Chicago Sun-Times
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Ramble with Storm: Picking crawlers to snow mist

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storm3x Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

So light at first I thought it was mist, it started as the meathead and I stepped off the porch.

Snow mist?

And to think yesterday morning, I was picking earthworms off the road to the town pond as though it was late April. And counted 10 ducks on the town pond.

There was a reason the stuff falling this morning didn't show up on radar.

Though, as we stretched out from the town to the open country by the town pond, it thickened enough to cut visibility under a mile at one point.

No birds or waterfowl swam on the town pond.

The snow fell heavy enough to speckle my fleece and Storm's black coat with flecks of white. By the time we were back in town, enough had stuck to notice on windshields, car roofs and the grass.

Wisps of snow whirled off the edges of bigger buildings and across the wider block downtown (downtown being a relative phrase in our town).

It's not the snow so much. I suspect we will get at least one or two more with enough to whiten the landscape before spring truly arrives.

No, what bothers me is that it is to be roughly in the 30s for the next week.

Enough already.

Yesterday morning brought so much hope.

I noticed a worm had crawled out to the warmth of the blacktop overnight. A few steps more and there was half a dozen, a couple of them night crawlers.

At that point, what the hell, I had an extra plastic bag for poop in my pocket. So I started picking worms off the road.

Once I bent down and started picking up a few, I noticed many more. By the time I stopped, I had more than two dozen of all sizes.

Like much of the best of the outdoors, taking time and getting closer brought rewards.

Back home, I pulled a plastic Folgers Black Silk can from the recycling bag, then filled it with sand, winter-leaf mulch, potting soil and coffee grounds.

That was yesterday, a day when my daughter changed to shorts and a tee-shirt to deliver papers in the afternoon when it reached the 60s.

It was 31 when the meathead and I checked in the garage this morning.

And felt like every bit of it.

Enough.

Already I am visualizing standing in the Kankakee River in shorts and old sneakers. And that's at least a couple months away.

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5 Comments

Just this year I introduced my 5 year old son to crawler hunting. Many fond memories of me and Dad stalking with flashlight in hand on moist spring evenings. I hope I can do just as good a job teaching my son about the outdoors as my father did for me.... there's no way I can do any better.

One of my top memories in the outdoors with my dad was picking crawlers. But I am saving that for a complete write up as a story sometime. One of those mornings that defined my life direction and our relationship

I look forward to that read.

For some reason those twilight hours seem to bear witness to some of the greatest moments in our lives... something ethereal about that change in natural light that lets us see without our eyes.

Oh great, thanks a lot Dale. I've got all this inspiration buzzing around my head and now I need to write up another story....

From when I was 7 till 11, my backyard consisted of the roof of the storefront we lived above. I don't recall going crawler hunting till I was in my 40's with my daughters. Maybe that explains why everyone I know keeps asking me when I'm going to grow up. I'm doing things in reverse it seems.

By the time she was 5 years old I'd taught my youngest granddaughter how to catch nite crawlers.
She got to love fishing and catching just about anything, but she's 15 now and I think I may be losing he to boys of her age.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 24, 2011 8:29 AM.

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