Mulling things on my morning ramble
with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
My morning rambles began more than 15 years ago out of necessity. I was getting fat as one of those mythical wild boars in Georgia.
I quit smoking just before our second boy was born. I never wanted him to see me with a cigarette in my mouth or hand. And none of my kids have since.
The problem was, after I quite smoking, I blew up from the 160 pounds I was most of my adult life to well over 200 pounds in less than a half a year. That ain't healthy either.
Something had to change.
I began morning walks in the alleys and side streets of West Rogers Park and West Ridge neighborhoods on the North Side of Chicago with the late, great Flash. The part-collie came as part of the package with my wife when we married.
There was a few months when I simply walked by myself after Flash died and before we brought Storm into our family, but otherwise it has been with one of the two family dogs.
For some reason, this morning I thought of the patterns of life.
Once again at dawn, flocks of Canada geese were flying out of the cornfields to rest on the town pond.
A dozen flew in and landed as the meathead I walked up. That's when I counted the 14 that were already swimming on the north old clay pit. Another pair swam off by themselves on the south clay pit.
My guess is that the geese have established a pattern of feeding on the harvested fields at night, then resting during the day.
That's a pattern of life.
But, considering the central zone youth waterfowl hunt is this weekend and the regular season opens next weekend in the central, it could be a pattern of death, too.
Smart hunters will figure out a way to capitalize on the pattern of the geese.
A reasonable fall morning, one that felt scrubbed clean after the rains overnight, .9 inches according to the rain gauge. And more than inch on Saturday and Saturday night. Enough water recently that some of the ramble was marshy and the ditch behind the town pond has serious water in it again.
I needed a longer ramble this morning, for my head and my body, so I stretched it out. A lone dove flew out a tree line in the distance with that whistling sound they make in flight.
A great blue heron flapped off from the side of the island, circled around, again giving me a Japanese ink drawing impression against the pre-dawn sky, then landed in the far northeast corner to fish a flat--just like other fishermen.
A rabbit bounded into the brush below the old rail bed.
No squirrels, no kingfishers.
Just a morning to remember the routine of what I do, to relish life.