Batt: Swooping on to Texas

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I talked with a guy the other day who reminded me of my father.

How so?

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He told me, “Don’t forget your father.”

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. Barn swallows had gotten all swoopy. They worship the lawnmowers that chase up insects for them to eat. I stopped at a Buc-ee’s in Texas where a worshipped mower was working. Buc-ee’s has travel centers in over 50 locations, the majority in Texas. People flock there for the gas, BBQ, jerky, fudge, sweatshirts, souvenirs, a cartoon Bucky Beaver mascot, brisket, pickled eggs, Beaver Nuggets (caramel popcorn) and nearly everything else. Buc-ee’s claims the world’s largest gas station in New Braunfels, Texas, and the longest car wash in Katy, Texas. The most attraction for me was the restroom. It was lovely.

In an eye blink, I was bunking in a lovely hotel in Ohio (round on the ends and high in the middle). I enjoyed being in the Buckeye State. The temperature attempted to exceed the 80s as I climbed into bed and the air conditioning screamed and then began to whimper. I tried to tough it out until it emitted a smell of fried wiring. I hoofed it down three floors to the front desk. They gave me another room identical to the first. Life is good—if you can keep your cool.

I’ve learned

If I’m headed home with hot food in the car, flocks of farm tractors pulling wide loads suddenly appear ahead of me.

Two heads are better than one unless you’re buying a hat.

Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.

Every flight is a long flight.

Lollygagging burns calories.

More people carry a phone than carry a handkerchief.

Green lights die early. Red lights live forever.

The more things change, the more they don’t stay the same.

Bad jokes department

I have a coat that John Phillips wore when he sang with The Mamas & The Papas. All the sleeves are brown.

What do you call a dog floating in a lake? A good buoy.

What is blue and smells like red paint? Blue paint.

Never take your pet rock for granite.

Ask Al

“How do you know when you’re a grown-up?” When either your dirty dishes or your laundry pile is taller than you are.

“What do most cars run on?” Credit cards.

“What is the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ about?” It’s a story about what’s found under beds.

“How can I tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?” You’ll see an alligator later and a crocodile in a while.

Nature notes

What was that bird you heard? If there were only an app that could tell you. There is a free app. It’s called Merlin, created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. One of the app’s features is called Sound ID, which analyzes audio in real time. Discover feathered neighbors by opening the app, clicking “Sound ID” and pressing the microphone icon. The app records all sounds, suggesting bird identifications. It’s that simple.

Canada geese bachelors and bachelorettes, along with those that lost nests early in the breeding season are undertaking a molt migration northward to large bodies of water where they feel safe as they molt their wing feathers. Many will return in September and October.

Lilacs are one of spring’s billboards and harbingers of summer. With their lush scent and lovely blooms, lilacs reach their peak in late May to early June. Lilacs are native to Europe and Asia, but have found homes in Minnesota and Iowa. They bloom for 10 to 14 days, depending on the weather, and have a distinctive sweet fragrance. They’re old-fashioned homestead favorites and often mark where a farmstead once existed. The lilacs survived long after the people had left.

Some other non-native plants in Minnesota include: birdsfoot trefoil, spotted knapweed, bull thistle, Canada thistle, common tansy, common teasel, crown and hairy vetch, creeping Charlie, garlic mustard, leafy spurge, orange hawkweed, oxeye daisy, Queen Anne’s lace, white and yellow sweet clover, wild parsnip, reed canary grass (there is a native species), smooth bromegrass, Amur maple, black locust, buckthorn, Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, Tatarian honeysuckle, Norway maple, Russian olive, Siberian elm, Siberian peashrub, winged burning bush, Japanese hops and round leaf bittersweet.

Meeting adjourned

“Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes.”—Joseph B. Wirthlin.