Sea To Sea In 2015 Page Created

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. (2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV)

Just finished creating a Sea To Sea In 2015 page. Pages are different than post because they are more permanent. This site has lots of pages and are usually used for reference, like the Birds of the Bible pages. Each Bird of the Bible has it’s own page and as articles are written, a link is added to the page.

The Sea to Sea in 2015 is a place where all these articles about our vacation, that took us from “Sea to Shining Sea,” can be listed.

Also, if you haven’t checked out the menus on the left side lately, you will find other “pages” have been added or updated. If you hold your mouse over “Birdwatching” you will see eight (8) more pages pop-up. One of those is Birdwatching Trips. That is where you will find pages of birdwatching trips we have taken. “Sea to Sea” is found under the Around the U.S.A. section.

Jacksonville, Florida Beach Sunrise while packing to go home.

Jacksonville, Florida Beach Sunrise while packing to go home.

Pages help make an index of the topics and the writers here. Search works all the time.

Check back, from time to time, as all these pages are being updated.

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Sea To Sea In 2015

Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2

From the last post, Birdwatching Along The Way – Vacation – Part 1, you know we arrived in Houston on Tuesday, the 5th. On Wednesday, we headed over to see their Houston Zoo. The weather was starting to turn “yukkie” and it was overcast. This made for making photos a challenge, at least for the outside exhibits. More about that weather later.

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

The Houston Zoo is a very nice zoo with lots of the Creator’s Avian Friends to check out along with the other Critters from the Lord. Not sure where to begin, so, let’s start with the entrance. As you can tell, it had been raining, but stopped in time for us to visit.

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

That fact, overcast skies, was the beginning of some of the challenges ahead. I have previously told of challenges with the fencing and cage material between us and the critters. Most of them are fine, but with birds, the bars or mesh can really get to be a challenge. Houston Zoo was loaded with those obstacles to keep me from getting any “perfect shots.” You photographers know exactly what I am referring to. Dan just gave me his “finished” photos that I can use and he was frustrated with how many didn’t turn out. Maybe I should just put all his up here and spare you the agony of seeing mine. :)

I informed him that many of the ones he isn’t going to let me use are better than most of mine. (He is a bit of a perfectionist.) Oh, the joys of a birdwatcher and a photographer marriage. Sure makes for some interesting discussions. Back to the Zoo.

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Sign Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Sign Houston Zoo by Lee

When you enter the zoo, the first birds we saw were the Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis). We have seen Blue and Gold Macaws, but these are not seen as often in zoos. The challenge began.

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

When I tried to zoom in the fence was still in the way.

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Never say never. Not the best, but you can tell that they are Blue-throated Macaws. Yeah!

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that for every bird I tried to get photos of. If I did, this would be a loooonnngggg post. I took over 800 photos just at this zoo. Many of those are the signs like up above. I do that so I can try to put the right name on the right bird. I used to try to write them down, but it is much easier to take a photo. plus the signs are usually near the bird and time taken.

Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Mine (can see the bars on it’s chest):

Livingstone's Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Sign Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Sign Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Now a good one by Dan:

Livingstone's Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

The Livingstone’s Turaco “is named after Charles Livingstone an English missionary that lived in Africa.” The Turaco Family has 23 species and the Houston Zoo has at least 5 species. In fact, I added at least four new birds to my Life List of All The Birds We Have Seen in this family:

Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) HZ, Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) HZ, Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) HZ, Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator) HZ, Red-crested Turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) and the White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) which we had seen at the National Aviary. (Will see some of these again later in the trip).

Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) Houston Zoo by Lee

White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) Houston Zooby Lee

White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) Houston Zooby Lee

The Go-away-bird reminds me of a verse:

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14:16 NKJV)

Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator) Houston Zoo

Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator) Houston Zoo

Ross's Turaco (Musophaga rossae) Houston Zoo by Lee

Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae) Houston Zoo by Lee

Red-crested Turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) by Dan

Red-crested Turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) by Dan

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) Houston Zoo

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) Houston Zoo

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Last Photos of Our Vacation

Laughing Gull at Hanna Park by Lee

Laughing Gull at Hanna Park by Lee

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. (Jer 17:7)

Yesterday we wrapped up our long vacation. We spent our last day birdwatching at the Hanna Park in Jacksonville, Florida. We have actually been on the road since May 3rd. A total of 32 days traveling. We left home and drove to San Diego, California (2,400+ miles) and back via a little different route. Our total trip amounted to just over 6,000 miles. We saw the Pacific and decided to end it at the Atlantic. We are calling this our belated 50th Anniversary Trip (2 years late).

With over 8,000 photos, I will have some tales to tell and birds to share (also lots of photos to toss) Some were taken while Dan was driving. Why is it just about the time you click the camera, a bump shows up?

Hanna Park by Lee

Hanna Park by Lee

I didn’t want to say too much while we gone for so long, but now I can start sharing our adventures. Also, apologies for not getting to your sites as frequently as prefered. The unread emails have been building up. Kept up as best I could, but still stayed behind. Also had many blogs pre-scheduled which helped.

Anyway, we have been to four zoos; Houston, San Diego, San Antonio, Jacksonville and two Living Desert Museum/Zoos. Plus lots of other interesting things and scenery. You already saw the Mississippi Welcome Center and the Large Roadrunner.

Sea Gull with feet in Atlantic at Hanna Park by Lee

Sea Gull with feet in Atlantic at Hanna Park by Lee

Our adventures were not just about birds. We saw 3 ships, Battleship Texas, USS Midway and USS Alabama, plus a couple of Aircraft Museums. We also had to readjust our schedule (never really had one) and route because of all the bad weather across Texas. Also had a Tornado Warning group sitting around the TV while in San Antonio. We were near the basement shelter, if needed. Added around 10 new Life Birds, but still analyzing photos for more.

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

The Lord has been very gracious to us while we were gone. We have had safe travels and avoided much of the bad weather. Many were praying for us while we have been traveling. Thank you for those prayers. We also met many nice people along the way. Some are now reading the blog.

As we traveled the Lord’s Hand in creation is so obvious. From birds, critters, plants and to the various terrains, there is so many blessings from Him. We are thankful to the Lord for His protection and blessings.

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. (Psa 5:11-12)

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Martha and the Go-Kart Race

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Martha and the Go-Kart Race ~ by Emma Foster

There was once an enormous ostrich named Martha who was extremely tall with a really long neck. She lived at the zoo and every day people would come there to look at her and all the strange and exotic animals. Many people came to look at Martha every day.

One day a flyer that had been left on the ground by a boy who was passing them out was blown in by the wind into Martha’s exhibit. She glanced down at the flyer. In big bold letters it said: GO-KART RACE THIS SATURDAY! The flyer went on to explain the instructions and it said that all ages were admitted. Martha decided right then and there she would enter the race.

That night, Martha sneaked out of her exhibit by climbing over the fence and sneaked into the shed in the back of the zoo. Finding some wooden boards, a hammer and nails, and a few other things, Martha set to work and eventually constructed her go-kart by Saturday.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverfront Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverfront Zoo SC by Lee

On the day of the race, Martha pushed her go-kart up to the starting line. All of the kids stared at her as she tried to get into the go-kart. It was difficult because of her long legs, but Martha eventually managed to get settled.

A man from the sideline swung a flag signaling to start the race. Martha zoomed down the road and turned a corner. After a few more turns Martha and the others drove over a bridge and eventually down a steep hill.

Ostrich

Ostrich

Martha spotted the finish line. She was in the lead. In a few seconds Martha crossed the finish line and won first place. Now every time someone at the zoo passed by Martha’s exhibit, they would see her first place trophy and her go-kart. The people at the zoo would always say they had never seen a better racer and the zoo keepers never figured out how she escaped from her exhibit.

The End


Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by WikiC

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? (Job 39:13 KJV)

Well, our young writer has come up with another interesting Bird Tale. Emma continues to amaze me with her stories. Thanks, again, Emma. Keep up the good work. Lord Bless you as you continue to develop in wisdom and with the Lord.

See her other stories:

Also:

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Wreathed Hornbills at Central Florida Zoo

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Central Florida Zoo by Lee

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Female Central Florida Zoo by Lee

Last week on the way over to the retreat in Daytona Beach, we stopped by the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. There were several interesting birds, especially the Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus). There was a male, female and a juvenile male there. More unique creations from our Creator.

The Hornbill names can be confusing because there is a Wrinkled, Writhed, and the Wreathed Hornbills along with the others. The one here at Central Florida Zoo was the Wreathed..It was hard to get a decent photo because of the size of the fencing/wires on the cages. So, the photos were about a good as I could get shooting in Program mode. I tossed quite a few photos because of the fencing. :))

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Adult Male Central Florida Zoo by Lee

The Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus), also known as the Bar-pouched Wreathed Hornbill because of the black line on the pouch or chin. It is a species of hornbill found in forests from far north-eastern India and Bhutan, east and south through mainland Southeast Asia and the Greater Sundas, except Sulawesi. It is 75–100 cm (30–39 in) long. Males weigh from 4.0 lb (1.8 kg) to 8.0 lb (3.65 kg), and females weigh from 3.0 lb (1.36 kg) to 6.0 lb (2.7 kg). Both sexes are similar to the respective sexes of the closely related plain-pouched hornbill, but the wreathed hornbill can be recognized by the dark bar on the lower throat (hence the alternative common name, bar-pouched). Though commonly considered monotypic, evidence suggests some geographical variation in the appearance. (Wikipedia with editing)

They belong to the Bucerotidae – Hornbills Family which has 59 species. “These birds have large down-curved bills and many have a large growth on the upper bill called a casque.  These bills come in many striking shapes and colors.  They also have what appears to be eyelashes, but they are not made of hair, they are small feathers that serve the same function.” (Central FL Zoo)

Fun Facts (From Zoo Atlanta)

Males can be easily distinguished from females by the color of their throats. The male’s throat skin is yellow; the female’s is blue. – Males and females pair for life. – The specialized knobs on the tops of the birds’ beaks are known as casques. These are believed to function as signals of dominance and gender.

 You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. (Genesis 7:2-3 NASB)

I find their beak so interesting. In light of yesterday’s article, Birdwatching Terms – About’s Bird Bill Parts, I have included some cropped photos pointing out the different parts of the beak. Also, I like their eyelashes which are actually feathers, but act like our eyelashes.

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Bucerotidae – Hornbills

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Birds of the World

Wreathed Hornbill – Wikipedia

Wreathed Hornbill – Central Florida Zoo

Wreathed Hornbill –  AvianWeb

Is There A God?

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Sunday Inspiration – Birds and Peace

White Pelicans in Flight - Circle B Bar by Dan

White Pelicans in Flight – Circle B Bar by Dan

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3 KJV)

Today’s is more about the song that Sean is playing. “I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Anything.” These photos are of birds and places we have had the privilege of visiting to watch the marvelous avian wonders that the Lord Jesus Christ Created. The Lord gives us a peace as we live for Him that is hard to put into words. Maybe as you watch these photos (Lord knows, I’m no photographer, just a birdwatcher who carries a camera) that you can sense the peace I have as I go birdwatching. Also, the Lord has given me a great husband that enjoys seeing these birds as well as I do and he IS a good photographer.

You can know this peace also, when you accept the Lord as your personal Savior.

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. (John 3:16 KJV)

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 KJV)

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“I’d Rather Have Jesus” by Sean Fielder (from Faith Baptist Church)

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The photos in this slideshow and the ones on the other site are not quite the same.

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