We Have Our Own ‘Homing Device’

San Juan Capistrano Mission Photo by Jon at pdphoto.com

In the early morning of October 23 — just 11 days from today — thousands of swallows will lift off the grounds of the San Juan Capistrano mission, circle the mission once, and begin their pre-scheduled 7500-mile flight back to their home city of Goya, Argentina. They will have spent 7 months at the mission, enjoying the warm climate and excellent food — and offering their share of the work to keep the eco-system in its proper balance — particularly by destroying about a billion insects. But it will be time to go home, and those swallows will not fail to leave at exactly the appointed moment.

Their visit to the centuries-old California mission began in Goya at dawn on February 18 — as it has every February 18 for at least the past 200 years.  They arrived at Capistrano on March 19 — as they have for at least 200 years — and, yes, all the mission bells did ring, just as Leon Rene’s 1940’s song says.  There is a great celebration at the mission every year, and thousands of people turn out to welcome the birds to their summer home.  All events are planned well ahead of time because there is absolutely no doubt that these lovely swallows will be right on time.

Argentinian magazine correspondent Enrique Bermudez, who writes for Para Todos Magazine, has made a thorough study of the swallows. He says they fly most of their 7500 mile journey at an altitude of 6600 feet and fly at a speed of 18 miles per hour. His research shows that swallows are masters at following a flight plan that takes advantage of every favorable wind. And somehow, in spite of all kinds of unpredictable natural events, they arrive exactly at the appointed time on March 19, year after year after year. How awe-inspiring is that?

Well, it must be pretty inspiring for the majority of people because the event has been immortalized in word and song for decades now. Unfortunately most people any distance away cannot be present to celebrate the event, but most all of us have the privilege of witnessing a similar miracle right in our own back yards if we care to take notice. Most of us have “closer-to-home” birds that migrate north and south at exactly the right time every year — returning at the same appointed time when the seasons change.  In my neck of the woods, the most prominent migratory birds are the geese, and their v-shaped flight patterns make designs across our skies for several weeks each fall as they follow their God-given homing devices to their places of winter refuge.

And so it is in every little burg and hamlet across the planet. Then when spring pops out from under winter’s blanket, ducks, geese, and birds of various sorts find themselves on the move again, and without fail, all the members of each species of bird know exactly where they are going. Just like the Capistrano swallows, they all have this built-in guidance system that we call “instinct.”  It’s an internal radar, given to them by their Creator, that doesn’t fail to take them exactly where they need to go: south in the winter, north in the summer, and even to the highest rafters of the crumbling mission at San Juan Capistrano.

But what about us?  People.  Do we have our built-in homing device turned on?  Is it keeping us focused on our perfect destination? No matter what the season in our lives, our perfect place of safety and fulfillment is always the same place: The Almighty, Eternal, Living God.

What time is it in your life? Is it time to migrate to a new place in your spiritual walk? Do you find yourself feeling the need to live on a higher plane? Or is it getting a little dark and cold where you are now, causing you to long for more warmth and light and nourishment?

Well, the Word of God makes it clear that we each have a built-in homing device with its own internal radar. That Word tells us that we do not have to “anxiously look about us,” trying to find our path. (Isaiah 41:10). All we have to do is set our hearts on the one who created that homing device. (Prov. 3:6).  And even more directly, we are told that we will find Him through Jesus Christ, who is “the way” into the heart of that Creator. (John 14:6).

Do you have your radar zeroed in on the almighty God of the universe? If so, you have a fantastic journey ahead of you.  If not, maybe this changing season is a good time to make an adjustment.


Mockingbird Tso’i

The new poetic form I created last year (Tso’i) is still a challenge for me, but I’m finding it easier and easier to write in that form. This week I created two Tso’i, one for my “Ahyoka” poetry site and one for here. Today’s poem is a celebration of the return of my Mockingbirds to nest in my big Blue Spruce in my front yard. Yay!

mockingbird -- skeeze -- px

Welcome home,
Mockingbird family.
Each year you nest with me, but then abroad you roam.
I wait expectantly;
Now you’ve come!




photo courtesy of Skeeze @pixabay.com




Thanksgiving Thursday 9/21/17

Many of you know that I have been going through a very sad time in my life lately. And, as I’m sure most of you are aware, it’s very easy to let the sadness add its weight to all the other pressures and stresses of life and cloud our vision so that we focus on the negative much more than it deserves our focus. So today I’m making a point of focusing on something positive that I’m thankful for. And I think, perhaps, I’ll make this focus a weekly priority — every Thursday — for a while. Any of you who have something you’re thankful for are welcome to share a link to your post on that subject right here in my comment window. (Doesn’t have to be a Thursday. Any day this week will be fine.)

This week I’m very grateful for the new family of birds in my yard. They seem to be living in my big Blue Spruce tree, and evidently there are a bunch of new babies. When I looked outside, about 7 of them were perched on the railing to my front steps — and in the azalea bush beside the steps. I just had to get some pictures of them — even though I had to shoot through the screened door. (That’s why the pics are a little fuzzy looking.) I didn’t dare open the door to get a clearer picture because the birds get frightened and scatter at the slightest sound.

I wish I’d had a way to video them because part of the time, one of the little birds had a hard time maintaining his grip on the wrought iron, and he kept sliding down the rail, into his neighbor. It was so cute.

Well, that’s about it, but I got interrupted while writing this, so the posting date may show Friday’s date instead of Thursday’s. Oh well, no matter. It’s still ‘Thanksgiving Thursday’ as far as I’m concerned. Don’t forget to share your own link here if you’d like to — anytime this week.





Weekly Smile 80

Well, this week I’m sharing a lot more than a smile. I’m sure no one can watch this video without smiling, but I have to tell you that I laughed out loud — several times. These delightful birds had so much fun in this fountain. Several of them got completely carried away shoving their heads down into the bubbling font where the water was flowing in. And then they just threw the water all over themselves. In a couple segments of the tape, one of the birds keeps stepping on another whose just below him in an effort to get higher up on the fountain itself. If you want an hour of rest, refreshment, and just plain fun, watch this. Or just watch part of it. You’ll be glad you did.


Visit Trent’s Blog to learn how to take part in “Weekly Smile.”


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up — 3 for 1

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

I decided to go with variety this week. I took these shots at totally different times, and they have absolutely nothing in common — except that they were taken at pretty close range.

Glasses on a Ceramic Holder
Glasses on a Ceramic Holder


Stared Down By a Brave Bird


Friend's Grand Piano Signed & Illustrated by Liberace
Friend’s Grand Piano Signed & Illustrated by Liberace




A Morning’s Adventure for Blackie Bird & His Family

Today NaPoWriMo asked us to write a poem that is a conversation. It sounded like a fun thing to do, but I didn’t have any time to sit down to my computer and create one.  However, thinking about the challenge brought back to my memory a story I did a couple years ago that focuses on conversation in a bird family. So I pulled it out of the archives, dusted it off, and re-posted it. True, it is not a poem, but it’s so doggone cute maybe no one will notice.


Mama … we’re hungry!”
Yeah, we’re hungry.”
“Just hold on, kids. I’ll check on Dad’s progress.”

Honey, I thought I’d better come and see if you’d found anything yet.”
Not yet. Those dang Cardinals grab everything in sight!”
(Sigh) “I know. They think just because they’re so splendid to look at they should get the best of everything.”
Hey, look — two worms! I’ll grab ’em.”

Oh, Honey, look out!  Kitty-Kitty’s comin’ at you at 2:00!”
“I see him, but if I fly off, I’ll lose the worms to the Bluejays.”
“What can we do?  Oh, wait. I see Barn-a-Bee on the roses. Call him to come help.”

Hey, Barn-a-Bee, Kitty-Kitty’s crouched to attack. Help me, quick!”CAT # 1 - cropped
On my way.  Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ….”

Great hit, Barn-a-Bee!  Right on the nose. Kitty-Kitty won’t be back in this direction for a while. Thanks, old pal. I owe you one.”


I Love Birds

I love birds. They are so full of life, and we learn so much from them. I have a whole family living in my Blue Spruce tree again this winter, and I think they are Mockingbirds again. I had Mockingbirds two years in a row, but the following year, they didn’t come. Then this past year, I had Cardinals nesting there, and now (I think) another family of Mockingbirds — but I can’t tell for sure. Anyway, this group of pictures is a collage of several kinds of winged friends who came to visit today when I shared a box of crackers.  What fun.