Posts from the ‘Small Feet’ Category

How did the barn swallow get its name?

The barn swallow gets its name because it often makes its nest on a rafter in a barn or shed, building it up of dabs of mud and lining it with soft feathers.

Before man built houses and barns, the barn swallows nested on cliff ledges or on sheltered tree branches.

The small, graceful swallow is one of our best-known birds.  It has long, powerful wings and spends much of its time in flight looking for small flying insects, which it scoops up in its big mouth.

Barn Swallow

Its small feet are suited more for perching than for walking.  Its long tail, which is often forked, is especially helpful in making sudden turns, as it pursues the insects.

Swallows usually return year after year to the same nesting sites, often to the same nests.  Few signs of spring are more certain than the appearance of swallows.

But the popular idea that swallows may return to a certain place on the same day each spring is just an old folk tale.

The day of their spring arrival depends on the abundance of insects in the air, which in turn depends on warm weather. – Dick Rogers

What is a groundhog?

Groundhog

A groundhog is a funny rodent that burrows in the ground. Its stock body may be two feet long.

Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, make their homes in many parts of North America.

All summer the groundhog nibbles grass, roots, and leaves. Bu October, the groundhog is so fast it can hardly walk. When winter comes, it curls up in the burrow and falls into a deep sleep. The stored fat keeps it alive during its sleep.

Some people have a superstition that the groundhog can tell what the weather will be. On the second day of February, it is supposed to wake from its long sleep and stick its head out of its burrow.

If it sees its shadow, it will be frightened and crawl back into its hole. This is supposed to mean that there will be six more weeks of winter.

But if the sun is not shining it will stay out of its burrow and spring will come soon! – Dick Rogers