Al Batt: No fear of cicada killer wasp
Published by tlittle@bluffco... on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 8:52am
AL BATT/BLUFF COUNTRY READER Blue jays love peanuts and appreciate humans who add them to their feeders.
For the Birds
I saw a female cicada killer wasp. She was about 1 1/2 inches long. I wasn’t worried. Had I been a cicada, I’d have been worried. The annual cicada (also called a dog-day cicada, harvest fly, jar fly and incorrectly a locust) produces a high-pitched, buzzy whine that reminds some of an electric saw. That’s why few people use cicada calls as ringtones on cellphones. This call hits 100 decibels, lasts up to 15 seconds and can be heard a quarter mile away.
Cooper's hawks nest here, beginning their breeding season in the spring. They build nests of sticks lined with bark and green twigs located 25 to 50 feet high in a tree. She lays two to six eggs that hatch in 30 to 36 days. The young leave the nest after 27 to 34 days. The parents continue to feed and protect the fledglings until they learn to survive on their own at about eight weeks of age.
A ruby-throated hummingbird buzzed by my beak. It probably weighed .1 ounce. About 1,000 to 1,500 of that being feathers, although one old study showed 940 feathers. That may not sound like many, but it’s more than I have.
Grape jelly feeders were still busy with Baltimore orioles. Birds are in a hurry as the local nesting season is compressed for our neotropical migrants.
Echoes from Loafers' Club
This is a tough crossword puzzle. What's a 7-letter word for "easily perceived or understood" that starts with an O?
Isn't it obvious?"
It should be, but I can't think of it. That's why I'm asking.
Driving by Bruce's drive
I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I was trying not to think of my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. We were on the road and stopped to get a few items at a supermarket. That would make a sizable dent in the day. We bagged Honeycrisp apples and when that deed was done, we turned to put them into our shopping cart. My wife was the first to say what we were both thinking, “Where is our cart?” She turned around twice, getting a panoramic view from her pirouette. Our cart certainly wasn’t where it had been. There was a cart near where our cart had been, but there were no dates in it. We had dates in ours. I like dates. Then my wife spotted our cart and a cart rustler. He was busily texting while leaning on our cart. When he was informed of the cart switch, he apologized and rejoined his undated cart.
The cafe chronicles
The two old fellows sat down together. Two retired guys nursing cups of decaffeinated coffee while coveting the slices displayed in the pie case. Each man thought it would have taken longer to get old. It's as Alice Walker wrote in "The Color Purple," "Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.”
"What time is it?" asked one.
"What time would you like it to be?" replied the other.
They were both in good health, so that limited their conversation severely. Thank goodness for disagreeable weather.
He should have been wearing a name tag
I was at a funeral where the minister said the deceased's name wrong. He used the appellation often, but incorrectly. I wanted to say something, but a funeral requires a certain decorum. I've heard a story about someone giving a eulogy and saying how everyone knew Bob. A mourner yelled, "His name is Bill."
Without missing a beat, the eulogist said, "Well, some of us knew him better than others."
"What is the population of your hometown?" It's just enough.
"What bird can keep a secret?" A turkey takes its secrets to the gravy.
"When is it OK to wear white?" After the Annual BBQ Rib and Chili Cook-off has concluded.
In local news
Chris P. Bacon owns an 18th Century car. He plans on buying his 19th Buick Century soon.
Retiring bricklayer throws in the trowel.
Worker's compensation premiums soar at the Banana Peel Recycling Center due to a rash of falls.
A traveling man
A speaking gig took me to Memphis. I didn't have time to visit Graceland. I appreciate Elvis Presley's gospel singing, so I bought a Moon Pie and an RC Cola in his memory. I ate the Moon Pie and gave the RC to a stranger who looked more parched and dry than I was.
Things to look for
1. Yellowjackets attend picnics without being invited.
2. Wild grapes ripen, milkweed pods proliferate and acorns drop.
3. Singers in the night include snowy tree crickets, conehead katydids, ground crickets, bush katydids and field crickets.
4. Tinges of fall colors on foliage.
5. Most Baltimore orioles will have left by the end of the first week of September.
6. Insects are drawn to goldenrods, asters and sunflowers.
Thanks for stopping by
"A bad word from a colleague can darken a whole day. We need encouragement a lot more than we admit, even to ourselves." — Orson Welles
"Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things." — Russell Baker
"A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love." — Saint Basil
© Al Batt 2019