Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
Some mornings, the ramble feels like going to meet an old friend for coffee and a chat about kids.
Much warmer temperatures, near 40 this morning, but a brisk wind mainly from the south, made enough wind chill that, yes, the meathead and I stepped lively.
Yes, we can.
I say meeting an old friend because last evening I took the two youngest out to belatedly fulfill a birthday promise to our youngest boy to take him fishing.
On the backside of a cold front, fishing was on the tough side. But eventually we filled my minnow bucket with bluegills and caught and released one small largemouth bass.
The best part was watching both of them begin casting on their own without my prompting.
When fishing lagged, the youngest wandered off and explored shoreline trails that popped with the drought-lowered town pond. He walked up on a great blue heron.
In a far corner, he found a shell, which really surprised me. I did not expect to see the same sort of shell we regularly find in wading the Kankakee River. And know I don't know what it is.
Our daughter, either by instinct or because she is learning fishing, began fishing right where the blue heron had been and caught small bluegill.
That made me happy in its own right.
Good to see them branching out.
We cut it short as the cold settled in. Walking back to the car, she picked an impromptu bouquet of Queen Anne's Lace, chicory, red clover and a small daisy.
As we stashed rods, wet bags, bait boxes and the camera in the van, Sam said, ``The town pond is awesome.''
I just busted up laughing.
This morning, as usual in the fall, a great blue heron was fishing under the bridge over the neckdown by the two old clay pits. When it flapped off, just as we reached the bridge, it so startled Storm that he leaped in one of his 180-degree turns.
That made me bust up again.
Four Canada geese quietly swam around the island, giving us the watchful eye. A muskrat splashed under on the other side.
On the back side, I picked up a hedge apple. My wife had gathered a bowl of hedge apples for the house on Sunday. Last night, looking at the arrangement, she said, ``It needs one more.''
So this morning, I picked one up for her. And thought, ``Ah, aiding and abetting the sorcery of an Earth Mama.''
Earth Mothers are my great pull in life.
Little other wildlife this morning: No squirrels, town or country; no rabbits; no ducks; no kingfishers.
Again, a lone dove flew out of the weed patch by the gravel near the feed mill on the edge of town.
Back in town, a lone Canada goose flew low toward the south.