When worms turn up in the open it’s to travel

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“I’d ask you to sit down if it weren’t for one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“You might do it.”

Driving by the Bruces

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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: the automobile has become a phone booth.

I’ve learned

1. That for many people, the phone is the least important part of a cellphone.

2. When I wear my glasses, everything I see is an optical illusion.

3. My shoestrings usually last longer than my shoes.

Eating out — way out

I led a tour for a large group of fine folks on a cruise ship. On a cruise, you can eat before early and after late. A cruise is a county fair on water. Eating goes into cruise control with little or no control. We were enjoying a delicious and massive breakfast when I heard myself say, “Hurry up. We need to finish breakfast in time for lunch.”

A kind, caring man

Don Meyer of Hartland told me that he and his wife, Ona, each have a lawn mower. The his and hers lawn mowers are similar machines. The major difference between the two is that Don keeps gas in his wife’s lawn mower.

Did you know?

A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that Danish people are the happiest among those in the 40 countries studied. Citizens of Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Finland, Ireland, Austria, and the United States followed in that order. China and Hungary reported the lowest overall life satisfaction.

According to the National Climatic Data Center, here are the most thunderstorm-prone cities in the U.S., along with their average number of annual storms: 1. Fort Myers, Florida – 89; 2. Tampa, Florida – 87; 3. Tallahassee, Florida – 83; 4. Gainesville, Florida – 81; 5. Orlando, Florida – 80; 6. Mobile, Alabama – 79; 7. West Palm Beach, Florida – 79; 8. Lake Charles, Louisiana – 76; 9. Daytona Beach, Florida – 75; 10. Vero Beach, Florida – 75.

A national survey by Visa showed that American families spend an average of $1,078 each on a prom, a 33.6 percent boost over the $807 spent in 2011.

Midwestern families, cheaper or wiser, spend an average of $696.

Nature notes

“Do earthworms come to the surface after heavy rains to avoid drowning?” No, they come to the surface during rains (especially in the spring) so they can travel overland. The wet conditions give worms an opportunity to move to new places. Since worms breathe through their skin, that skin must stay wet in order for the oxygen to pass through it. Rain and high humidity allow earthworms to move without dehydrating. Earthworms can survive for several weeks under water, providing there is sufficient oxygen in the water.

“What can I do to keep grackles from dominating my feeders?” Common grackles are common in yards. Our yards are made for the lifestyle of a grackle. They eat like a bird — voraciously. They prefer seed offered on platform feeders or scattered on the ground. They find tube feeders, especially those with short perches, less to their liking. Perches can be trimmed so that only small birds can find footing. A feeder could be enclosed by a wire cage that allows smaller birds entry while excluding grackles. This could be a do-it-yourself project or a commercial feeder. A thistle feeder attracts goldfinches instead of grackles. Some feeders are equipped with mechanisms that close feeding ports when larger birds or squirrels get on them. Safflower is not a grackle’s favorite food. Cheap seed mixes attract grackles.

Meeting adjourned

Be kind. There are people who would love to have your bad days.