Watercooler Stories – July 16, 2012 – UPI.com

Farmer’s secret field tribute to late wife

WICKWAR, England, July 14 (UPI) — An English farmer created a heart-shaped meadow surrounded by oak trees in memory of his dead wife that was unknown to the world until a balloonist spotted it.

Winston Howes, 70, said he was clearing a field on his farm in Wickwar, Gloucestershire, after his wife, Janet, died 17 years ago when the plan came to him, the Daily Mirror reported.

“I thought it was a great idea — it was a flash of inspiration — and I planted several thousand oak trees,” he said.

Howes spent a week planting 6,000 oak saplings and also planted a hedge for added privacy. He designed the monument so the point of the heart is toward Wotton Hill, where his wife was born.

The hidden meadow was a family secret until Andy Collet of Wotton-under-Edge flew over.

“I have my own balloon and am quite a regular flyer, but this was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky,” Collet said. “It was a perfect heart hidden away from view — you would not know it was there. You can just imagine the love story.”

Winston and Janet were married in 1962. She died in 1995 of heart failure at the age of 50.


Bees swarm in downtown Stockholm

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 14 (UPI) — Thousands of bees swarmed outside the Stockholm headquarters of a major Swedish clothing chain.

Annette Rieger, who works in the H&M building, told The Local.se the swarm was outside for about 3 hours Friday afternoon.

“I saw them all over the windows. They even got through the first level of glazing,” she said. “My colleague was super scared because she is allergic to bees!”

Johan Jarbrant, chairman of the Stockholm Beekeepers Association, and a colleague moved the swarm to a more isolated location away from downtown Stockholm. Wearing protective clothing and brought up to the bees’ level by a crane lift, they calmed the insects with smoke and loaded them in boxes.

Jarbrant said there were about 5,000 bees in the swarm.

Swarming is a normal part of the bees’ life cycle, with hives dividing when there are two queens and one group takes off to find a new home.


Game wardens fret LA bear’s celeb status

GLENDALE, Calif., July 14 (UPI) — Increasingly popular Twitter feeds have California officials worried their options in dealing with a wayward bear in a Los Angeles suburb are becoming limited.

A Glendale resident has been issuing updates and wisecracks under the handle TheGlendaleBear, which has in turn revved up the celebrity status of the bear folks have nicknamed “Glen Bearian.”

Officials at the state Fish and Game Department told the Los Angeles Times while the tweets are a good way to educate the public about the dicey nature of bears prowling residential areas, they are also potentially increasing public pressure against killing the bear if it becomes an imminent threat or even a long-running nuisance.

“We may decide to destroy it; it’s a decision that’s out there for us,” Department Capt. Michael Stefanak told the newspaper. “I’m not saying we’re going to do that. But it’s a possibility.”

Stefanak and other authorities are also worried that tweeting bear sightings will also bring out large crowds of curiosity seekers trying to get a look at the animal.


Florida man pulls gun over broken bong

GAINESVILLE, Fla., July 14 (UPI) — A Florida man was arrested for allegedly pulling a gun on his girlfriend after she broke his bong, police said.

Brandon Chviek, 20, was arrested early Monday and charged with domestic battery and strangulation, aggravated assault and possession of drug paraphernalia for the incident, The Gainesville Sun reported.

Police said Chviek and his girlfriend, who he lived with, got into an argument Sunday night in which the girlfriend broke Chviek’s bong. Chviek in turn pulled a gun on his girlfriend.

Watercooler Stories – July 16, 2012 – UPI.com.

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