Archived Story

Starlings change color of feathers with seasons

Published 10:49am Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Echoes from the Loafers Club Meeting:

“I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”

“Is that why you are in such a bad mood?”

“No, I’m in a bad mood because I walked into a wall where I thought the door was.”

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors —both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: society will ignore almost anything except someone getting in the express line with two extra items.

Marital bliss

Bill Egar of Bozeman, Montana told me that he snores loudly but his wife never hears it. She takes her hearing aids out when she goes to bed. He has to yell sweet nothings in her ear.

Does what he cane

Cheryl McRoberts works at the American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines, Alaska. She has been troubled with fluid on the knee. A visitor to the Foundation forgot his walking cane there. When he returned, he saw Cheryl limping. He gave her the cane, saying that she needed it more than he did.

Mail must go through

Our rural mail carrier is Brad Spooner. Each morning he bundles our mail. He bundles the mail for each of the owners of a mailbox on his substantial route. He ends up with a car filled with bundles of mail. He drives the route, stopping at each mailbox. Driving from the wrong side of the car, he opens a mailbox, grabs its bundle of mail, and stuffs it into the mailbox. He closes the box and moves onto the next mailbox. There, he repeats the process by putting the next bundle in it. He arranges the bundles so that they are in an order matching the sequence of mailboxes. There is no truth to the rumor that if someone on Brad’s route gets no mail on a particular day that the mail for everyone down the line is one mailbox off. No truth at all.

‘Tis the season

The snow hit hard overnight. Eighteen inches of white stuff fell. Snow tumbled from the roofs of buildings as if they were glaciers that were calving. Glacier calving is when ice disruption causes the breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier. Piles of snow slid from house covers, eliciting responses such as, “Did all that come from one roof? I was in a small town in Alaska and needed to move my car so that the snowplow could do its job. My car was no longer visible. It had been completely enveloped in snow. It was a rental car that did not come equipped with a shovel or a snowblower. It was a snow of sufficient depth that a fellow could get a leg stuck in it. Three fishermen (two wiry guys in their early twenties and a gentleman twice their age) from Whitehorse in the Yukon employed two shovels. They freed the car from the grasp of snow and then pushed it free from the spot I had become mired in. The snow doesn’t like to let go.

In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, we learned that every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings. My wish for these three Yukoners is that they live long, but I know that when they do shuffle off this mortal coil, three bells will ring.

You can bank on it

I spoke with a banker. He plied his trade in a small town. In an attempt to make small talk, I asked what CD rate his bank was paying.

He replied, “We are paying 0 %, but the good news is that rate is not likely to go down.”

Nature notes

The winter color of the European starling is a glossy iridescent black with purple and greens, with the tips of the feathers having white stars. By spring, the white feather tips have worn away and are no longer noticeable by the breeding season. The starling in winter has a dark brown bill that changes to yellow as breeding season approaches.

Meeting adjourned

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” —Seneca

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