Wednesday, April 29, 2009

White Doves And Strange Unicorns

          

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   I was reading an article this week in our local little country paper, about an older couple in their seventies who live fairly close by me in Naples, Maine. They have a business called On The Wings Of A Dove. The husband and wife team, bring white doves in beautiful white wooden cages, to weddings and release them. I have always wondered about this ritual that some couples like to include on their special day. As I guessed, it is quite expensive and the price varies. The couple in Naples charge $500.00 and I am not sure how many doves that includes. What I did not know, and have always wondered about, is that they are homing doves or pigeons if you will. The biggest stress on this older couple is never being able to go on any kind of vacation. All of these beautiful doves they bring to weddings, fly back to the couples home as soon as they are released! I can’t remember exactly, but it was in the neighborhood of 50 to 100 miles of release and then they find their way back home. I found that fascinating! I had no idea! I guess with some companies you can choose different types of baskets that the doves are put in and you also have a choice of releasing them yourself and the number you’d like to release. It’s different all over the country.

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Here’s a price list and info from a place in Alabama……

PACKAGES
1. Two doves released by hand or from a decorated basket.
2. At least twelve doves released from a decorated basket during the kiss.
3. The bride and groom each release a dove by hand followed by any number of doves from decorated baskets.

  • Two dove release - $150.00
  • Twelve dove release - $295.00
  • Twenty doves plus two released by hand – 350.00
  • Additional doves are $15.00 each.
    Mileage
  • No events outside a fifty mile radius.
  • No more than thirty doves will be released from over twenty five miles.
  • No more than four doves will be released from forty.
  •  

    I see that they have the 50 mile radius cutoff and now I understand that.  Am I the only one that did not know these doves go back home to their stations?? Interesting huh?

    The other odd thing I found out this week is from a wonderful magazine my in-laws gifted us a subscription to last Christmas called Smithsonian. Their was an article in there this month on Narwhals. Ever heard of them? Not only had I not ever heard of the name Narwhal, when I finally got a look at it I almost fell over! It is basically a unicorn whale!! A whale with a long tusk coming out of it’s head that looks like a unicorn!!image No….that’s not a rock in a lake with a stick coming out of it….that’s a Norwhal!! Watch this youtube video on these very strange creatures! Very weird.

    The narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic. One of two species of whale in the Monodontidae family, along with the Beluga whale, the narwhal males are distinguished by a characteristic long, straight, helical tusk extending from their upper left jaw. Found primarily in Canadian Arctic and Greenlandic waters rarely south of 65°N latitude, the narwhal is a uniquely specialized Arctic predator. In the winter, it feeds on benthic prey, mostly flatfish, at depths of up to 1500 m under dense pack ice.[3] Harvested for thousands of years by Inuit people in Northern Canada and Greenland for meat and ivory, a regulated subsistence hunt continues to this day. While populations appear stable, the narwhal has been deemed particularly vulnerable to climate change due to a narrow geographical range and specialized diet.

    So…it would appear that these tusks are a tooth of some sort. Another odd thing is that they can dive as deep as a mile.

    image Those tusks can grow as long as 7 to 10 feet! It is an incisor tooth that projects from the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left handled helix….which means it is a spiral. The tooth is completely spiraled. Here is a close up of it….. image And here is a picture from the front.image Is that weird or what? It’s hard to know if it is a whale or a rock! Well I thought you all may be interested in seeing this unusual Arctic whale and the story of the white homing doves. It was a fun read for me on both of these wonderful creatures.

       In closing, I would like to remind any of you who have not been here for a while, that there may be an award for you on my last post so check it out. It has been extremely warm here in Maine….in the 90’s the past few days and it is only April!! I am not ready for that yet! Today, thank God is much cooler….60’s and for that I am grateful. I HATE the hot weather, give me 70’s any day and I’ll keep it. I guess that’s why my favorite season in New England is the fall. Also I wanted to say sorry to you New England Bloggers about not jumping in on the giveaway!! I promise I will get to the next one. I am a little slow on the uptake with blogging still!! Now I am off to get something done around this house!! Have a wonderful week everyone! Hope it’s not too hot for you.    debbie01

    11 comments:

    Dawn said...

    Hi Debbie,
    That is so interesting, I never knew there was such a whale, surely has a face only a mother could love.
    The doves are cool, sometimes they don't fly out quite right and I've always wondered if they were homming.
    Yep, alittle hot yesterday! Frost tonight!

    Shelia said...

    Hi Debbie! This was a great posts! We have morning doves out back and I so enjoy their little cooing! Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :0

    Gaston Studio said...

    Good post Debbie. I had known about the narwhal having seen a special on Nat. Georgraphic. You're lucky to have a sub to Smithsonian mag, it's a great one.
    Yep, knew about homing doves too but didn't know how expensive it was!

    Far Side of Fifty said...

    Interesting about the doves..sounds like an interesting business! :)

    Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

    It's a nice tradition..but being practical I guess I would rathe spend that money on something for my home. Now...that cage..I love that cage! I wonder if that is part of the deal..but, no, I doubt it. I loved reading about that Debbie. Very interesting.
    The Whales. I have NEVER seen anything like that. Not on National Geographic or anywhere else. Great post today Debbie!
    ~smiles~
    Mona

    Anonymous said...

    ... Love the Narwhales, love Smithsonian, love doves, love Nat Geo ... Love you!
    GeeGee

    Debbie said...

    Dawn:...You are right about a face only a mother could love!! I laughed when I read that!
    Sheila:...Oh we have those here too and I love that sound Sheila! My husband once had a pet dove as a kid. His name was Lovey-Dovey I think.
    GS:..Thanks so much. Somehow I knew you would have information already about these creatures! You are such a worldy lady.
    FSOF:...It does sound interesting to me too. Funny...they both had white hair like the doves!
    Wspr.Swtly:...Well I guess I was not the only one to not ever see the Narwhals!! He he
    GeeGee:...I know and I know and I know and I love you too!! You were the ones that gave us the magazine!! Thanks for that my friend.:)

    Kathleen said...

    Hi Debbie....I've been enjoying the weather way too much, and am just catching up. That dove thing is pretty pricey. I wonder how much to get started in a business like that. You need gas to get to where you will release them, and food for the doves (ha! pigon feed) That could be a darn lucrative business!!. Hope you are enjoying the slightly cooler temps! Hugs, Kathleen

    Smart Mouth Broad said...

    Well I certainly learned something new today. Very interesting but I have to say that it looks very uncomfortable.....and weird. Thanks for sharing.

    Anonymous said...

    Debbie,
    Great blog, I realy did enjoy it very interesting and amazing about the whales I never have seen them before, I remember a little bit about the doves I have read about them before. Earnies father raised pigons when I was a kid, strange how they just come back to their home when there released. Margaret

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