Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

March 25, 2014

Of Bluebirds, Buntings and Blessings~

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Picture credit: Walkingfox

You know the old saying, “when God closes one door, he opens another?”
After the fighting, the endless wasted phone calls, the many days of ugliness and pain, connected to our Forest and the constant logging trucks full of pine trees going up our road, I was exhausted, defeated and depressed.
It had all been for nothing, they had won, the trees had lost. (today again, as I write this, six more trucks filled to the top.)
I did not think I could or would ever feel like writing again!
But, the day before yesterday, out of the “blue” showed up, not one, but a pair of beautiful Bluebirds and I had not seen one of them since many years ago in Yellowstone.
And if that was not enough of a blessing, quite unbelievably, they chose one of our nest boxes and are now making it their home.
Then yesterday morning, a blessing to end all blessings in my bird admiration, obsession lifetime, and the reason to give thanks yet once again to God, for giving me/us eyes.
For these eyes would see a bird that I have never seen in my life, but have lusted after forever, a painted bunting was in the feeder right in front of my kitchen window.
I had longed to see it in person, after years of staring at pictures of it in my countless Peterson Bird books and had always thought that when God made this stunning bird he said:
“hmm, let me think, I will make a bird and then paint a rainbow on it.”
The result I believe, is the painted bunting.
If you, like me since forever, have never seen one, don’t worry, your day will come.
Mine did!
But, back to yesterday.
I tried not breathe too loud, for fear of scaring him away and stood for what seemed like an eternity.
He kept eating, I stood perfectly still.
Finally, he filled himself up and left to go sit in the tree in front of my window, (it is on the left in this picture) where he stayed for over an hour, just watching, looking.
A reader of my gator-woman.com site had many years ago, sent me a gorgeous picture of hers in her yard in Orlando, which is about 35 miles Southeast of us.
Of course, I thanked her profusely for the generous gift, to show to others, but deep in my gut, I was so jealous.
That was years ago, and she had told me that they come to her yard every year.
So, I waited impatiently and wondered, what did they have in Orlando, that we did not here on the edge of the Ocala Forest?
So, yesterday, the waiting, the jealousy, the pining away, all ended.
He came back several times yesterday to eat, but I was sure it was to be a one time gift, or a one day stop-over.
But, unbelievably, here he is again today.
I did have several questions though, while watching him again this morning, eating furiously, mostly the peanuts, until he was full and then flying off once again.
But, of course, I am not content to just revel in his rainbow glory, I am now wondering where his mate could be?
(The books had said that they do not breed until late April and only winter with us before moving north to do so. It also said that the male often goes ahead alone to stake out an area)
Now, this is the greed or gluttony part!
Is he here looking for a possible home for them?
Can you only imagine, if his wife shows up in a few days and they decide to move into one of the other of our four nest boxes, in spite of what the books say?
There would be no containing my joy.
Looking back at what I have written here today, a movie we watched recently comes to mind: ” Seven” and the deadly sins. (with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.)
As you can clearly see, I am or have been guilty of several of them, when it comes to this bird!
A final PS:
My children used to say that they knew one day, they would get a call about me being killed while driving my car looking up at a bird! Not such a bad way to go really~

Places to learn more:
The Great Florida Birding Trail:   Painted Buntings
Painted Buntings
Want to hear it, go here:   Painted Bunting Sounds
Painted Bunting


  1. I've just googled Painted Bunting and it's an amazing looking bird, it looks like someone has indeed painted it, something one might have seen in the 1960's after a helping of mind altering drugs heh. And the songs it makes are beautiful too. And you get Blue Birds as well, how lucky are you?! Lucky indeed. Great post thank you :)

  2. Thank you, I am so pleased that you liked the post.
    It has taken all of my life to see him and yes, it is a breathtaking bird.
    Yes we also have a pair of bluebirds too just this week.
    I had seen them before in Yellowstone many years ago.
    The Bunting's song is so sweet and so familiar.
    I think he is around at other times, but not coming to the feeders.
    I am so happy that you looked him up, that is the entire purpose of a Blog,
    to share and inspire~