Al Batt: Animals begin moving south

Published 6:06 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

How much do you want for that bucket of bolts you call a lawn mower?

$50.

Could I get a better price?

Sure, $100.

Do you call that a better price?

It’s better for me.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. Each day has so many rules and I need to wake up each and every day. This is the greatest day in the history of the world. We’re all still here. We got the first frost out of the way in September, but fall still has some aces up its sleeve. The weather had been consistently inconsistent, so I ducked into a library, a wonderful place to lengthen an attention span. As I turned the pages of newspapers, it was impossible to avoid references to pumpkin spice. There was an ad insert that peddled circus peanuts, candy that is orange, squishy and tastes like a bad banana. Bless the people who eat circus peanuts so I don’t have to. Soon it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Christmas already! And I have gotten nothing done today.

Bad joke department

Al Pacino stars as a world-class knitter in the movie, “Scarf Face.”

A snake walks into a bar. The bartender said, “How did you do that?”

How come we call it a slice of bread but a piece of toast?

I spotted a Bing Crosby album and an ancient boombox in a thrift store. Bought a Bing, bought a boom.

I wonder

Did Pandora have a junk drawer?

How does an opossum know if its baby is really sleeping?

Do leaves have nightmares about falling?

Does a Bigfoot get a lot of speeding tickets?

I’ve learned

I have never walked on fire, but I have stepped on my share of Lego bricks.

If everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, where do they put it all?

A new car is any car newer than my old car.

Having an opinion doesn’t make one an expert.

Weather is expected tomorrow.

Nature notes

The fall migration differs from the spring migration. In the spring, there is an urgency to move to secure prime nesting sites and a mate. In the fall, birds may travel more leisurely, stopping to rest and feed when conditions allow. A lot of things about birding go over my head, but it’s free therapy. I saw no juncolopes again this year. They are mythical songbirds with antelope horns on their heads that are found only in my mind. I saw sandhill cranes working a field and a molting male cardinal. Even with his vibrancy diminished, the cardinal was a color capable of melting the other crayons in the box. I heard a blue jay doing a wonderful rendition of a broad-winged hawk.

I saw holes chewed in the leaves of various plants. That’s not a bad thing. The holes show there are caterpillars and caterpillars are food for birds. I picked cherry tomatoes. As I ate the delicious fruits (botanically, tomatoes are fruits, but are considered vegetables by nutritionists), I realized I was eating sunlight.

Folklore says the amount of black on the woolly bear caterpillar in autumn varies proportionately with the coming winter in the locality where the caterpillar was spotted. The longer the woolly bear’s black bands, the more severe the winter will be. The longer the middle brown band, the milder the upcoming winter.

Monarch butterflies can fly in the rain, but not for long. When it’s raining, monarchs rarely fly. They cling to trees or bushes. If they become wet, they can’t fly because their wings become too heavy. Monarchs don’t need to stay completely dry.

If they get wet, they remain still until the water evaporates from their bodies. They bask in the sun to dry their wings. Monarch butterflies reach Mexico near the Day of the Dead in early November. Some cultures believe the monarchs (mariposas) are the souls of ancestors returning home. When they reach their destination, the monarchs overwinter in oyamel fir trees.

Yellowjackets, paper wasps, bald-faced hornets and bumble bees can sting more than once because they pull their stingers out without injuring themselves. Honey bees have tiny barbs on their stingers that remain hooked in skin. The stinger, connected to the digestive system of the bee, is torn from the abdomen as the bee attempts to fly away. As a result, the bee dies. Yellowjackets cannot be trusted at this time of the year. Expect little waspitality from them.

Meeting adjourned

Create happy memories by being kind.