Willets At Ding Darling NWR

Willet at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV)

Previously, we were at Merritt Island NWR and had seen some Willets and I needed help identifying some birds. One of them turned out to be a Willet. I have seen them before, but not very often. Today, we went to Ding Darling NWR over on Sanibel Island, right nearby Fort Myers, Florida.

Today was very cool, around 48-50 degrees, overcast, and very windy. Not a great day for birdwatching, if you have a small temperature range like I do. :) My range is between 65 and 80 degrees. Anyway, back to the adventure.

The birds were few and not really close in. Most of my photos were taken using my zoom. The Willets were feeding and I happened to be standing by a lady with a nice camera that had a long lens on it. Wanting to show of my new Willet identity skills, I said, “those are Willets, right.?” [That is how you ask when you really aren’t 100% sure.]

“Yes, they are.” Then she said, “I am a biologist and a Shorebird specialists.” About that time, one of the Willets from another group flew by us and she told me that the black and white wing bars are a great clue. Also, they are one of the largest shorebirds in this area.

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

One of the great things about birdwatching is the helpfulness of other birders. Most are willing to share their experience and knowledge about these Avian Wonders from our Creator. Now I have another way to help figure out that I am looking at a Willet.

Here are a few more photos as he flew by:

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee

When the bird landed, you could still see the black at the back of its wings. [far left bird]

As we continued to watch and talk, a group of the Willets flew over and landed. It was nice to see all those black and white markings. Once they settled down, close their wings, all that “clue” is again hid. Oh, the joys and challenges of birdwatching.

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

By the way, looking back over previous photos, we were last at Ding Darling in July of 2008. It has been some time since we were there and there were many more birds. Could it be because it was in July and WARMER???

The verse quoted above, “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV), reminds us that the Lord has made each species just a bit different. If we study them, “they will tell us.”


Ding Darling NWR – FWS

Ding Darling NWR – Wikipedia

Willet – All About Birds

  • Because they find prey using the sensitive tips of their bills, and not just eyesight, Willets can feed both during the day and at night.

Willet – Wikipedia

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) ©WikiC

Reginald’s Happy New Year by Emma Foster

Deer and Turkeys in Snow

Reginald’s Happy New Year by Emma Foster

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Reginald, Oliver, and the turkeys had sufficiently prepared for the winter, and now that they were safe in the fort they were able to celebrate Christmas in comfort. When Christmas was over, the turkeys spent their time building snow-turkeys and having snowball fights, knowing that they were safe from the hunters. Reginald watched over Oliver so that he didn’t get into any trouble, while he also made sure that the preparations for the New Year’s party were properly handled. On the day before New Year’s Day, however, everyone discovered that Oliver was missing.

Reginald and the turkeys searched for Oliver, and they eventually discovered him close by near a frozen river, where he was searching for berries. The turkeys stepped onto the river and realized that the ice was thick, and they all decided to skate across the ice. While they were skating, Reginald watched, making sure there wasn’t anyone nearby who could see them.

Baby Raccoon ©Flickr Chief Trent

Suddenly, a small creature emerged from the bushes, looking for food. It was a tiny baby racoon, who appeared to be lost. She was cold, tired, and hungry, and the turkeys decided to take her back to the fort so she could get warm and eat some food.

The baby raccoon said that her name was Ruby, and that she had lost her way yesterday and couldn’t find her mom. Reginald and the turkeys immediately set out to search for Ruby’s mom. Ruby pointed out the direction she had come from and where she had last seen her mom, and Reginald, Oliver, and a few other turkeys began marching that way.

Momma and Baby Raccoon ©Flickr Debbie

After about an hour, they heard a raccoon calling Ruby’s name. Ruby ran toward the voice excitedly, reuniting with her mother in the bushes. Ruby’s mother thanked the turkeys, and in turn the turkeys invited her and Ruby to their New Year’s party. Every year the turkeys celebrated the New Year by staying up all night and waiting for the first sunrise in the forest.

Reginald, Oliver, and the others returned to the fort. The sun was already beginning to set, and Reginald began to oversee the preparations for the New Year’s party. Reginald and the other turkeys made party hats by sticking leaves onto their army helmets, and Oliver made special hats for Ruby and her mom out of leaves all by himself.

Alaska Wild Berries ©WikiC

Throughout the night, the turkeys celebrated by skating on the ice and eating the berries that they had stored for the winter. Oliver placed some berries on a small piece of bark that served as a tray and waited on the turkeys in order to be kept out of trouble.

Later that night, the turkeys and the raccoons sat down and gazed at the stars just as the sun was beginning to peek out. When the sun rose on New Year’s Day, the turkeys and the raccoons celebrated, happy to know that they were safe from the hunters and that a new year had begun.


Lee’s Addition:

I am glad the turkeys befriended the young raccoon and helped find its mother. Not sure if the turkeys had this much trouble walking on the snow and ice as these turkeys:

It was nice of the turkeys to let the raccoons join in their New Year’s Eve Celebration.

We all trust you have a very Happy New Year in 2019.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 KJV)

See more of Emma’s Stories:

Emma’s Stories

 

The Raven and the Old Woman’s Garden – by Emma Foster

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

The Raven and the Old Woman’s Garden by Emma Foster

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

Once there was a small raven that lived in a tree that stood in the middle of a large garden a woman had planted years ago. The woman had grown old now and spent most of the time in her small brick house. She did come out to devoutly water her plants so that her garden would be kept beautiful, but it was very difficult for her to pull out the weeds in the flower beds.

The raven would often watch the old woman from her nest in the tree as she watered her flowers. The raven enjoyed the garden the old woman had planted because so many of the flowers were different colors. During the day the raven would often fly through the flowers, and every day it seemed that there was a new and different flower for her to look at.

PAS-Corv Raven ©Pixabay

But one day the old woman didn’t come out of her house. The raven waited for her to come and water her flowers, but the old woman had become ill and couldn’t get out of her bed. Eventually, the raven saw from her nest a bright red and white vehicle with flashing lights come up the driveway. The raven watched some people in uniforms come into the house and take the old woman out on a bed and drive away.

A few days went by and the old woman did not come home. The raven began to worry because there was no one to water the flowers to keep the old woman’s garden looking beautiful. Several weeds had sprung up in the flower beds as well.

The raven suddenly had the idea to begin pulling out some of the weeds while the old woman was gone. She started in the flower bed closest to her nest and began pulling weeds out from the beds. While she was pulling out some of the weeds, the raven found a few seeds that the old woman hadn’t planted yet. The raven promptly decided to dig up a small place off to the side with her beak in order to plant them.

PAS-Corv Raven ©Pixabay

The raven continued to pull out more weeds for the rest of the day. Fortunately, because it wasn’t terribly hot outside the work was a little easier. Toward the end of the day, rain began to fall. The raven quickly retreated to her nest and watched from the protection of the tree as the rain watered the flowers to keep them from dying.

The rain stopped the next morning but continued occurring every now and then for the next couple of days. One morning the raven woke to see tiny buds had appeared out of the ground where she had planted the seeds. This made the raven very happy, but she became even happier when a car drove up into the driveway. The old woman had come back from the hospital but had to be taken into her house on a bed. The raven stayed in her nest, hoping that the old woman would be able to see the new flowers and her well-kept garden through her bedroom window.

Fortunately, the old woman was able to see her garden very clearly, but she was no longer able to come outside. The raven decided she would keep pulling out the weeds for her. It continued to rain nearly every day, which was good because the flowers had to be watered. But one day another loud flashing vehicle came back up to the house and took the old woman away, and the raven knew that she wasn’t coming back.

PAS-Corv Raven ©Pixabay

Eventually, several people came to the house and moved out all of the old woman’s things leaving the house bare and empty. To honor the old woman the raven kept pulling out weeds, hoping that she could keep the old woman’s garden as long as possible. But eventually it stopped raining and the flowers began to wilt. The raven began to fear that all of the old woman’s flowers would eventually die, until one day the raven woke up in her nest to see a family moving into the old woman’s house. The wife, who moved into the house with her husband and children, decided that she should continue tending the garden, which made the raven very happy. After a few weeks the garden and was healthy and beautiful again, and the flowers the raven had planted grew incredible large and tall.

My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:2 NKJV)


Lee’s Addition:

Another very entertaining and delightful story from Emma. Emma picks the birds in her tales and I supply the photos and scriptures. She may not be aware that the Ravens are very intelligent and can do some might surprising tasks. So, maybe this story is not really so “far-fetched”!

Enjoy her other tales at Emma’s Stories.

Lee’s Three Word Wednesday – 4/27/16

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Cockatiel On Her Shoulder ©Daily Mail

ON HER SHOULDER

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“And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.” (Genesis 24:45)

Cockatiel On Her Shoulder ©Daily Mail

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