Archive for July, 2012

Jul 02 2012

Update on the New Tenants

Marcy Cunkleman’s bird house is seeing a lot of activity now that the new tenants are fully established inside.  The tree swallows’ eggs have hatched and the babies are growing fast.  On Thursday and Saturday she sent me photo updates.

Above, one of the adults lands at the nest opening last week.  There are so many feathers decorating the inside of the box that you can see one nearly poking out of the hole.


At that point the nestlings were still pink and just beginning to grow their own feathers. See the gray bumps on their pink bodies?


Even though they looked pink and helpless they were strong enough to hoist themselves to the nest opening and position their beaks, waiting for their parents to deliver food.


By Saturday they were beginning to look like swallows with glossy dark feathers.


It won’t be long before they fledge.

(photos by Marcy Cunkleman)

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Jul 01 2012

Canada Day

Published by under Books & Events

Happy Canada Day!

Readers in Canada, Detroit and Buffalo know all about it but most Americans forget that Canada’s national holiday is July 1.

Today Canada commemorates the anniversary of the British North American Act of 1867 that merged three colonies into a single country named Canada.  Like a wedding reception that celebrates a married couple’s new status, Canada celebrates the British Parliament’s declaration of their new status as a dominion.  To carry the analogy further…  in the U.S. we celebrate our elopement on July 4, the day we publicly broke with Britain and signed the Declaration of Independence.

Beyond this difference in national origin, Canada and the U.S. share a continent and a lot of plants and animals.

Here are four things found outdoors this month in Pennsylvania that have “Canada” as their first name.

Canada lilies bloom in Pennsylvania’s woods.  They’re hard to find because deer eat the blooms so I felt lucky to see one last weekend near Seven Springs, PA.


Canada warblers breed in the Laurel Highlands.  Try the Quebec Run Wild Area if you want to see one.


Canada geese are everywhere now.  Look for them on our rivers and lakes or at your favorite golf course.


Canada thistle is everywhere, too, but it was misnamed.  It’s from Europe, not Canada.  Wonder how that happened.

Can you think of other “Canada” plants and animals?

(photo credits: Canada lily by Dianne Machesney, Canada warbler by Cris Hamilton, Canada goose by Chuck Tague, Canada thistle from Wikimedia Commons)

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