Galwegians August 2020

Ontario is planning to roll-out Phase 3 for our region, beginning on Friday, July 17th. Our Municipality is beginning to look at four options regarding the re-opening of the community halls. The Galway Hall Board members, via email and telephone, are also considering the impacts of the re-opening of our Hall in the near future. With so many variables and uncertainties associated with the Covid-19 global pandemic, the health and well-being of our volunteers, members, and visitors are the Board’s top priority. Until a plan is developed and agreed upon that ensures the safety of everyone, the Galway Hall information signs will continue to remain blank. In these continuing times of coronavirus, keep informed and up-to-date by visiting the Galway Hall website at: Note: The Galwegians articles (to date) for 2020 are posted at this website as well.

The Friends of Galway lost a good friend with the passing of Bernice Owens. She had a wealth of local history obtained by living life to its fullest and by listening to and remembering stories and events for over 90 years. Thanks to her support team of family, friends, and health care professionals, Bernice was able to die in the house that she was born in as she wished.

A new study involving the white-throated sparrow has been recently released. Based on data collected since the 1960s from British Columbia and Ontario, researchers have discovered that this bird is singing a new tune. Historically, the song of the white-throated sparrow was described as: “(O) Sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”. The research now indicates that many of these birds have dropped a syllable and its new song is “(O) Sweet Cana, Cana, Cana”. It is the male sparrow that sings this song which defines their territory and is used for attracting a mate. Researchers believe that this is an evolutionary progression and that young male birds may have developed their new song in their wintering grounds in the southern United States. Out of curiosity, I wondered if the American birders also heard the words “Sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”. Nope! They hear “Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody”. Surprised? I think not!

Evolution witnessed here in Galway Township is for real. Earlier this spring, I had not heard many white-throated sparrows as I was listening for its traditional song. Upon hearing the new version, I came up with a few possibilities: my aging hearing was getting worse, it was a young male that did not learn all the syllables, or it was a sound-alike sparrow. Apparently, I was wrong on all three- well, maybe the hearing “thing” may be true. There is at least one male still singing the new song near the location of the historic hamlet of Ewan. Another male has been heard near the Ironmine Creek Bridge. Both locations are on the Galway Road, near the Clear Bay Road turn.

This month’s word from the past that has been removed from the dictionary is: Ultracrepidarian. This was a very extra or ultra term for your average “know-it-all”- (you know, the person that has vast opinions on topics about which they know very little).

“Gob” is another Gaelic word that has found itself into the English dictionary. Gob means mouth and translates to beak. Gob-stopper means stop talking.

Have you seen Comet F3, also known as Neowise yet? Several Galwegians have spotted it. The comet is in the northern sky near the Big Dipper. The next time this comet is visible is in 6 800 years so…….

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