This past week my brother-in-law and I were pondering our recall of whether birds hopped or walked across our yards. We concluded we had seen both.

We think the little guys (finches, sparrows, wrens, juncos and the like) seemed to pretty much be hoppers. The bigger dudes with longer legs seemed to travel by walk-stepping one foot then the next .. left, right, left …(black-birds, jays, crows, turkeys, guineas and chickens all rummage around striding one-foot at a time). Yup, got it.

And the webbed-footers also are walkers and waders (gulls, geese, ganders and the like). So after he headed off to California I performed the intellectual scientific method of sitting on the patio and just observing. There they were … the little guys hopping about joined by the larger robins … also hopping. The NEXT day I repeated the same scientific study method, only now the robins traded striding for hopping.

So then, today, I took the next step of the intellectual scientific method … I Google-searched it. Ran across this article published by Stanford University (I heard pretty smart folks go there) titled “Walking vs. Hopping”.

Here’s what it said, “Although birds of the same taxonomic groups frequently share a common pattern of locomotion on the ground, the patterns often have exceptions. Most passerines (guess I’ll have to look that one up) hop, but others, such as larks, pipits, starlings, meadowlarks and crows stride. Diverse species, including robins, ravens, and blackbirds both hop and stride. Whether a physically unconstrained bird hops or strides is not just a question of anatomy; speed also affects choice of locomotion -- a hopper in a hurry tends to break into a run. Leg length is not only related to locomotory-mode but it’s also associated, among other things, with foraging style. For example, among ground gleaners and waders, species with shorter legs forage in shallower debris or water. Some ground foragers (especially buntings, towhees, juncos, and sparrows) are more likely to use a method of foraging called “double-scratching,” a maneuver involving little more than hopping in place. But here, too, there is no simple division between birds that hop, stride, and double-scratch. Some striders double-scratch and some hoppers do not.”

Ya gotta get to your vittles somehow.

Of course, we humanoid bi-peds are walkers. When we measure short distances we might say it’s just a “HOP, skip and a jump” away (we should perhaps add phrases like “it’s an hour’s, or a day’s walk”).

OH! And big toes matter big time in this matter of walking.

A friend had his big toe operated on this week. He sent pictures…GROSS!

He began to “first hand” more greatly appreciate the role of his big toe (and feet).

We marveled together at God’s amazing design in creation. We need to be mobile.

Thank you God for our big toes and crutches and cars, airplanes and other locomotory modes.

My Precious is standing in line at our local airport right now having to re-book because of a “faulty switch” on her locomotory jet mode.

The Bible says “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in CHRIST JESUS concerning you”.

I just prayed with her.

Thank you Lord for toes, ankles, knees and airplane switches. I trust You to get my Precious to Denver and then Phoenix…it’s just a short HOP, You know!

Solomon in the Bible says in rather sappy fashion of his Precious, “How beautiful are your feet in sandals..” I get that. And this in Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news…those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Who has Jesus used to HOP or STRIDE on over and share the good news of the gospel of peace with you? Have you received JESUS as your Savior yet? So for the record, those folks who shared the gospel of the Lord JESUS with you are viewed by God as having beautiful feet…and, He should know. So should we.

The dictionary says passerines are perching songbirds and they comprise over half of all bird species. Their order is “Passeriformes”. Wondering if the folks at Stanford know that.

Wondering, also, if I can ever use “locomotory mode” in conversation.

Like our Sunday School ditty warned, “So be careful little feet (big toes) where you go (whether by HOP or by STRIDE).

PRAYER NUGGET: Thank you Lord JESUS for our big toes!

Nebraska Panhandle and eastern Wyoming…I love you and am praying for you.

.All Bible references are from the NKJV

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