Chicago Sun-Times
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Ramble with Storm: Geese, Yeats, muskrats, Revelation

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

The unmistakable sound of ducks quacking, followed shortly by equally distinctive sound of their splashing takeout, wafted over the town pond this morning.

In the disorienting thick fog, it was eerie.

Walking with the meathead and suddenly being within feet of equally surprised Canada geese swimming by shore only enhanced the eeriness of the morning fog.

I heard mammals splashing. Hoping it was a beaver or, even better, an otter, I scanned the water closely, but only found two muskrats swimming. They made quick dives when they saw us.

Muskrats are rarely a factor in February rambles with Storm, because they are usually swimming under ice.

On the south end of the south pit, inside the shade parameters of shoreline trees, I discovered a patch of ice maybe two inches thick. Only it was obscured by a couple inches of water on top.

That was the only lingering hint of the winter that wasn't.

A Canada goose pair swam around the island on the south old clay pit. I suspect it is the pair that has nested there for years.

It seems early to be thinking of nesting. But then it is early for ducks to be on the town pond on open water, too.

Ice should be thick on the town pond by the first week of February.

But things are out of whack this winter. ``The centre cannot hold,'' to seize a line from Yeats' ``The Second Coming.''

It's a winter with apocalyptic undertones.

Too easily, I drift toward listening to the fringe who treat the Book of Revelation as Gospel.

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Am I on the fringe if I can read the writing on the wall?

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 3, 2012 11:05 AM.

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