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Ramble with Storm: First ice & deciphering geese

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

As I expected, the first skim ice was on the town pond.

There was some spreading out several feet from the southeast corner of the north old clay pit. The water remaining in the ditch east of the town pond was frozen solid. The southeast bay of the south pit had skim ice.

That I expected, with the coldest morning since February or early March.

I did not expect the three mallards that exploded just off the bridge over the neckdown between the two pits.

The town pond rarely hold ducks, other than the resident wood ducks earlier in the year. So the mallards were a pleasant surprise.

And we are far enough from I-57 that we are not part of that artificial flyway, which has sprung up in recent decades. I am fascinated by how waterfowl and other animals adapt to changes in the modern world, such as the I-57 flyway where waterfowl utilized the pits strung all along the Interstate.

The more than 50 Canada geese I did not expect either.

But there they were, 43 swimming tight to the south shore of the north pit; another nine on the south pit, five splitting around the east side of the island and four around the west.

Quiet as possible.

I am fascinated by the behavior of the geese.

Because they are so quiet, I suspect they have been shot at regularly and realize the town pond is a sanctuary.

And they are not overly spooked by Storm and me; they merely drift out farther into the water.

So either they recognize us as non-threats from knowing us from our morning routine, or are conditioned enough by urban or suburban living to understand that somebody walking around without a shotgun is not a direct threat.

Back in town, the bank thermometer read 22 degrees. I knew that was off. It was a lot colder than that.

Back home, I checked my thermometer behind the garage: 14, that seemed more accurate.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 27, 2012 8:03 AM.

Wild things: Words on sandhill cranes around Chicago outdoors was the previous entry in this blog.

Illinois Hunting Report: Second deer season nears is the next entry in this blog.

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