The sawdust was flying over by the band saw. Must be some critter. A mouse? A chipmunk?

Keeping your eyes open

Twitty of Como reports: “Subject: The world around us.


“The sun was out, and the day was warm. A gentle breeze cooled the inside of my garage. The radio in the corner kept me company as I worked.

“My attention to the woodworking project in front of me was disrupted by movement. Over by the band saw, something large passed through my peripheral vision. I glanced that way. The sawdust at the base of the machine went airborne as my visitor disappeared around a corner. A mouse? A chipmunk? I’ve had both in the garage.

“A bit warily, I moved forward to peek around that dark corner. Sawdust was flying, tossed airborne by . . . the wings of a bumblebee.

“I chuckled. I don’t know where he came from (probably in through the open door) or where he was headed (hopefully, back out), but he was no threat to me. I went back to work, having spotted my first bee of the spring on April 25th.”

Our theater of seasons

Mounds View Swede reports: “When I got up this morning, I noticed something had happened during the night, but I cannot figure out exactly what or how. It’s unusual to have frost on only some of the ground or very spotty snow. but one or the other was there to see. Why only some grass blades and not others?


“The neighbor’s azaleas were ‘flocked’ nicely.


“Looking at the crystals makes me think of frost forming. But why only certain leaves? Are some blades of grass and leavers warmer than others? Since it was only 31, it might take only a very slight difference in temperature to determine which get frost and which don’t.


“I thought the rhubarb looked the most interesting.”


Our birds, ourselves

Gregory of the North: “With all of the beautiful bird and flower photos (I won’t comment on the Maidenform images), I just had to submit a couple of photos of ‘my’ egret. This fellow/gal comes by once a day, usually in the morning, to poke through the waters of the pond behind my house. S/he shows no discomfort around humans, and I was able to get quite close to snap these photos.

“In the first picture, you see the bird looking for prey.


“The next move was much too fast to photograph, as s/he poked his/her head into the water and came up with a nice frog.


“Observing this whole event, I noticed that the frog was squirming a great deal, legs kicking, and no doubt surmising that this was to be its final view of the pond. Then, in a series of releases and catches, the egret turned the frog from being perpendicular to the beak, to its being in perfect alignment with its mouth and neck. Then, in a single gulp, the frog was gone. If you look at about the middle of the neck on the second photo, you can see a lump where the frog is going down.

“I speculated what it must feel like to the egret. (The children’s song ‘There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly’ went through my mind.) I did not contemplate the possible perceptions of the frog.

“Nature certainly is dramatic.”

Goodvertising (responsorial)

In reply to Kathy S. of St. Paul, in Thursday’s Bulletin Board, here’s The Monkey Lover’s Wife of Northfield: “While the ‘Funeral Procession’ ad was great, this is easily the best VW commercial of all time, and maybe just one of the best commercials, period. (I know, I know, this isn’t a competition.) The acting (no dialogue!) is spot-on.”

Our times

Norton’s mom of Eau Claire, Wisconsin: “Subject:The UPS guy doesn’t quiz me.

“I needed more foaming hand soap for the kitchen and bathroom counters. I ventured to the mall, where I noticed that a lot of new stores had replaced the ones that were there the last time I shopped there. I very seldom go to the mall, since my ‘will to shop’ left me a few years ago — a sad but money-saving day.

“I walked into the store which sells products for ‘bath and body.’ A sales associate (that’s what they’re called now) asked if she could help me and directed me to the area of the store where an array of liquid hand soaps with various fragrances graced the shelves.

“After selecting six (they were on sale if you bought six), I made my way to the checkout counter. A woman who looked like she was close to my age was checking out, and I overheard the conversation between her and the sales associate who was working the register. The customer was asked which sales associate had helped her find the items she was paying for.

“’I don’t know,’ the lady with silvery gray hair replied.

“’What did she look like?’

“’I don’t remember.’

“I was starting to sweat. I didn’t know there would be a quiz. I tried to think. What did the woman look like who’d steered me toward the hand-soap section? I had no clue. She was young, but they’re all young in those stores. I was going to fail the quiz. Would I be barred from buying soap from this store forever? I really like the soap; it gets the dirt off, but doesn’t dry my skin out.

“It was my turn to check out. I got the same treatment. I felt like a suspect being grilled by a tough detective. I couldn’t remember anything about the sales associate who’d helped me. I’d only asked her one question and received one answer, and I never even really looked at her. I just kept saying: ‘I don’t remember.’

“I was allowed to purchase my items, even though I didn’t pass the quiz. I got even with the sales associate by refusing to give my phone number and email address.

“I’m glad I bought six bottles of soap. Maybe by the time I need more, the sales associates, or whatever they are called then, will have become kinder to older customers. Or perhaps I’ll just order online the next time.”

The Permanent Family Record

The Gram With a Thousand Rules is “remembering the fun my kids had playing game after game with Grandma Bessie.


“My middle son was taking his turn at Battleship — and from the look on his face, I think he was winning. My middle daughter was eagerly waiting her turn, while my oldest daughter was playing with the baby.

“My other sons are captured somewhere in that pile of Polaroids drying out on the end table.

“Treasured memories, every one of them.”

Band Name of the Day: Grandma Bessie and the Battleships

Website of the Day:


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