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Our Feathered Friends - December 7, 2011

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Dark-eyed Junco or Snowbird

Hello to all my birding friends. You do not know how much I have missed you. I have had a very rough time and even looked death straight in the eye. Thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus, I have been given an extension on my life. We are planning on giving you the full story on my health problem with a stern warning which may save your life. Many churches have me on their prayer list, and my good friends on Facebook and Bc Yahola and the members of If you grew up in Lebanon you remember... have prayed without ceasing. Thanks to all of you.

My mother, Margie Pope, took care of me for a little over two weeks while new friends from Donelson Home Health taught me exercises to help build my muscles which had deteriorated from my two weeks of ICU in a coma. The first chance I went out to my house, my binoculars were a must-have so I could see what all was feeding on and below my brothers sock feeder. There were Chickadees eating the stale Nyjer seed from the sock while other ground feeders were scratching below for leftovers. There was one solitary White-throated Sparrow out by the old shed in the backyard.

It was great to have Karen Franklin and her two children, Anna and Nick, visit me on a Saturday afternoon. The first thing I saw when I awoke in the hospital was a couple of drawings from Nick and Anna, wishing Mr. Ray to get well soon. They are such a loving family. I would like to thank Karen for keeping you informed on my situation and to her husband John for his patience while she wrote articles for your enjoyment. You don't really know what it takes to write something each week, especially when you don't want to repeat yourself.

Dotty Kim and her daughter, Tammy, along with a couple of her grandchildren, Britney and Steven, hijacked me one night to go to Ponderosa for supper. Since I was not working, there was not enough money for a steak, so I ordered the salad bar. The manager Billy Mullinax spotted me and was asking where I had been and why I wasn't eating steak. I explained everything about my condition and my empty wallet. In no time Billy returned to our table with a juicy sirloin steak, compliments of the manager. It was the first real meal that I have eaten outside of what my mother cooked. Thanks Billy!

Finally, like Dorothy said in her famous movie, "There's no place like home." You don't know how many times I have joked with some of my visiting friends, telling them that I have clicked my heels three times and repeated Dorothys line. My mother was afraid that I might want to go home too early, but I reminded her about our trips to Florida. It was a lot of fun, but it was so nice to see the lights of Lebanon when we topped Four Mile Hill.

My birdfeeders were dry as a bone and had been for over a month when I finally got around to refilling them. It took two whole days before anything showed up to feast, and the first birds were Carolina Chickadees. The next day one of my favorites showed up. The Dark-eyed Junco was scratching beneath the feeder on the seed that was scattered just for the ground scratchers. My left ring finger is starting to get sore, so I will close this article and hope to have another for you next Wednesday.

I would love to hear from you as to whats lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087 or e-mail me at

by Ray Pope

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