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Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher ~ Muscivora forficata
The courtship ballet of the male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is unparalleled in the bird kingdom. He climbs to about a hundred feet, plunges down a fourth of the way, zigs up and zags down, all the while sounding a rolling chatter. Finally, he rockets straight up and then falls into two or three spectacular somersaults. For all the painstaking fervor of the courtship rites, Scissor-tails care little for a tidy nest. Frail and sloppily built, their nests are a shallow cup of twigs and grass.
Mistletoe ~ Phoradendron flavescens
Mistletoe is a unique choice among state flowers for two reasons. First, its interest and charm lie in its tick, yellowish green leaves and waxy white berries rather than in its tiny, inconspicuous flowers. Second, it is not a garden or cultivated flower but, like its five hundred or more relatives, a parasite, living on the branches of various kinds of trees from which it steals its sustenance. Its name comes from a very old Saxon word meaning “different twig.” It was considered a twig of mysterious power because it remained green in winter, when all the leaves of the tree had fallen. The custom of kissing under a branch of Mistletoe apparently originated among the Druids.
From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992:
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