Ferocious Ants

Monday, July 18th, 2022 – Safeway

Okay, it is July 18th in Bothell, Washington and it is 55°F (13°C) and raining. I blame my neighbor who installed an air conditioner three days ago. The rain really put a damper on things, literally. Even our new shoes got wet. We did not find any roadkill but found a bit of money.

A very small bit. One penny. Yes, it was a penny-ante walk.

The money wasn’t much, but we did find a tool, an Allen wrench.

Another very small bit. Literally.

At this point, we had not found much, and it was still raining. We were looking for a sign that things would get better.

We did see a sign, but it was being held up by a tree, and it was not the tree of life. We took this as a bad sign, especially since we were the ones walking.

We did find a neck gaiter to add to our collection.

But we don’t know what it means. An evil face with twenty-five bombing missions. So, these symbols were painted on WWII aircraft.

The description of this photo from this site is,”‘Pinocchio’, a veteran Halifax of No 102 Squadron at Pocklington, has the bomb symbol for its 26th operation painted on its fuselage by a member of the ground crew, April 1943. The ice cream cornets represent raids on Italian targets and the key indicates the aircraft’s 21st operation.” Again, we are not sure, but we think the neck gaiter seems to degrade the real meaning of the bomb symbols.

We did find a nice water bottle that someone lost.

A 21 oz. Hydro Flask that we found at REI, though currently unavailable. Well, it is available from us. For a price. If you are interested, let us know. It seems to sell for about thirty dollars. Bids are currently being accepted, but do not wait too long. We are prone to snap decisions, especially when the selling price exceeds four dollars. Firm.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 – Park-and-Ride

This morning was clear and cooler, perfect for our walks. We removed a small bird from the road and found more money.

A whole nickel this time, five times what we picked up yesterday. If this pattern keeps up, we should find a quarter tomorrow, $1.25 the next day and so on. We will make nearly forty dollars this week. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

We picked up a nice wool cap at the park-and-ride.

Still wet from yesterday’s rain.

Week 9 of the gypsy moth watch.

And not a moth in sight. Or inside.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022 – Safeway and 100th Ave NE

Today we removed a roadkill rabbit from the street and found no money. There goes our forty-dollar dream.

We did find a couple of tools.

A water wand. This probably fell off a vehicle, but it’s in great condition. But we already have one, so it will be sent to Good Will.

Then, part of a bicycle pump.

The operative word here is part.

At the KinderCare they tossed out a baby.

Okay, a baby doll. But still, what kind of lesson does this teach the kids. Or perhaps it’s a threat?

This is the second almost-full Gatorade bottles we’ve found this week.

Both were fruit punch. A coincidence? We think not. But we’ve never tasted it either.

We found a mini squishy.

And we were able to track it down on the Internet. They come in packs of 36 but you need to log in to get the price and we were not that curious. “MINI SOFT, SLOW RISING SQUISH FOAM.  GREAT TO USE AS A STRESS RELIEVER.” Yeah? What if you are stressed about eating too much ice cream.

At the bus stop across from Safeway, we found a shopping cart and a box of trash.

The shopping cart was empty except for a nice shirt. Ignore the water wand that we set on the cart to take the photo. The box was filled with Safeway trash. We carried everything across the street and left the shopping cart in the parking lot. We put the box of trash in the dumpster and hauled the shirt home where it will be washed and put in the Good Will pile. We are sure the bus rider meant to take care of the trash and return the cart but was running late for the bus… who are we kidding?

Overnight, the Bothell road crew repainted the lines on road.

They should have waited until we cleaned up the hill. Or maybe we should have left the beer can.

Thursday, July 21st, 2022 – 160th to 124th Street

This morning was another nice walk. We removed a brown squirrel and a rabbit from the streets. We also came upon a very small salamander in the gutter.

It was only about three inches long and seemed to be unconcerned with us. We let it go on its way and it let us go on our way.

When we saw this, we almost stopped dead on it. A dime.

It was a shiny and unscathed which was amazing since it was found on the I405 northbound onramp. We put it in our walking money beer stein.

Then, we picked up another generic wheel cover.

It was also in excellent condition but will not fit in our beer stein. It will be sent to Good Will.

We picked up two tools along the way.

A very nice socket for our socket collection, and a very not nice pair of wire cutters. The arm on the right is bent and the insulation stretched. The arm on the left looks normal, but half of the handle is missing, only the insulation remains. The jaws look good, though.

Then, things turned dark.

We came upon a swarm of ants, and it gave Chuck the willies. Early in life, and we are talking very early, Chuck saw the movie Naked Jungle. He remembers it had some kind of romantic theme, but there were these ferocious army ants that attacked, killing everything in its path. Yes, people too. Spooky. Chuck gave these little savages a wide berth.

Friday, July 22nd, 2022 – 100th Ave NE

Friday, we are nearing the end of the week and we are feeling it. We started out well but seemed to start dragging toward the end. We removed a rabbit and a squirrel from the road and found some money.

A whole quarter. It’s turning out to be a not too bad money week. And there is still tomorrow to go.

We also found some tools.

Another socket and a nice Allen Wrench. Some folks call this a hex key. We’ve also seen “Hex Allen Wrench,” but I think we can all agree that this is redundant. Unless, of course, you are attempting to put a curse on an Allen wrench.

A pair of unsafe safety glasses.

Halfway to Safeway, we met a guy walking the opposite direction.

He stopped and yelled across the street to Chuck “Thank you very much. I have a confession. I have another religion. [correcting himself]. But I appreciate what you do very much.” Chuck thanked him and we went on our way. Janet was standing behind him the entire time, but he preferred to speak to Chuck. Chuck understands.

Someone lost another bike lock.

Useless without the key and having a key made for it would probably cost more than buying a new lock. And we are not as fast as James Bond at picking locks.

A kid’s Volcom t-shirt.

It’s too small for either of us, so it’s in the Good Will pile.

We thought we found more money.

But it was just joking.

Then we thought we’d found another cell phone.

But it was an old Uniden wireless home phone. We had seen a Mike’s Hard Lemonade down a bank through the weeds and

descended to retrieve it. We found the phone and a total of seven Mike’s cans. We also found three more on Norway Hill making a total of ten today.

It’s Friday, time to check Chuck’s vest pocket.

Three hair bands, some kids’ game cards and a sticker, “Keep Calm & Let it Go.” That’s pretty deep for a kid. We found another business card from the same guy as last week. How can he be an Amazon Senior Security Engineer if he can’t even secure his business cards? Also, two credit cards, both unexpired but ruined.

Then some dope paraphernalia. A dime bag with white power and a short red straw. An enterprising drug dealer must be giving away a free straw with each purchase. Then, a Bic Round Stick pen barrel bent to snort cocaine. We added them to our drug paraphernalia collection.

Saturday, July 23rd, 2022 – Riverside Drive

It was cooler this morning and we made good time. We removed a roadkill bird and rabbit. After having great hopes for a big money find to wrap up the week, we only found a single penny on the freeway onramp.

And it was heavily damaged. It was your proverbial bad penny.

We did find another roadkill of sorts.

A large two- by three-foot unicorn balloon. Unicorns are always represented as magical and superior. Not so high and mighty now, is it?

Yesterday evening, there was an art walk in downtown Bothell. There were craft arts and food trucks.

Folks placed their food and wrappers in the provided bins. This morning, the crows methodically emptied the bins looking for tidbits. We placed the trash back in the bins so the crows could empty them again.

We found more tools.

Yet another socket in ok condition, and a Sawzall blade in very good condition. We have plenty of sockets, but we can always use more blades.

Someone dropped their socks by the road.

It’s bad enough that humans litter.

Some snake left its old skin by the side of the road. What a snake in the grass!

What to do with an old set of encyclopedias?

Well, plant a garden, of course.

We found a free sign.

So, we took it.

There was a mess at the park-and-ride.

Bags of old food and other trash like someone cleaned out their car. He changed his underwear and left his dog’s toys. With a car this messy, we wouldn’t be surprised if the dog ran away.

“I burn my candle at both ends…”

This candle did not have a wick on either end. It wasn’t the brightest candle in the box.

That wraps up another walk week. Our take this week was,

  • 42 Cents.
  • 14 Mike’s Lemonade Cans on Norway Hill.
  • 8 Roadkill.
  • 8 Articles of clothing.
  • 8 Tools.
  • 5 Balls, mostly returned to the probable owners.
  • 1 Snakeskin.
  • 1 Half-painted beer can.

Have a great week and watch out for swarming ants.

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