A juvenile yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) pecks at a ginkgo tree at BBG. Photo by Steven Severinghaus.
by Joe Giunta.
What do the wolf, the beaver, and the yellow-bellied sapsucker have in common? Each is a keystone species, that is, a species that by its actions may affect a whole community. In many cases, other species greatly depend upon their actions for food, shelter, and habitat.
As a predator, the wolf keeps certain animal populations, like deer, from becoming overabundant and destructive to the surrounding habitat. The beaver creates habitat for songbirds, ducks, and muskrats by building dams.
The yellow-bellied sapsucker provides not only habitat but also food for other species.
This medium-sized woodpecker is what’s known as a primary cavity-nesting bird. It makes—by drilling into a somewhat decayed tree—a cavity where it can build a nest and raise young.
The next year, secondary cavity-nesting birds like swallows, chickadees, and bluebirds can then move in to nest there and raise their own young.
The yellow-bellied sapsucker is also a great provider of food. It drills many “wells” in living trees that bleed throughout the year. The sap attracts insects, and the sapsucker feeds on those as well as the sap itself.
Other small birds like warblers and hummingbirds, as well as butterflies and bats, also come to these sap wells to feed.
Sapsucker wells have been found in over a hundred species of trees, but the sapsucker seems to prefer trees that bleed more than others, such as red maple and birch.
Photo by Kathrin Swoboda/Audubon Photography Awards
Category: Amateur Species
Location: Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia.
Camera: Nikon D500 with Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens; 1/800 second at f/6.3; ISO 2500
Story Behind the Shot: I visit this park near my home to photograph blackbirds on cold mornings, often aiming to capture the “smoke rings” that form from their breath as they sing out.
On this occasion, I arrived early on a frigid day and heard the cry of the blackbirds all around the boardwalk.
This particular bird was very vociferous, singing long and hard.
I looked to set it against the dark background of the forest, shooting to the east as the sun rose over the trees, backlighting the vapour.
Bird Lore: Red-winged Blackbirds are some of the most abundant and conspicuous birds in North America.
Beginning in early spring, males perch above marshes, pond edges, damp fields, and roadside ditches, flaring their red shoulder patches and belting out arresting songs to announce their claims to breeding territories.
When it comes to reliable products, they don’t come more hardy than Zippo lighters, a device so insanely well made that the company that makes them guarantee to repair it for free, forever.
Basically, if you ever break a Zippo lighter (a considerable feat in of itself) Zippo will repair and/replace it free of charge, a guarantee that the company has had in place almost since the day the company was founded.
George G. Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter in 1932, and got his idea after discovering a large and bulky Austrian made pocket lighter. Blaisdell was an oil engineer who saw a audience for a good looking lighter that would function even in windy conditions.
He produced the first Zippo lighter in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
And yes, before anyone asks, this guarantee still applies to lighters from 70 years ago. As noted on their own website:
“Whether a lighter is five years, 25 years, or 50 years old, it will serve as a dependable source of flame for years to come. We guarantee it.”
To date there has never been a known case of Zippo ever charging for a repair, hell, this guy sent Zippo his 53 year old lighter and they sent it back repaired with money for the stamps he’d used to post it.
How many companies can you name who’d repair a product older than 70% of the population and then refuse to ask for payment for doing so?
That’s not a sarcastic question by the way, we’re genuinely curious if there’s another company out there this awesome because we want to write about them.
Check out the Video shared by EfiSoul63 in the Comments Section.
In 1925, the United States Postal Service began to give airlines contracts to carry air mail all around the country.
A company named Western Air Express applied to be awarded the air mail route from Salt Lake City in Utah to Los Angeles. In April of 1926, Western’s first flight took place with a Douglas M-2 airplane.
The month after, passenger services started.
Trans World Airlines was a major American airline from 1925 until 2001. It was originally formed as Transcontinental & Western Air to operate a transcontinental route from New York City to Los Angeles via St. Louis and Kansas City.
Founded by Howard Hughes in 1926.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major American airline, with its headquarters and largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
The airline and its subsidiaries operate over 5,400 flights daily and serve an extensive domestic and international network that includes 333 destinations in 64 countries.
Although several nice versions of this Prichard & Knoll trade card with novelty fish lettering were produced in the later 19th century, you might say they are now endangered.
These two came from the same dealer and recently sold at auction for handsome sums. They are equally nice, however the first card has much finer detail held in the rainbow trout artwork and fish lettering.
It was printed by Stahl & Jaeger Artistic Lithographers in NYC. The second card has the name reversed and several alternate letters, along with some clever wave-like handlettered text with flourishes below the fish which add to its appeal.
They each have an eel ampersand.
Directly below is another unrelated trade card from 1871 with similar novelty lettering of fish.
This particular card from Fisher Ice Boxes and Refrigerators of Chicago, found here, is sporting an amphibious eel for the letter S. Although this Fisher card is nowhere near as elaborate as the two above, the artist did provide some level of detail to the three-colored fish.
I guess the imaginative art of fish lettering requires a fine line and some reel angling, just like fishing.