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.
Here’s a price list and info from a place in Alabama……
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.
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!! 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. 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.
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….. And here is a picture from the front. 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.