Celebrating the Life-Saving Heroism of Alaskan Dog Mushers (and their Sled Dogs) – Repost

What an interesting article that James J. S. Johnson wrote on his blog. I thought you might enjoy it. The video of an actual dog slide ride is really challenging.


 Celebrating the Life-Saving Heroism of Alaskan Dog Mushers (and their Sled Dogs)

James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CNHG


As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.  Galatians 6:10

Imagine a celebration of Siberian husky sled dogs, harnessed together as a racing team, guided by their human driver (called a “musher”), zooming across frigid snow trails in rural Alaska:  this is what happens in a commemorative festival/event called the IDITAROD TRAIL RACE.  (See the YouTube video footage below.)


The Iditarod is an outdoors reenactment-like celebration of dogsled mushing, to remember the heroic relay race – through day and night, blizzard winds, snow, and ice – to save human lives, during a life-or-death crisis in January-February AD1925, when a highly contagious diphtheria plague struck like a serial killer, menacing the almost-unreachable population of Nome, Alaska.

The crisis…

View original post 1,707 more words

Lee’s Five Word Friday – 8/5/16


Crow on Eagles Back ©©



“‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” (Exodus 19:4 NKJV)

Crow on Eagle’s Back ©©


More Daily Devotionals


Lee’s Two Word Tuesday – 2/2/16


Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton




Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: (Proverbs 30:8 KJV)

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton (L to R – Dan, Golden Eagle, and James J S Johnson)


Sandra’s New Kooky Challenge


Sparrow Quote from The Life Project

House Sparrows visiting National Aviary Parrot Show by Lee

House Sparrows visiting National Aviary by Lee

The Life Project by Don Merritt is a blog I follow. Here is an interesting quote from Jesus and His relationship with the Disciples:

Jesus wraps up this thought with the example of a sparrow. Who watches out for sparrows? Actually, we could ask something like: Who cares at all about sparrows?

Jesus gives us an answer: His Father in heaven cares about each and every single insignificant sparrow on the planet, and nothing happens to a single little sparrow that He doesn’t know about.

That is a staggering thought…

Read the whole article….


Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. (Matthew 10:29 KJV)

The Life Project

Jesus and His relationship with the Disciples

Birds of the Bible – Sparrows


Here’s Seed for Thought

National Aviary - Outside feeder

National Aviary – Outside feeder

Here’s Seed for Thought

By James J. S. Johnson

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. (1st Peter 1:23)

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan


God’s Word is like good seed – it transmits God’s very thoughts into new life.

If we have eyes to see it, the whole process of seed germination (in a sunflower, or in a human life) is a providential God-glorifying miracle, every time new life germinates.

Sunflowers for Bird Brains article by Dr James J S Johnson

Sunflowers  [public domain]

When I see sunflowers growing in farm-fields, or elsewhere, I often recall how God sometimes uses “accidental” plantings, caused by birds who occasionally drop sunflower seeds, thereby planting a new generation of bright yellow sunflowers.

To illustrate, consider this poem, written almost 20 years ago.


( © AD1997 James J. S. Johnson, used by permission )

Seeing hungry backyard birds
I filled a tray with seeds;
Sparrows, juncos dined in “herds”,
and jays arrived to feed;
Even cardinals, flashing red:
they came, they saw, they fed.

Bills gulped! seed-hulls popped!
Some seeds spilled! some seeds dropped!
Overhead, as some bird flew,
sunflower seeds did fall;
From green vines, they later grew,
seedlings, green and small.

Then out popped golden faces
Coloring grassy spaces;
Like baby suns of yellow,
Grinning — saying “hello”!
On green stalks they climb,
aiming to greet the sky;
Seed-packed in their prime,
picked by birds, going by.

Thus reaps my yard what jays did sow,
New seeds, from old, sunflowers grow.

Watch I, and think on what God made
How He designed such “mutual aid”…
In my backyard, I must surmise:
The Lord, Who did this, He is wise!

This poem was written when I lived in Carrollton, Texas, where I grew sunflowers by our backyard’s western fence, with the help of blue jay “planters” – but, of course, God gave the increase (1st Corinthians 3:7). (Those were the days, now like a faded dream gone by, when I taught ornithology and avian conservation at Dallas Christian College.)

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

So, when you see bright-colored sunflowers — and the hungry birds who eat them, just remember this:  those same birds, or their parents, may have “accidently” planted the very seeds that germinated into the full-grown sunflowers that the birds now eat from!

Also, remember this also: God shows His wisdom and goodness, everywhere you look, — if you have the eyes to see it.

Furthermore, even more important, of course, is this: that “incorruptible seed” (to use the apostle Peter’s phrase) — that we call the Holy Bible – is the eternal Word of God, and He uses its truth to give us regenerated life in our Lord Jesus Christ (Who is Himself the Messiah, the promised “Seed of Woman”, prophesied of in Genesis3:15)!

><> JJSJ

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr

Lee’s Addition:

Thanks again, Dr. Jim. Enjoyed your poem and the application. In fact, there is a stalk or two of corn growing under my feeder because of the birds. Had a Sunflower or two last summer growing under the feeders.

Oh, that we all would feast on His Word!

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC



James J.S. Johnson


Changed From The Inside Out


Birds of the Bible – Dove and Pigeon Distribution

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) by Robert Scanlon

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) by Robert Scanlon

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; (Genesis 8:8 KJV)

Doves and Pigeons are mentioned many times throughout Scripture. When people all over the world read about them in their Bible, they probably have an idea of what that bird looks like. Why?

“Pigeons and doves are distributed everywhere on Earth, except for the driest areas of the Sahara Desert, Antarctica and its surrounding islands and the high Arctic. They have colonised most of the world’s oceanic islands, reaching eastern Polynesia and the Chatham Islands in the Pacific, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Réunion in the Indian Ocean, and the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean.” (Wikipedia)

They appear almost everywhere. During the time of sacrifices to God, before Jesus Christ became the perfect Sacrifice for our sins; doves, turtle dove and young pigeons were accepted. Just as salvation is available to all, there were birds available, no matter where you were.

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) by Dan

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) by Dan


Why are they so plentiful?

“The family has adapted to most of the habitats available on the planet. These species may be arboreal, terrestrial or semiterrestrial. Various species also inhabit savannas, grasslands, deserts, temperate woodlands and forests, mangrove forests, and even the barren sands and gravels of atolls.”

Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) by Margaret Sloan

Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) has been widely introduced around the world – by Margaret Sloan

Are the Doves and Pigeons called by the same name? No. As they have reproduced and moved to the different areas (distribution), the number of species have grown.

“Some species have large natural ranges. The Eared Dove ranges across the entirety of South America from Colombia to Tierra Del Fuego, the Eurasian Collared Dove has a massive (if discontinuous) distribution from Britain across Europe, the Middle East, India, Pakistan and China, and the Laughing Dove across most of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Other species have a tiny, restricted distribution; this is most common in island endemics. The Whistling Dove is endemic to the tiny Kadavu Island in Fiji, the Caroline Ground-dove is restricted to two islands, Truk and Pohnpei in the Caroline Islands, and the Grenada Dove is restricted to Grenada in the Caribbean. Some continental species also have tiny distributions; for example, the Black-banded Fruit Dove is restricted to a small area of the Arnhem Land of Australia, the Somali Pigeon is restricted to a tiny area of northern Somalia, and Moreno’s Ground Dove is restricted to the area around Salta and Tucuman in northern Argentina.”

Rock Dove (Columba livia) by Ian

Rock Dove (Columba livia) by Ian

 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. (Genesis 15:9 KJV)

“The largest range of any species is that of the Rock Dove or Rock Pigeon. This species had a large natural distribution from Britain and Ireland to northern Africa, across Europe, Arabia, Central Asia, India, the Himalayas and up into China and Mongolia. The range of the species increased dramatically upon domestication, as the species went feral in cities around the world. The species is currently resident across most of North America, and has established itself in cities and urban areas in South America, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The species is not the only pigeon to have increased its range due to the actions of man; several other species have become established outside of their natural range after escaping captivity, and other species have increased their natural ranges due to habitat changes caused by human activity.”

The “Pigeon” (Columba livia) is known by many names because of the different languages spoken, yet they all refer to the same bird. The scientific name,  Columba livia, refers to only that bird, no matter what they call it.

Here are some examples:

Rock Pigeon
holub skalní
Paloma Bravía
Pigeon biset
Piccione selvatico
Klippedue (Domestisert: Bydue)
gołąb miejski
Portuguese (Brazil):
Сизый голубь
holub divý

(Adapted from the Wikipedia’s “Columbidae” page, especially the “Distribution and Habitat” section.)

Banded Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus cinctus) by Ian

Banded Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus cinctus) by Ian

The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:12 NKJV)

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29 KJV)

As mentioned above, if a person could not afford a lamb or ram, then Turtle Dove and Pigeons were accepted. They were plentiful and available. Since the Lord paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sin, the need to use these birds is no longer needed. As a birdwatcher, I am thankful. As a Christian, I am most thankful for the Lord’s sacrifice for my sins.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)



Lemmings Fuel Biggest Snowy-owl Migration in 50 years – Re-post

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) Female in Florida 2013-2014 ©©minds-eye

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) Female in Florida 2013-2014 ©©minds-eye

the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; (Leviticus 11:17-18 NKJV)

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

Here is a very interesting article about the Snowy Owls being spotted so much this winter. It is from the Focusing On Wildlife blog.

For the lowly Arctic lemming, life is cruel. In a flash before death, often the last things a lemming sees are the deadly talons of a majestic . A mass sacrifice of this rodent with stubby legs probably gave rise to what scientists are calling the largest snowy-owl irruption in at least half a century. The gleaming white birds poured out of Canada this winter to points throughout the eastern US, captivating birdwatchers, scientists and people who had never seen them up close.

For the rest of the article – CLICK HERE

Wordless Birds


The Common Potoo – Video

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) by Daves BirdingPix

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) by Daves BirdingPix

Thought I would share this video with you. A friend suggested that I watch it. It is really good.

Also, I didn’t do the usual Sunday Inspiration today because of honoring A J Mithra. It has affected me greatly. He had become a dear friend and I will miss him. I know he is enjoying the Lord’s presence, but there is still sadness here.

The world’s most brazenly hidden bird — the Common Potoo by jonnytropics


Potoos are members of the Nyctibiidae – Potoos Family. There are seven species and the Lord has given them an appearance of wood or some camouflaged look.

This verse is out of context, but it describes our bird.

It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; there was silence, ….. (Job 4:16)


Nyctibiidae – Potoos Family

Wordless Birds


Bird of the World – Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater

What a neat video of the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. I have seen photos of them, but seeing birds in action is always special. There are some birds that just hit my fancy as I admire the Lord’s Handiwork. The Bee-eaters are one of those.

By Igor Byshnev

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
(25) “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
(26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
(27) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
(28) “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
(29) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(30) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
(31) “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
(32) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
(33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
(34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Bee-eaters belong to the Meropidae – Bee-eaters Family which has 27 species.

As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While they pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera. (Wikipedia with editing)

Articles Mentioning Birds From This Family:

Other Websites that have photos of this Family: