Al Batt: A demonstration of dodging

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Do you have a toothpick?

What do you want with a toothpick? We haven’t eaten anything.

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I feel lucky.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. It was so windy I wanted to hide behind the toaster. A hood ornament blew past. It was a Dodge Ram blown from the hood of a truck. I wonder why a Dodge doesn’t win every demolition derby?

The weather report had been: wind, snow, wind, cold, wind, rain, wind, repeat. The weather hadn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. It never has been. We are overly optimistic about spring and spring things. We try to tease out bits of spring before they want to provide us company. The pessimists among us maintain Minnesota has only two seasons—winter and road construction. I want the National Weather Service to issue a nice weather warning. Perhaps they will offer a calm advisory on days that aren’t windy?

Life is good. An oncologist hugged me, which meant it was terrible news or marvelous news. It was marvelous. According to a poll conducted on behalf of Ancestry, only 47% of respondents could name all their grandparents. Only 4% could name all eight of their great-grandparents. I thanked all eight or nine (there is disagreement on one great-grandparent) for providing the genetics to make it possible for me to continue to exist.

A plentitude of photos

Do you ever get the feeling you’re the only one who has too many photos? Cheer up, there are at least two of us. You and I are in this together and I’m happy to have your  company. I have thousands of bird, mammal, insect and wildflower photos for use in magazines and newspapers, but I’m fixing to delete most of them. I’m like your brother who replies to every email—eventually. “Fixing to” means I’ll get around to it sometime—maybe, but first, I need to take a few more photos of those bald eagles on those two nests that look like upside-down Volkswagen Beetles in king trees.

I’ve learned

If the police were here to protect us, we’d all be under arrest.

Playing Scrabble is fun until someone loses an “I.”

If they want to speed up baseball games, MLB umpires should call a batter out anytime a fan in the stands catches a ball.

If you’re being chased by an angry mob of taxidermists, don’t play dead.

If I were a spy, tying me up in front of a TV showing any of the 24-hour news channels would quickly cause me to spill the beans.

Bad joke department

I don’t trust stairs. They’re always up to something.

A sock puppet is wanted in connection with a robbery. Police suspect someone else had a hand in it.

Exercise and extra fries sound too much alike.

How many conspiracy theorists does it take to change a light bulb? Do your own research.

What has four legs and if it fell out of a tree, it  could break your leg? A pool table.

Does anyone else forget the abbreviation for Maine or is it just ME?

Nature notes

What’s all the yellowing about? It’s about American goldfinches. They are turning a brilliant yellow. Dandelions are spring to some folks. The yellowing of spring. Is a group of dandelions called a pride? Mark Twain said, “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”

Turkey vultures are checking the expiration dates of roadkill. I’ve seen bald eagles in a few nests. The similar-sized golden eagle doesn’t nest in Minnesota.

I’m in awe of the birds in the April snow. I make it a cardinal rule to look at every cardinal. A red-tailed hawk soaring high caused me to think of the line from “Oklahoma,” “We sit alone and talk and watch a hawk making lazy circles in the sky.”

European starlings were introduced into this country by Shakespeare enthusiasts in 1890. Starling population is declining in the UK and North America. The Harris’s sparrow is named after Edward Harris, Audubon’s pal and a horse breeder. The breeding range of this sparrow is all in Canada.

The crow-sized peregrine falcons returned in February to nest on the roof of the Mayo Building in Rochester. In early April, the female lays 3-4 eggs that hatch 35 days later in early to mid-May. Patients, staff and visitors name the nestlings.

My nature blog is at

Meeting adjourned

Be the author of a great day written in kind words.