Terri Guillemets once said, "The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination."  GAIL BATT/BLUFF COUNTRY READER<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Terri Guillemets once said, "The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination." GAIL BATT/BLUFF COUNTRY READER

An angry wind blew through the trees, creating a disquieting sound on a gelid morning.

Confucius taught, "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."

I looked longer. I saw it.

Dark-eyed juncos scratched for meals under the feeders. Snowbirds. Thoreau described juncos as "Leaden skies above, snow beneath." The flock took flight, each flashing white tail feathers moving smartly.

They reminded me how beautiful winter can be.

Nature notes

"Do butterfly houses work?"

Not to house butterflies. They are decorative and more likely to be inhabited by spiders and wasps than butterflies.

Echoes From Loafers' Club

"I'm getting nowhere fast."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because the GPS is broken in my sports car."

I've learned

Those who say there is no such thing as a stupid question have never worked in customer service.

Not all opinions need to be shared.

People hear you best when you are listening.

In Hartland news

Bump Whistlebritches hires 70-year-old man because it was like getting two 35-year-olds for the price of one.

Yoga class members learn that all is well that bends well.

Loafer's Shoe Store manager is given the pink slipper.

The visitation

I moved past the deceased. Someone said that he looked good. I suppose he did. I wished I'd had the opportunity to say goodbye. It's difficult to say goodbye at a wake.

A fellow mourner said that his mother had lived to be 105. His parents had purchased a plot in the cemetery. They had tombstones put in. The tombstones had names, birth dates and dates of death indicated as 19__. When his father died, they filled in the two numbers on the year of his passing. His mother lived into the 2000s. They had to change the entire year of death for her.

Life is a puzzle

Remember being a kid and having to invent things to do?

We reach a certain age and we have more to do than we could ever accomplish.

Then, if we are lucky, we attain the age where we need to invent things to do again. It happens after climbing hills so steep that by the time we realize that we are over the hill, we are climbing the next one.

She told me that she was either 93 or 39. She claimed she couldn't remember which.

She was working a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. It looked difficult. There was too much of the same thing in the picture depicting the finished puzzle.

She said it was hard. She smiled as she said that.

She knew that it would take only one puzzle piece to finish it.

Customer comments

Doris Mager is an 88-year-old from Florida who travels around the country doing bird programs with live raptors. She said that her father told her to use common sense and that Epsom salt is good for everything.

Ric McArthur of Morpeth, Ontario, wrote, "Whoever said 'Do the job right the first time and you'll never have to do it again,' never shoveled snow off a Canadian driveway, eh?"

Dan Bagley, a retired locomotive engineer from Nevada, Iowa, told me that he ate sunflower seeds to keep from becoming drowsy while working.

Did you know?

For the fifth straight year, Americans consider "whatever" to be the most annoying conversational word or phrase according to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "Whatever" is the most irritating to 38 percent of those polled while 22 percent report "like" gets on their nerves. "You know" irks 18 percent of Americans while 14 percent want "just saying" stricken from casual conversation. Six percent detest "obviously."

In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed for $15 million, roughly three cents an acre. The land spanned from Montana to the port of New Orleans and doubled the size of the United States.

Dogs are sensitive to Earth's magnetism. The research paper, published in the journal "Frontiers in Zoology," said that dogs prefer to defecate with their bodies aligned along the North-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions. The next time you step in something on the lawn, take out your compass and see if the alignment is complete.

After the Civil War, the U.S. government paid pensions to wounded or impoverished Union veterans and to the widows of the dead. Southern states paid pensions to disabled Confederate veterans. The Civil War pensions became a basis for Social Security.

Janus, for whom January was named, was the Roman god of doorways and beginnings and was depicted as having two faces.

The Great Molasses Flood occurred on January 15, 1919, in Boston. A large molasses storage tank burst and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph, killing 21 and injuring 150.

Nature lessons

This from Psychology Today, "Instead of seeing the rainbow as violet, blue, blue-green, green, yellow, orange and red, dogs would see it as dark blue, light blue, gray, light yellow, darker yellow (sort of brown), and very dark gray. In other words, dogs see the colors of the world as basically yellow, blue, and gray. They see the colors green, yellow and orange as yellowish, and they see violet and blue as blue. Blue-green is seen as a gray."

A baby opossum is sometimes called a "joey."

Frost quakes, also known as cryoeisems, occur when temperatures drop drastically and rapidly. When ground water freezes, it expands, causing the earth to crack.

Thanks for stopping by

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

"To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring." - W.J. Vogel

Meeting adjourned

A kind act makes a fine pillow.


© Al Batt 2014