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Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023
Good morning to you!

Most people don’t like bats. That includes me. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is trying to change that.

In the organization’s “Wildlife Diversity News” sent to me on Oct. 24, they noted that, “in popular culture, bats are creatures to be feared, especially this time of year with their association with Halloween and all things spooky. It’s perhaps not surprising that they have this reputation. Bats are only active at night and usually appear as indistinct shapes fluttering in the moonlight. Or they are huddling together in dark, dank places like caves and abandoned buildings. Or, perhaps, they’ve taken up residence in your attic!”

Or they bite you and suck out all your blood or turn you into a vampire. Or something like that.

The DNR says, in reality, bats are “not something to be afraid of or grossed out by.” The release stated that a bat enthusiast they know calls them “sky puppies” because they are “pretty darn cute.”


All of this bat stuff is because last week was officially Bat Week, and it had nothing to do with Adam West or Michael Keaton or Christian Bale. It does have to do with educating people about Iowa bats. Did you know, according to the DNR, there are nine species of bat that call Iowa home? Five of these species live in Iowa year-round, and four head for warmer climates as soon as it starts getting too cold for insects to be active.

In Iowa, bats are typically hibernating or on their way south by Oct. 31, so you are not likely to see many on Halloween unless they are made of plastic. And only a small percentage of bats carry rabies, so the risk of contracting rabies from a bat is small.

Bats live, on average, 15-30 years depending on the species. In addition, bat moms only raise one to four young per year. Meanwhile, one colony of big brown bats can reduce the corn rootworm population in an area by 33 million.

Contrary to popular belief, bats are not blind but echolocation gives them a boost. And the highest diversity and abundance of bats in Iowa occurs in eastern Iowa, where there is more forested land and most of Iowa’s caves can be found.

And, finally, bats cannot turn into vampires. Or so they say.

Happy Halloween, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
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Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Halloween will be a windy one. A warming trend begins after that, with nothing but dry weather in sight.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
4916 Cedar Drive,
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Location is key, and this ranch style West Park townhome is where you want to be! Plenty of room for family gatherings, not only on the main level, but in the finished walk-out lower level. From the minute you drive up, you will notice the great curb appeal. New roof, siding, skylights, front patio and landscaping. Grand entry, hardwood floors, kitchen with lots of counter space, cabinets and large pantry.
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FROM KCCI: Report: Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz not expected to return next season

IOWA CITY, Iowa —Iowa football offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is not planning to return to the Hawkeyes next season, according to a report from Hawkeye Insider and 247Sports. Before this season, the University of Iowa announced changes to the contract for Ferentz, the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz, due to the team's offensive woes... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Driver critically injured after car strikes back of semi on I-80 in Urbandale

URBANDALE, Iowa – Emergency responders were called to the scene of a crash that happened early Monday morning on I-80 eastbound in Urbandale, near the flyover exit to Highway 141. WHO 13’s crew on the scene took a video showing a red vehicle underneath the rear end of a semi-trailer... READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Domestic violence survivor speaks out after a two-and-a-half-year abusive relationship

Jennifer Schulke was shot in the back of her head by her fiancé and is now sharing her story to bring awareness to domestic violence. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports Notes
From ESPN.com:
MLB: Rangers 3 Diamondbacks 1: World Series - Game 3 TEX LEADS SERIES 2-1
NFL: Raiders 14 Lions 26
These Dallas Center residents on Kellogg Avenue clearly know how to get in the spirit of Halloween. Photo by Jolene Goodman. Send your season's photos to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

JPMorgan analysts told Financial Times that "the 166 countries for which both broad consumer price indices and food price indices are available, 80% are showing food price inflation exceeding overall inflation." Breakdown of the Black Sea Accord, rice export bans and El Nino were blamed.

The National Weather Desk said that pumpkin waste is a seasonal culprit in landfills. TNWD suggested rubbing Vaseline on the outside of the pumpkin and either composting or burying it in your yard. Candles retard pumpkin decomposition, so use battery lights, the news service suggests.

La Famila (1610 Sixth Ave., Des Moines) offers $3 tacos for just $2 on Tuesdays. Cantaritos are also discounted then.                                                                                    

- Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Birthdays and notables!

Happy Birthday Michelle Haupts!

These celebrities were born on this date: Dan Rather, Deidre Hall, Jane Pauley, Johnny Marr, Peter Jackson, Rob Schneider, Vanilla Ice, Willow Smith, Piper Perabo, Vanessa Marano, Larry Mullen Jr.

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

 If ten zombies run after you, what time is it? 10 AFTER 1! Gail Tomlinson, Carolyn Rogers. Many other fun answers submitted by: Sara Kinley, Rex Post, William Snyder, Mike Chiston.

Today's riddle

Let's wrap up the Halloween jokes! What goes ha-ha-ha-ha, thud?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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