Another close encounter of the natural kind, documented by Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff: “I finally spotted a few monarch butterflies in my garden this year, which reminded me of one I saw several years ago and its close encounter with a bumblebee.
“We tend to think of butterflies as delicate creatures, but monarchs can take care of themselves. I suppose they have to considering the long journey they make every year.
“I was taking video of a monarch butterfly and didn’t realize what had happened until I viewed it later on my computer. The butterfly was minding its own business when a bumblebee bumbled into it. I doubt if it was a planned attack, because bumblebees have a tendency to not watch where they are going. Maybe it’s a matter of distracted flying. Anyway, the monarch knocked the bee away with a flick of its wing and continued on with its business as if nothing had happened.
“Here is the video — four times:
“There is no doubt about it: Butterflies are tough, at least the ones that hang out in Dayton’s Bluff.”
Annals of Alliteration
Semi-Legend reports: “Subject: Holy alliteration, Batman!
“This is from an obit for actor Adam West: ‘West was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Wash. in 1928.”
Our birds, ourselves
Ask Al B Division
Al B of Hartland, our Official Ornithologist, has been heard from: “Subject: In response.
“Mounds View Swede wrote, awhile back: ‘We had a few moments of no rain and a little bit of sun this morning as I looked out to the back yard. A movement of red caught my eye in my neighbor’s oak tree, so I put on a telephoto lens so I could see what it was.
‘After I got these photos, I went online and learned it was a scarlet tanager, the first one I had ever seen. It looked like it was eating something now and then, and I wonder if it was finding something on the oak tree to eat or something else. Perhaps our expert bird friend Al can tell us more about this bird. It’s an eastern forest bird, but with all the changes in weather, perhaps its range is changing, too.’
“Dear Mounds View Swede,
“A handsome scarlet tanager male is unmistakable. Scarlet tanagers are long-distance neotropical migrants that carry a taste of the tropics when they return here from their wintering grounds in South America. They inhabit the canopy of mature woodlands here, where they occur in low densities and it’s difficult to see the brilliant flashes of red and black feathers. The colors that gleam in sunlight can be lost in the thick foliage.
“I often hear scarlet tanagers before I see them. They sing like a robin with a sore throat and produce a ‘chick-burr’ call note.
“They do nest in Minnesota and Wisconsin. During migration, I am fortunate to see this lovely bird visiting bird feeders.
“I’m most happy that this bird made your acquaintance.”
Fun facts to know and tell
Baseball Division (addendum)
Dr. Chrysanthemum writes again: “My submission the other day overlooked one number-one draft choice who played for the Twins: Phil Nevin.
“Phil was drafted by the Astros in 1992. He was among baseball’s top sluggers for few years. In 2000 and 2001, he hit 31 and 41 homers and batted over .300. His time with the Twins was relatively brief. A late-season addition in 2006, his last year as a player, he hit only one of his 22 homers that year for Minnesota. Phil went hitless in one playoff game.
“He is still in baseball, coaching the Twins’ recent opponent, the Giants.”
Everyone’s a copy editor
Donald writes: “Subject: Oh, my!
“On the front page of the Sports section in Monday’s edition of the paper west of St. Paul, Phil Miller commented on the Twins’ West Coast road trip, during which they compiled a 6-4 record: ‘The Twins could have went 8-2.’”
BULLETIN BOARD NOTES: He must’ve been hanging out too much with fellow-STribber Patrick Reusse, from whose mouth the phrase “have went” has emerged innumerable times over the airwaves of ESPN 1500, KSTP-AM. Begone, “have went”!
And as for Mr. Miller’s analysis: The Twins could have gone 10-0!
Where we live (and he doesn’t)
IGHGrampa: “My brother in South Carolina sent me this.
“I volunteered to share our weather. In January, we will send him all the weather he wants.”
Life on the farm
St. Isidore Division (responsorial)
Arwen of Inver Grove Heights: “Tell DebK of St. Isidore Farm that her annoying robin is probably pecking her window glass because he sees his reflection in it and thinks it’s a rival. Birds cannot recognize themselves in mirrors, so they fight their reflections as if they are another bird. Your robin is defending his territory and/or his claim on his mate.
“Put decals on your windows — the kind that help birds see the window as an obstruction, rather than just empty space — so they then don’t fly into the windows. Google these, and you’ll find lots of examples. This will probably solve the problem.”
Why I write (responsorial)
Arkansas Traveler Division (self-responsorial)
Again, Ms. Mae of the Park: “Subject: Arkansas Traveler upright.
“I don’t know how he got so turned around the first time. I guess it’s just the nature of the Arkansas Traveler!”
Joy (?) of Juxtaposition
Including: Everyone’s a (book) critic!
Barbara of Afton reports: “I recently read ‘Today Will Be Different’ by Maria Semple. At the same time, my book club’s selection for May was ‘The Flood Girls’ by Richard Fifield. [N.B.: I’m NOT recommending either book!] The animated series that Semple’s main character draws for is titled ‘The Flood Girls.’ Very weird!”
Or: What is right with people?
Retired Teacher in Mac-Groveland: “I was leafing through the Pioneer Press ‘Sunday Life’ section with the ‘Top Graduates of 2017.’ I wasn’t really looking for names, as I’m a retired teacher and most of my students have already graduated. I was just glancing through the schools, when I started reading the Quotes.
“I was amazed and inspired: amazed at the diversity of people the students thought to quote, from Aristotle and Picasso to Harry Potter and David Bowie; and inspired by the wonderful philosophies they chose to embrace. Their love of life and learning, their commitment to our future, warmed my heart and gave me hope.
“We must have wonderful teachers guiding these students, to give them such depth and thoughtfulness.
“And these eager young minds have much to contribute to our shared future.
“Looking forward to hearing more from them.”
Band Name of the Day: The Flood Girls
Website of the Day (and we can vouch for these): WindowAlert decals