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Posts Tagged ‘Emily the Tree Climbing Wonder Dog’

Hello again, fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts, and welcome to Week #11 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey in Long Beach.

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Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, walks among our ginormous crop of Gulf Coast Dandelions, during this morning’s Blue Bird Trail Survey.

It’s been another busy week of activity on here on the Long Beach Blue Bird Trail, with 13 new Blue Bird eggs and another completed next found in the nesting boxes this morning, during the survey of the second hatch of the season. The new eggs bring the current second hatch total to 21 eggs now in the nests.

Master Naturalist Buddy John commented during this morning’s Trail Survey that the daily air temperatures on the Trail are now warm enough to incubate the Blue Bird eggs, without the mother bird even sitting on the eggs.

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Nesting Box #2 has its second batch of eggs this season.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – May 15, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – Full Blue Bird nest built. – Last Week: 1 Blue Bird baby flew from the nest, 3 sterile Blue Bird eggs confirmed, removed old nest, cleaned box.

Nesting Box #2 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest completed, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #3 – Nest built, no new activity. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built.

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Nesting Box #4 had 3 new Blue Bird eggs when surveyed this morning.

Nesting Box #4 – 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – New Blue Bird nest built. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #7 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest complete, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

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Several new Cross Vine, or Trumpeter Vine plants came into bright bloom this week.

Nesting Box #8 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

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Emily loves going along on the Friday morning Trail Surveys.

Nesting Box #11 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #12 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #13 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg.

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Master Naturalist Buddy John and Emily head back to the office after checking the final nesting box on the Trail this morning.

Season totals so far include: 28 Blue Bird babies have flown from nests, 5 eggs have been sterile, and 21 new eggs are in nests incubating. With three additional nests now being complete, without eggs yet, we expect to see the total new egg count increase during next week’s Trail Survey.

Have a great week!

Oh yes: only 16 more days remaining until the 2009 Atlantic/Gulf Coast Hurricane Season begins. Lucky us…

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Hello again, fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts, and welcome to the April 17, 2009, Week #7, of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird trail Survey, on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center, in Long beach.

It was good this week to be able to conduct the Blue Bird Trail Survey with Master Naturalist Buddy John and Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog. John’s leg is feeling much better these days, as it responds to medications and exercise.

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A female Blue Bird sits on a fence near nesting box #9 Friday, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail, in Long Beach.

This week’s Survey found our Blue Bird baby and egg numbers the same as that of the April 10 Survey of last Friday, with 26 babies and 7 eggs.

Master Naturalist Buddy John noted after this morning’s Survey, that most of the Blue Bird babies currently in the Trail’s nesting boxes, will most likely have flown the nests by next week’s Survey. Thus, we will have a more accurate count of how many babies have actually hatched and flown, and how many of the original eggs are sterile and still in the nests.

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The Blue Bird babies in nesting box #2, as seen this morning in this image, are very large and will be flying from the box any day now.

And, the 4 eggs currently under incubation in nesting box #1, should have all hatched by next Friday, hopefully increasing the baby numbers this season from 26 babies, to 30.

Once all the babies in a nest have flown, we will remove the old nest and clean the box, readying it for the female Blue Bird to begin building a new nest and lay a another batch of eggs.

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The Blue Bird babies in nesting box #4 are also large now, and soon will fly the nest.

In the 2008 Week #7 Trail Survey, we had 16 Blue Bird babies in the nest or already flown, and 12 Blue Bird eggs in the nests. So, this year, we are 10 babies ahead of last year at this time in the season, a healthy increase.

Here are the results of today’s Trail Survey – April 17, 2009:

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Here are the 5 large babies in nesting box #6, as photographed this morning.

Nest #1 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #2 – 3 large Blue Bird babies – will probably fly the next before next Friday’s Survey; 2 Blue Bird eggs (suspect these are sterile eggs). – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 2 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #3 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

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The babies in nesting box #7 are also near to flying the nest.

Nest #4 – 5 large Blue Bird babies, will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #5 – Nest built, no eggs yet. Removed nest – cleaned box. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #6 – 5 large Blue Bird babies, will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird babies.

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The large Blue Bird babies in nesting box #8, this morning. One can easily see the blue feathers growing on the babies.

Nest #7 – 4 large Blue Bird babies – will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey, 1 Blue Bird egg (suspect this is a sterile egg). – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nest #8 – 5 large Blue Bird babies, will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird babies.

Nest #9 – Nest built, no eggs yet. Removed nest – cleaned box. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

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The babies in nesting box #12, are a little smaller and younger than the other babies on the Trail. This nesting box was 6″ from having water in it just two weeks ago, during the heavy rains and flooding on the Trail.

Nest #11 – Some straw in box, no activity. Removed old straw – cleaned box. – Last Week: Some straw in box.

Nest #12 – 4 small Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 4 small Blue Bird babies.

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This little fellow was hanging around this afternoon near nesting box #9, and appears to be an Eastern Kingbird.

Nest #13 – Nest built, no eggs yet. Removed nest – cleaned box. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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And here is something nice to send you away with this week: a large growth of beautiful blue Spiderwort, which is growing on soil on the lower part of campus, which was under 5′ of water two weeks ago. Nice comeback, huh?

Have a great week!

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The Friday, April 10, 2009 Blue Bird Trail Survey results shows additional new Blue Bird activity, as after reporting a total of 22 Blue Bird babies in the Trail nesting boxes last week, we now have 26 hungry little Blue Bird babies and 7 Blue Bird eggs, including 2 new eggs, in the Trail nesting boxes!

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Master Naturalist Buddy John shown checking one of the Blue Bird Trail nesting boxes during a Spring 2008 Tail Survey.

Master Naturalist Buddy John and Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, completed the April 10th Trail Survey by themselves, as your blog author missed his first Trail Survey in two years, being in Perdido Key, FL with friends Maggie (of Maggie Dammit) and spouse Dave, and their girls, on a much-needed, four day vacation getaway.

Here are this week’s results from the Survey taken Friday, April 10, 2009:

Nest #1 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 2 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #2 – 3 Blue Bird babies, 2 Blue Bird eggs (suspect these are sterile eggs). – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 2 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #3 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #4 – 5 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #5 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #6 – 5 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #7 – 4 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg (suspect this is a sterile egg). – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nest #8 – 5 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #9 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #11 – Some straw in box, no activity. – Last Week: Some straw in box.

Nest #12 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #13 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Master Naturalist Buddy John commented after the survey that if there are no changes in the empty nests in nesting boxes 5, 9, 11 and 13, by this Friday’s survey, the old nests in these boxes will be removed, in the hopes that new nesting pairs will begin building new nests.

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Hello again, Blue Bird fans, and welcome to Week #5 Survey results of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail, on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach.

The Blue Bird Trail was not nearly as WET this week Friday, as it was last Saturday morning, as the following image from then shows.

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Last Saturday, March 28, was the most wet day in the past two years of the Survey. Fortunately, none of the Trail nesting boxes was flooded by the high waters on the Trail.

First, I’m happy to report that Master Naturalist Buddy John, and Emily – the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, were back to participate in this week’s Trail Survey, at least in part.

The three of us did the upper part of the Trail Survey, while your author and fellow employee Russell – The Grounds Guru, covered the lower, north part of the campus, which was still soggy Friday morning, from Thursday afternoon’s tornado producing thunderstorm/rains, and last weeks’ heavy rains that drenched this area of the Gulf Coast.

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Here are 5 of our 22 new Blue Bird babies observed during this week’s Survey.

This week’s results are EXCITING, as after reporting a total of 29 Blue Bird eggs in the Trail nesting boxes last week, we now have 22 hungry little Blue Bird babies and 9 Blue Bird eggs in the Trail nesting boxes!

In last years’ Week #5 Blue Bird Trail Survey, we reported having only 5 Blue Bird babies and 11 Blue Bird eggs in the nesting boxes. Quite a difference this year!

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Here are the four Blue Bird eggs in nesting box #12 this week. We hope to have 4 new babies by nest week’s Survey.

Here are this week’s results from the Survey taken Friday, April 3, 2009:

Nest #1 – 2 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird straw nest built on top of the moss nest; Momma Blue Bird took over the nesting box!

Nest #2 – 3 Blue Bird babies, 2 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #3 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

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Russell shows how high the flood waters reached on nesting box #12 last Saturday.

Nest #4 – 5 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #5 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #6 – 5 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #7 – 4 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird Eggs.

Nest #8 – 5 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

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Here are the new Blue Bird babies and an unhatched egg from nesting box #7, photographed on Friday, April 3, 2009.

Nest #9 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #11 – Some straw in box, no activity. – Last Week: Some straw in box.

Nest #12 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #13 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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During this week’s Trail Survey, and throughout Friday, several large military planes flew over the Blue Bird Trail, on the Gulf Coast for this weekend’s huge Keeseler Air Force Base Air Show, on Saturday and Sunday, in Biloxi..

OH, yes, only 57 more days until the 2009 Gulf Coast Hurricane Season starts!

Have a good week!

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Note: The last couple of days heavy rains here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have changed the look of the north side of the Blue Bird Trail. The following images are from Saturday morning, after two days of heavy rains. The survey was taken Friday morning, when there was only about 6″-12″ of flood water on the north, lower portion of the campus.

Master Naturalist Buddy John is out of the hospital this past week and at home resting, healing and hopefully catching up on the sleep he didn’t get while in the last weekend hospital.

As you would expect, Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, was very happy to see her master back home!

Recuperating at home, John and Emily were not able to go on the Blue Bird Trail survey Friday morning, and it was just as well, as the north part of the Trail was mostly under 6″-12″ of water from all the rain we received during Thursday night’s overnight deluge in the Long Beach area.

Then, overnight, Friday evening, after I had taken the survey, we received over 7 inches of rain here in the Long Beach area, on top of the large amount we received early Friday, while our neighbors in Biloxi, received over 11 inches of rain overnight last evening!

So, it’s a wee bit wet outside this Saturday morning, here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as I write this post, including having the entire north, lower-lying portion of our campus, under five feet of flood water.

It’s a good thing that we installed the nesting boxes six feet off the ground! And, again, it is a good thing that I did the survey Friday morning, when there was only 6″-12″ of flood water on part of the trail, instead of waiting to do it Saturday morning, when there was five feet of flood water there!

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Nesting box #6, is located next to the entrance drive to our campus Maintenance complex. The Maintenance shop is shown in the background.

Friday morning, then, with the able assistance of my fellow Maintenance worker, Russell, who cares for the entire grounds on the 45-acre campus where we work days, we hopped on the Ford tractor and trailer, and cruised out into the slightly flooded north part of the campus to check the two remaining nesting boxes that I wasn’t able to walk to earlier (I didn’t have boots), that were in about a foot of water. Thanks, Russell!

The Blue Birds on the Trail continued to be active during the past week, as 6 new Blue Bird eggs were recorded during the Friday survey, bringing the total number of eggs in the nesting boxes to 29, compared with 23 last Friday.

The two nests which had 4 eggs last week, both increased to 5, making four nests containing 5 eggs. The #12 nest female laid 4 new eggs this week, and John expects that this number will probably increase to 5 by next Friday’s survey.

In activity at the #1 nesting box, a female Blue Bird has taken over the nesting box, from whatever bird had formerly built a complete moss nest in the box. John speculated that perhaps a Chickadee or Nuthatch female had built the moss nest.

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Nesting box #9.

Next week’s survey should be interesting, as it is possible that there will be some Blue Bird babies hatching during the coming week.

Here are the complete Blue Bird Trail Survey results for this week, on Friday, March 27, 2009:

Nest #1 – New Blue Bird straw nest built on top of the moss nest; Momma Blue Bird took over the nesting box! – Last Week: Moss nest built.

Nest #2 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #3 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Nest #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #5 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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Nesting box #12.

Nest #6 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #7 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird Eggs.

Nest #8 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #9 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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Nesting box #8.

Nest #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #11 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some straw in box.

Nest #12 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #13 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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The Trumpeter Vine plants in the north side of the Campus are producing some beautiful blossoms, just as the Hummingbirds are coming back to the area.

Next week, I look forward to doing the Trail Survey with John and Emily back and completing the Survey team.

Have a good week!

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Well, Blue Bird watchers, it’s Week #2 in the 2009 Trail Survey already, and momentum continues to build on the Trail, literally, in the Blue Bird nest building scene.

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During last week’s survey, we found three nests already built, two under construction and eight empty nesting boxes.

In our Survey of this morning, we discovered that the nesting pairs are definitely in the family mood, as we found nine nests completely built, two under construction and only two empty boxes.

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This week, we found nine of the thirteen boxes had nests in them that were completely built, ready for eggs.

Here are the Trail Survey results for this week:

Nest #1 – Nest under construction – some moss found in box. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Nest #2 – Nest built. – Last Week: Some straw in box.

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Master Naturalist Buddy John joshes me about finding no nests when I opened the nesting boxes, while he always found nests when he opened the boxes to check them.

Nest #3 – Empty box – no activity. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Nest #4 – Nest built – no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built.

Nest #5 – Nest built – no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built.

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One of the many species of Mississippi wildflowers we encountered during this week’s Trail Survey, this one being the Carolina Creeper, according to Master Naturalist Buddy John.

Nest #6 – Nest built – no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built.

Nest #7 – Nest built. – Last Week: Nest under construction.

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Another of the wildflowers we encountered during the survey.

Nest #8 – Nest built. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Nest #9 – Nest built. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Nest #10 – Empty box – no activity. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

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Nest #11 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Nest #12 – Nest built. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Nest #13 – Nest built. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.

Hopefully, in next week’s Trail Survey report, we will have lots of Blue Bird eggs in the nine complete nests we found this week.

Until then, from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey team (including Emily, the Tree Climbing Wonder Dog), have a great week!

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PS- Emily put on a real show yesterday afternoon, when a group of 30 some college students from Virginia Tech and Ball State stopped by to see our giant Live Oak. While many of the students gasped and snapped digital shots of her, she walked up and down the huge limbs of the 700+ year old tree, which has an amazing horizontal branch spread of 162 feet!

The Virginia Tech and Ball State students were a great bunch, and are a beautiful example of one of the things that is RIGHT about our country, as they were staying across the bay in Bay St’ Louis all week, down here on an Alternative Spring Break trip to help clean up the coast after Hurricane Katrina. Thank you students for your dedication and caring hearts! Come back when you can.

I didn’t have my Nikon on hand when Emily did her thing for the V-Tech cameras, but here are some images I shot of her last year that demonstrate when she did for the students in the big tree.

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You wouldn’t catch me up that high!

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Yep, she’s one amazing dog!

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As I sit at the dining room table of my humble, temporary abode, and gaze out the north windows over the deck, and gaze across the two-mile wide marsh of the Wolf River, two sleek, white egrets sail along over the top of the reeds, and disappear down onto the river.

I have had the privilege of this beautiful scenic view since last Wednesday, when I drove Master Naturalist Buddy John to the airport in Gulfport, so he could fly to North Dakota with his brother, to visit an old friend and spend a week deer hunting in now what is a land of snow and cold.

John asked me to house sit while he was gone, and take care of his two ‘kids’, Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, and Haylie, the black tailless, Manx cat, who basically, I only see, when she is hungry and comes out to eat. So, here I am, enjoying the view, with Emily asleep at my feet on the rug.

Friday, at my weekday work, was one of the most memorable and special days in the nearly two years that I have been here on the Gulf Coast.

During the past year, whenever I would be working at my weekday job, I normally see and have an opportunity to interact with a number of the clients on the campus where I work, including a man who I will call “Fred.”

Whenever I do run into Fred, he always says to me, “New TV?” Quite a while ago, Fred’s personal TV in his room quit working, and since then, he would ask any of the maintenance men in the department I work in, whenever he would see any of us, in his own way, “New TV?” asking if he would be getting a new television to replace the broken one on his wall in his cottage room.

We would always answer back, “No, not today, Fred.” To which he would ask, “Tomorrow?” several times. When we would say back, “No, Fred, not tomorrow.”

He would then ask, “Next week?” And we would reply, “I don’t know, Fred.”

And by that time, Fred would continue on his way to his class in the Education Building.

These conversations would take place every workday, whenever we were close enough to say ‘Hello’ to Fred.

Well, last week, some extra money became available in Fred’s discretionary spending account, and a new, small flat screen, HD television was ordered for Fred.

When it came in, one of my co-workers, David, was assigned the Work Order to build a protective wood mounting enclosure and mount the new TV on the wall above Fred’s bed. David excels at that type of construction and was tickled that he would be doing this for Fred.

Yesterday afternoon, after David has finished building, sanding and painting the enclosure, he and I went over to Fred’s cottage to install the new color TV.

When we arrived at his cottage, we had one of the Direct Care Workers take Fred to a room in the other end of the cottage and watch TV there, and then we went back out to our trucks to get the TV, the enclosure and our tools to do the installation.

After about a half an hour, we had finished the installation on the wall, and tuned in the available analog and digital channels. The color on the set was gorgeous. We brought up the Cartoon Channel, Fred’s favorite, turned up the volume a little, and then David went down the hall to talk with Fred.

Of course, when David walked into the room where Fred was sitting, the first thing Fred said when he saw David, was, “New TV?” …meaning: “Can I get a new TV?”

I think David said, “I don’t know, Fred, why don’t you come and take a walk with me?”

Myself, Raymon, our supervisor, and two or three other staff members were down in Fred’s room, waiting in the opposite corner of the room from his TV, when they walked into the room.

Fred heard the noise from the TV over by his window and walked over towards it.

When we got over there, he turned to his right and saw the new TV on the wall, and literally exploded with joy, jumping up and down, exclaiming: “NEW TV! NEW TV! NEW TV!”

With tears sliding down his cheeks, he hurried from the room, all the while exclaiming, “NEW TV! NEW TV NEW TV,” all the way down the hall into the other wing, to tell all of his cottage mates that he had a new TV, and then back again, bringing several of them with him, to show them his new TV.

Those of us standing there, observing his excitement, I believe had a tear or two, also, seeing how very happy he was. Now Fred could watch his favorite cartoon, ‘Popeye,’ on his own TV again.

It will be interesting to see what Fred says tomorrow at work, when I run into him when he is on the way to class, to see what he says, now that he has a “New TV.”

What a neat, special, human experience to have been privileged to be a little part of.

I am so happy for Fred.

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