Choice Mutual says that Kentucky is the second best place to retire. They looked at things like identity theft, fraud, medical costs and cost of living. They could also have put no earthquakes, no storm surge, no tidal waves, no desert heat, and no hurricanes.

The Trail of Tears Pow Wow this weekend was cancelled. And now I’m sad to report that The Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, North Carolina, which was to be held on Oct. 17-18, has been cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 virus. You can still go online and check out all their information about previous years.

I’ve been seeing some Woolly Worms and they are solid black! They are the babies, or caterpillars, of the Isabella tiger moth, a very beautiful and large moth. There are 13 segments on a Wooly Worm, which corresponds to the 13 weeks of winter, according to the Woolly Worm Forecasters. If the front of the caterpillar is black, the first part of winter will be cold and snowy. If the middle is black, then the middle of winter will be cold and snowy. If the color is lighter, like a beige or reddish, the extreme weather will be lighter.

The key to Heaven was hung on a nail. This was sent to me by a lady in Nashville!

The number of Covid-19 cases in Kentucky just keeps rising, as do the deaths! Please stay safe and wear your masks and sanitize or wash your hands! We keep sanitizer and alcohol spray in our car to clean our hands and masks after we visit the store.

I was coming back from Madisonville late one afternoon last week, and started being swarmed by flying insects! They were large, like grasshoppers, but they didn’t act like grasshoppers! There was nobody but me on the road and nothing was chasing or disturbing them, like a tractor in the hay fields. Then one paused for just a second in front of my windshield. It looked liked a dragonfly, with its long tail! It has been a long time since I was caught in a swarm of dragonflies! They were probably after some smaller insects that were also swarming. I’m glad I didn’t hit one!

Tuesday after next is the beginning of Autumn.

I have a “life list” of birds that I have seen or heard and identified since I first became a bird watcher a long time ago. One bird that they have in eastern Kentucky, way up in the hills, where I stayed for a few days several years ago, and which is not found around Poplar Grove, is the Chimney Swift. They look a lot like the Barn Swallows as they fly around, but are smaller without the scissor tails. At dusk, instead of settling on a nest in a tree or going into the barn, they do something different. They fly and swoop getting the last bugs before suddenly they swoop down, like a fighter plane, into the top of the chimney! They have their nests inside the chimney made out of mostly sticks and are stuck to the bricks by mud. They can not perch on a branch but cling to the side of the chimney. Most of their lives are spent in the air! The bird book says they should be widespread throughout Kentucky and the states on this side of the Mississppi River, but they have declined sharply in recent years because of the decline in chimneys!

We would sit and watch the Swifts as they swooped and glided all around the house. Suddenly one would make a nose dive into the chimney, and the others would continue over the roof and then come back around again! They never make a noise overnight, and they take their excrement, and the babies’s excrement and fly over the woods and drop it, like a lot of birds do, to keep from dirtying their nest.

They were so much fun to watch as dusk came nearer and we could see more and more Swifts gather closer to the house. I counted 22 swifts enter the chimney one night, and there were still a dozen or more Swifts flying around.

I was going to save some of my sunflower heads for the winter, but the birds decided that they liked them better than what was in the feeders! So I wasn’t fast enough. They ate all the seeds on the heads before I realized they were ready.

Several people have complained about squirrels getting into their feeders. Humans have 9,000 taste buds! But songbirds have fewer than 50! They also do not have a sense of smell. That is why they will eat food that has hot Cayenne pepper on it, while squirrels will not touch it! Only a few birds, like the vulture use a sense of smell to find food. So if you are having trouble with squirrels, which I do not, put some hot stuff on your seeds.

Everyone is invited to church services at the Poplar Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church this Sunday at 9:45 a.m. We have extra masks if you forget yours.

You can reach me at 270-875-5317 and leave a message or text, and at gwillistree@yahoo.com if you have any news.

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