Archive for the ‘animal kingdom’ Category

Bee-witched, bothered and bewildered

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

By Tiber

I read a headline in a science column that said “Fatigued bees saved by getting their own energy drinks.”

In my head, I congratulated the design team at the beverage company that could come up with energy drinks in containers that small.

I immediately envisioned thumbnail-sized cans with tiny, easy-to-open pop-tops that the bees could get their stingers under in order to flip those babies open.

Then, I figured, the bees could either siphon out the drink from the can or else knock the cans over with a little bee butt hit and slurp the drink off the ground.

I read on and quickly realized, of course, that the bee keepers were just putting out sugar water.


Hey, I blame the heat.

I do know, however, that there are lots of people who know me who would say, no, no, Tiber can be just as stupid when the weather turns cold.

Move your mollusks

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

By Tiber 

The snails have returned and are starting to eat the plants in our new vegetable garden.

My sister, Iris Nell, has been caring for these plants but of course, Iris Nell being Iris Nell, she cares about the snails too.

When she was little, she noticed that, for some reason, after the gardeners had been near any group of snails, the snails would instantly disappear.

Iris Nell became distraught.

The then gardener told her that the snails had been taken to a beautiful snail farm in upper state New York where they were having a wonderful time. Iris Nell frowned and the gardener panicked.

“Did I say New York? It was Las Vegas! I meant Las Vegas!…Or…or Spain?”

So Iris Nell quickly wised up. And she put a stop to it.

Even Dad agrees now that she was right about the chemicals. But we still haven’t found a fool-proof way of keeping the snails off the vegetables.

So this time, we’re transporting them, by hand, as far away from the gardens as we can.

Even more surprising, the volatile and insane Saskia was out there helping us – or helping her new boyfriend, Nestor, the gardener, I should say.

The snail transport won’t help for long, of course. Somehow, even across huge snail distances, the intrepid little gastropods always find their way back.

But then again, Saskia and Nestor have found their way to each other too and the distance between them was a hell of a lot greater.