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Al Batt: It was like burying a new Harley

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I heard the mosquitoes are big around here.

They are. See that flock of eagles.

I do.

Well, those aren’t eagles.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. Everything was nearly copacetic. I answered the phone as if I’d done it before. A pleasant woman had called and said, “We were just thinking how great it would be to have Al Batt speak to us in Evanston, Illinois.” I told her I’d been thinking the same thing. I haven’t spoken there for a few years and I hope Evanston has a nice bakery. A recent stop at a  Minnesota bakery showed me, as is often the case, that most of the remaining goodies were covered in sprinkles—those colorful but nasty, small particles of candy used as toppings. I prefer to remain sprinkleless.

Bad joke department

It’s hard to believe, but some people say I look like Stephen King’s son Joe. I’m not Joe King.

One of my softball teammates worked for the UPS. It was a perfect job for him as when he was a boy, he knocked on doors and then ran away.

The Constitution is a document that most people think allows them to do whatever they want.

“I’m the genie from a magic lamp and I have the power to grant you three wishes.” “I want to be rich.” “OK, what’s your second wish?”

Fiddlehead ferns are said to cure constipation. With fronds like that, who needs enemas?

“Why can’t you hear a brontosaurus belch?” It’s because they’re extinct.

Someone glued my deck of playing cards together. I don’t know how to deal with that.

I’ve learned

Life is too short for anything to last too long.

If you embarrass easily, stay out of beanbag chairs.

There are few things more disgusting than someone else’s used Band-Aid.

Debate no one online. Argue with an echo instead. You’ll accomplish more.

A bird in the hand is worth wondering how it got there.

All overconfidence is unjustified.

Customer comments

Rural folks talk about exciting things like septic tanks. Such palaver is the language of the dirt road. Sue Stiehl of Albert Lea told me that when she learned her property needed a new septic system, all she could think of was the cost was like burying a new Harley motorcycle.

Nature notes

June brought greening and growing. As sung in “Carousel,” “June is busting out all over.” The proverb is, “Cut your thistles before St. John (June 24), you will have two instead of one.”

Young Starlings have a grey-brown plumage. If you want to see an insect, look at a flower. Butterflies included monarchs, tiger swallowtails, blues, sulphurs, skippers, black swallowtails, fritillaries, cabbage whites and crescents. Swallowtails are our largest butterflies here, but the largest, the giant swallowtail is uncommon. June is the time of the big moths. A light brown moth with spots, Polyphemus is named after Polyphemus, the giant cyclops from Greek mythology who had a single large, round eye in the middle of his forehead. This is because of the large eyespots in the middle of the moth’s hind wings. It has a 4-5 inch wingspan. Cecropia has a 5-6 inch wingspan and is reddish-brown. And the luna moth is green with a 3-5 inch wingspan.

Spittlebugs have a protective covering that looks like someone placed soap suds or spit on a plant.

Hot, dry summers make for large populations of boxelder bugs in the fall. Those insects are most abundant in years when May is warm and July is dry. Dawn liquid soap in water is an effective spray to use on the harmless bugs if you find them annoying.

Ebony jewelwings are beautiful damselflies. In good light, they appear a bright metallic green or teal blue depending on the light’s angle. They look black in shade.

Bald-faced hornets build the iconic gray, football-shaped nests in trees. A neighbor called them bull wasps and they’re prolific eaters of deer flies and horseflies.

The ditch lily, sometimes called an outhouse lily, is a vigorous orange-flowered daylily that finds a home in our road ditches. When I spot them, I sing a corrupted Beach Boys song, “Ditch baby, ditch baby, give me your hand. Give me something that I can remember.”

To get more on nature from nature’s moron, please go to my blog at https://www.albatt.com/blogs/ The blog has many photos I’ve taken. Listen in every Tuesday morning at 10 to KMSU (89.7 FM) or on varied dates to KTOE (1420 AM).

Meeting adjourned

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.”—Norman Cousins