Posts tagged ‘Europe’

Why do we say the stork brings new babies?

The familiar legend that the stork brings new babies arises from the fact that the stork takes loving care of its own young.

When a new baby is born, people sometimes like to say they have had “a visit from the stork.”

The familiar legend that the stork brings new babies from heaven arises from the fact that storks are devoted parents.  They take loving care of their own young.

The only member of the stork family living in North America is the wood ibis, or wood stork, that lives in marshes along the southern coasts of the United States.

Stork

White storks live throughout Europe and Africa.  They are large, white birds with long, red legs and long necks.  They have no voice except for an occasional hiss.

They “speak” to one another by noisily rattling their long, red bills.

These are the storks that like to build large twig nests of chimneys and rooftops.

Many Dutch and German families build stork nests on rooftops and chimneys to attract storks.

A house that storks nest on is considered a lucky house.  Each spring, the birds often return to the same nests to raise their young. – Dick Rogers

What is a chamois?

Chamois

The chamois [pronounced SHAM ee] is a small, shy goat like antelope that lives in the high mountain of Europe and Western Asia.  It is about the size of a domestic goat.

The long, pointed hooves of this sure-footed creature are hollowed, or cupped, allowing it to make death-defying leaps from rock to rock and cling to the steep slopes of its ragged mountain home.

Chamois live in small herds  when feeding they post a sentinel which warns of the approach of danger by stamping and making a whistling sound that will send the whole world herd dashing off.

Chamois escape by leaping across wide ravines and racing at top speed up or down seemingly sheer cliffs, where few other animals can go.

A soft leather known as “shammy” or “chamois cloth” was once  made from chamois skin.  But because the chamois is rare, most shammies are now made from sheep skin instead. – Dick Rogers

How do flying squirrels fly?

Flying-squirrel

Squirrels don’t have wings, but the flying squirrel seems to fly, though not like a bird.  It just glides from tree to tree in search of food.

The flying squirrel has folds of skin between its front and back feet.

When it leaps into space from a high limb, the flying squirrel spreads its feet wide.

The parachute-like folds of skin connecting its feet stretch out and convert the flying squirrel into a tiny living glider.  It can glide a downward angle as far as 125 feet.

Twisting and banking with the aid of its bushy tail, the flying squirrel guides itself to the trunk of another tree.

The flight ends as the squirrel lands upright on the tree to climb again for the next gliding leap.

Flying squirrels can be found living in the forests of North America, Asia and Europe.

During the day they sleep in nests hidden in tree hollows.  They come out at night to hunt for berries, insects, and nuts.  – Dick Rogers