trunk that the turkeys could easily use to cross. In single file the turkeys marched on the log across the river. Reginald and Oliver went last, and when they were both halfway across Oliver slipped and fell into the river.

Oliver continued to gobble loudly and flap his wings as the turkeys ran down the bank after him. One of the turkeys grabbed a stray branch and held it out for him. Oliver grabbed the branch and, with the help of Reginald, was dragged back to shore, soaking wet and without his army helmet. Reginald simply shook his head and marched on.

WildTurkey(Meleagrisgallopavo) Flock ©OhioDNR

WildTurkey(Meleagris gallopavo) Flock ©OhioDNR

Reginald led the other turkeys farther into the forest, not wasting time to let Oliver dry off. Oliver did have time to dry off late that night when Reginald and the other turkeys built a small fire deep in the forest. They were sure to make the fire just big enough so that no hunters would see them.

After a lengthy discussion, the turkeys decided that this part of the forest was just the right place to hide from the hunters that Thanksgiving. Once again Reginald was able to keep the turkeys safe and they were able to celebrate their Thanksgiving without fear of the hunters. Even Oliver was able to celebrate Thanksgiving although he caught a cold from getting wet. As for the hunters, in order to find any turkey at all they had to hunt at the very other end of the forest far away from Reginald and his friends. Once again, the turkey’s journey had been a success.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) at LPZ

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) Resting by Lee at LPZoo

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming [even turkeys]; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

“Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” (Isaiah 55:4 KJV)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Praise the Lord For All His Blessings!

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We have another delightful and interesting story about Reginald, the Commander Turkey from Emma. If you have missed his other adventures, you can read them here:

Reginald, Turkey Commander

Reginald the Turkey Commander on Christmas

More of Emma’s Stories

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Happy Thanksgiving – 2015

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8 NKJV)

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving here in America. When I went back to see what had been posted in the past, there is not much more could be said. See the list of many previous posts for Thanksgiving over the years this blog has been going.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Or is there? 2015 was another great year and I am thankful for all the blessings the Lord has given us through out this last year. Our big trip to the West Coast was the highlight of the year. We are thankful for all the many miles we safely traveled and the many birds and interesting things we saw. Thankful to the Lord for His marvelous creations we saw.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NKJV)

I am also thankful for all of you who have stopped by to visit and read the articles. Also, for the many comments you have left over the year, even the negative ones. That is called freedom of speech. Also, I am thankful for the almost 1.5 million visits here. Wow! It is getting close. I am also thankful for the writers who have contributed to help enhance the blog. James J. S. Johnson, Golden Eagle, Ian Montgomery, Emma Foster, Dottie Malcolm, and others have written many fine articles. Happy Thanksgiving to all of them.

“…and to everyone who works and labors with us.” (1 Corinthians 16:16b NKJV)

Most of all, I am thankful for my Savior and the Love and Blessings He has given to Dan and I. Even with hospital time and a slipped disc, He has never left us, nor forsaken us.

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV)

Previous Thanksgiving Posts:

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Enter Into His Gates With Thanksgiving

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving

James J. S. Johnson

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know ye that the Lord He is God; it is He Who hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.  (Psalm 100)

Sometimes what you expect to find, is not what you find.  This is true of Grenada’s official bird, if you assume it matches Grenada’s official coat of arms.  This is also true if you imagine that the Thanksgiving holiday, as it is celebrated in Grenada, is like the Thanksgiving holiday as it is celebrated in America.

Fair Use credit: http://tolweb.org/tree/ToLimages/217681451_7e4971beab_o.250a.jpg

Grenada’s official coat of arms includes an Armadillo and a Grenada Dove (Leptotila wells  —  a/k/a Well’s dove or pea dove), positioned above the motto “Ever conscious of God, we aspire, build, and advance as one people.”   The Grenada Dove is endemic to Grenada – i.e., only on the island of Grenada is the Grenada Dove found in the wild, and even there it is critically “endangered” (i.e., close to extinction).   The dove’s coloring, as depicted on the Grenada coat of arms, however, does not closely match the actual coloring of the real bird.

(Grenada coat of arms – public domain)

(Grenada coat of arms – public domain)

The dove’s coloring, as depicted on the Grenada coat of arms, however, does not closely match the actual coloring of the real bird.  The actual Grenada Dove has little blue to it (depending on the lighting used to view it)  –  rather, brown and buff dominate its overall coloring.  One wonders why, therefore, the heraldic depiction shows indigo-blue and azure, with yellow highlighting.  Consider the more realistic depictions before, as shown by photographic and postage images.

Fair use credit:  grenada national archiveshttps://grenadanationalarchives.wordpress.com/tag/leptotila-wellis/ (from the website of the National Archives of Grenada)

(Grenada postage stamp issued in February of AD1974 – public domain)

Consider also these special World Wildlife Fund-logo Grenada postage stamps,  showing Grenada Doves.

Grenada stamps 1

Grenada stamps 2

(Grenda postage stamps issued in January AD1995 – public domain)

The lesson here, apparently, is that heraldic coat-of-arms depictions of birds can (sometimes) be quite unrealistic – or else the artist might be depicting the wrong bird!

But Grenada’s coat of arms is not the only surprise in its national symbols.

Consider now the holiday we call “Thanksgiving”.

In the United States of America, for a contrasting example, the holiday of “Thanksgiving” (celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November) commemorates the gratitude of Plymouth Pilgrims, as pioneer survivors, who thanked God at harvest time in AD1621, for His providence — see “Strangers and Pilgrims (and the American Turkey)”, posted at https://leesbird.com/2014/11/25/strangers-and-pilgrims/ .  The Pilgrims’ survival and early successes, due to God’s providence, are also celebrated in the Netherlands, in Leiden, to commemorate how the Pilgrims lived in Holland during AD1609-AD1620.  A special Thanksgiving worship service is conducted, there, on the morning of America’s Thanksgiving, in Pieterskerk [“Peter’s church”], a Gothic church that was originally Roman Catholic (from its architectural beginning in AD1390), yet became Protestant during the Dutch Reformation, and became the burial site for John Robinson, pastor of the Pilgrims prior to their migratory journey to America.

Canadians observe a similar holiday, called l’Action de grâce in French, on the second Monday in October.

Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Wednesday of November, so that Norfolk Island’s celebration of Thanksgiving occcurs either the day before, or six days after, the day when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.

Saint Lucia, an island nation on the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea, celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Monday in October.

Christians in Germany have a similar harvest-thanksgiving holiday, Erntedankfest, in early October, at about the same time that its Bavarians are celebrating Oktoberfest.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be focused on thanking God —  even the name of the holiday suggests as much.  However, although gratitude to God  –-  for harvest blessings  —  was the original reason for most harvest festival-oriented “thanksgiving” holidays, many Thanksgiving traditions have forgotten the historic importance of thanking God for His caring providences, by focusing more on distractive parades (e.g., Macy’s, IKEA’s, McDonald’s), football games, and feasting  —  with such festive celebrations discounted in slang as “Turkey Day”. (British Laird Bill Cooper was quite disappointed to learn of this trivialized secularization of what was originally a holy day/holiday.)

But how is Thanksgiving celebrated in Grenada, and why ?

First, consider where Grenada is located – Grenada is an island nation situated slightly east of South America, north of Venezuela.  Politically speaking, the nation of Grenada actually includes the main island (called “Grenada”) plus a few smaller islands, some but not all of “the Grenadines”, which are situated north of the Martinique Channel – with several of the other Grenadine islands (located south of the Martinique Channel) jurisdictionally belonging to the Caribbean nation called “St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

grenada map

In AD1498 the main island of Grenada was visited by Christopher Columbus, who named it “Concepcion”.

Grenada was later visited by Britons, then French; it was eventually settled by French colonists. Later, as part of the Treaty of Paris (in AD1763), Grenada became a British colony.  Grenada shed its colonial status, however, in AD1974, as it then became officially independent of the United Kingdom, although it remained an affiliate of the British Commonwealth.

So far so good, it seemed, until AD1983, when a Communist military takeover occurred on the island, led by General Hudson Austin (who was politically backed by Cuba, and aided by Cuban soldiers), actually seized control from a prior Communist takeover (i.e., one Communist regime killed off the leadership of a prior Communist dictatorship).  American students were put in jeopardy so President Ronald Reagan authorized a military rescue operation, which included defeating the “New Jewel Movement” (i.e., the second Communist dictatorship).

Thus, beginning on October 25th of AD1983, the “New Jewel Movement” Communists, who had seized the country, were soon opposed by a coalition of rescue forces, comprised of the United States and several Caribbean allies (from six Caribbean nations, including Jamaica and Barbados), in a complicated military effort called “Operation Urgent Fury” – which included U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Marines, Delta Force, 82nd Airborne paratroopers, and U.S. Navy SEALs.  Because the rescue operation was so successful – and peace was restored to Grenada (with the Cuban soldiers being expelled) a holiday of gratitude was established – October 25th became Thanksgiving Day for Grenada.

Operation Urgent Fury photograph

Operation Urgent Fury photograph (public domain, AD1983) M102 howitzers (320th Field Artillery Regiment) firing on Grenada island.

Bottom line:   we all  –  whether Americans or Grenadians or anyone else for whom Christ died  —  have a lot to be thankful for, on whatever day that we celebrate Thanksgiving (and on every other day of the year!).

In accord with Psalm 100 we should, daily, “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name”.

Happy Thanksgiving Day – 2013

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

We trust you are enjoying your Thanksgiving Day and are remembering all your blessings this year. We have had many blessings since last Thanksgiving.

We have had challenges also, but it depends on how you look at them. You could consider them as terrible or you could see them as blessings. Our attitude and our focus can make all the difference in the world.

I choose to thank the Lord for all things. Sometimes things don’t go the way we expect, but that does not mean that the Lord does not love us.

that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45 NKJV)

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) at Cincinnati Zoo) by Lee

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) at Cincinnati Zoo) by Lee

Since last Thanksgiving Day, I have had two eye surgeries, squamous cell cancer taken off my neck, and a recent round of bronchitis. Praise the Lord, they all came out fine. At the time you are going through them, you do not know what the outcomes will be and you just keep your eyes focused on the Lord. Of course, you are praying and thanking the Lord for whatever He choses as your outcome.

Wood Duck - Lake Morton by Lee

Wood Duck – Lake Morton by Lee

During this last year, we were fortunate to see numerous birds, both in the wild, at parks and in zoos. Our birdwatching adventures were always enjoyable as we were able to watch the Lord’s creations in person. Photos are great, but seeing them as they move and are doing their thing is always best.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

We had visits to the Cincinnati Zoo, Palm Beach Zoo, Gatorland, and numerous visit to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. Those visits, plus all the parks, lakes and just watching birds in our yard, made for plenty to be thankful for.

Blue-crowned Motmot at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 2013

Blue-crowned Motmot at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

When you add in all the blessings of friends and family, our church, and on and on; there is much to be thankful to the Lord.

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

I trust you spend some time today, being thankful for all your blessings. Especially, thanking the Lord, who created everything and loves us enough to send His Son to die for us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)

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Birdwatching Trips

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