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The Orchard


There are few places on the farm where there is so much live natural history to be gathered as in the orchard. All the wild creatures seem to feel the friendly and congenial atmosphere of the orchard. The trees bear a crop of birds, if not of apples, every season. Few are the winged visitors from distant climes that do not, sooner or later, tarry a bit in the orchard. Many birds, such as the robin, the chippy, the hummingbird, the cedar-bird, the goldfinch, and some of the flycatchers, nest there. The great crested flycatcher loves the old hollow limbs, and the little red owl often lives in a cavity in the trunk. The jays visit the orchard on their piratical excursions in quest of birds' eggs, and now and then they discover the owl in his retreat and set up a great hue and cry over their discovery. On such occasions they will take turns in looking into the dim cavity and crying, "Thief, thief!" most vociferously, the culprit meanwhile, apparently, sitting wrapped in utter oblivion.

In May and June the cuckoo comes to the orchard for tent caterpillars, and the woodpeckers come at all seasons - the downy and the hairy to the good of the trees, the yellow-bellied often to their injury. The two former search for the eggs and the larvae of the insects that infest the trees, as do the nuthatches and the chickadees, which come quite as regularly; but the yellow-bellied comes for the lifeblood of the trees themselves. He is popularly known as the "sapsucker," and a sapsucker he is. Many apple-trees in every orchard are pock-marked by his bill, and occasionally a branch is evidently killed by his many and broad drillings. As I write these lines, on September the 26th, in my bush tent in one of the home orchards, a sapsucker is busy on a veteran apple-tree whose fruit has often gone to school with me in my pockets during my boyhood days on the farm. He goes about his work systematically, visiting now one of the large branches and then a portion of the trunk, and drilling his holes in rows about a quarter of an inch apart. Every square foot of the trunk contains from three hundred to four hundred holes, new and old, cut through into the inner, vital cambium layer. The holes are about the size of the end of a rye-straw, and run in rings around the tree, the rings being about a half an inch apart. The newly cut ones quickly fill with sap, which, to my tongue, has a rather insipid taste, but which is evidently relished by the woodpecker. He drills two or three holes, then pauses a moment, and when they are filled sips his apple-tree tipple leisurely.

Free Worksheets From myTestBook.com ------ © myTestBook.com, Inc.
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Question 1
Which of the following does the trees in the orchard has most in number?
A. applesB. flowers
C. insectsD. birds
Question 2
Who often lives in a cavity in the trunk?
A. the robinB. the red owl
C. the cedar-birdD. the goldfinch
Question 3
What does the flycatcher love?
A. the trunkB. the top branches of the apple tree
C. the old hollow limbsD. the shade under the apple tree
Question 4
Who comes to the orchard in search of bird eggs?
A. the hummingbirdB. the red owl
C. the black owlD. the chickadee
Question 5
Who do the jays call "thief"?
A. the owlB. the squirrels
C. the flycatchersD. the Chickadee
Question 6
Who comes to the orchard at all seasons?
A. the cuckooB. the caterpillars
C. the woodpeckersD. the pigeons
Question 7
What does the author mean by "lifeblood of the trees"?
A. the insectsB. the eggs
C. the larvaeD. the tree-sap
Question 8
Who is known as the "sapsucker"?
A. the Downy WoodpeckerB. the Yellow-Bellied Woodpecker
C. the Hairy WoodpeckerD. the Chickadee
Question 9
What do the downy and the hairy look for?
A. the eggs and the larvae of the insectsB. the tree sap
C. the applesD. the bird eggs
Question 10
Who comes to the orchard to eat tent caterpillar?
A. the nuthatchB. the cuckoo
C. the goldfinchD. the bluebird
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