Day 3: Return of the Purple Martins (!)

Two years ago I had my first (and only) experience with the Purple Martins on Lake Murray. Its Bomb Island is the largest Purple Martin sanctuary in North America, after all, so when the birds return for a few weeks each July/August, boaters circle ’round each evening at dusk to watch them come in to roost for the night.

It is something to see. A half million of the gorgeous creatures come flying in, many right over your head.


Then last year, something very strange happened. We watched and waited, waited and watched, but the birds didn’t come. Thus was launched The Great Summer 2014 Mystery: What Happened To The Bomb Island Purple Martins? It was a topic so big, so epic NPR’s Adam Cole came to investigate and shot this really fun,  really fascinating video.


You can see why I was overjoyed to open Instagram today to find this photo by my dear friend, Cindy, hashtagged #30DaysOfFunTDG.




They’re  baacckk! Purple Martins gone wild! said her caption.

(She and I happened to be together–in the rain, fools–for my one and only sighting in 2013.)


fools, in the rain
fools, in the rain


It’s such great news.


Thank you, Cindy!


30 Days Of Fun III

Did you have some summer fun today? Leave details in the comments below, or better yet, send a photo to You can also post to instagram with hashtag #30DaysOfFunTDG or to my TheDailyGraceBlog Facebook page. I’d love to share it here!

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Day 3: Eight Minutes

A triple dose of joy hit me early yesterday morning.

JOY ONE: My sweet husband insisted I sit down right then to open the day’s remarkable Wordless News, adding you’re gonna need eight minutes and it’s so worth it. (I love it when he brings his enthusiasm and shares it with me.)

illustration by Maria Fabrizio
© Maria Fabrizio

JOY TWO: I clicked on the Wordless News link to find Maria Fabrizio‘s wonderful illustration of our South Carolina Purple Martins. You may remember two summers ago I joined the Carolina Wildlife Care Purple Martin Cruise and wrote about it here; year after year hundreds of thousands of these gorgeous creatures return to Bomb Island at Lake Murray to roost. It is quite something to behold.

Well, this year, something very mysterious happened. The Purple Martins didn’t come. After all these years, how do you explain the disappearance of a half million birds?

JOY THREE: NPR’s Adam Cole came to investigate. His story, told in video, is both fascinating and delightful.


Thank you, Cole. Thank you, Maria. And thank you, Tim!


30 Days of Joy

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