Chicago Sun-Times
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Ramble with Storm: Unnatural relationship, outdoors outside, weather outside and in

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

One of my aims with the morning rambles is to settle into a natural rhythm going into the day.

I know that sounds a bit hokey, but it works for me, especially considering my job as an outdoors writer.

Just as I think weathermen should be required to walk around outside at least half hour before sitting down and checking computer models, I think outdoors writers should at least make some connection with the outdoors on a daily basis.

There's something to be said for smelling the differences in the wind from the east, west, north and south, for understanding what that means in the movement of waterfowl, birds and animals.

Storm ran a gray squirrel up a pole. As always, I wondered how squirrels avoid getting fried on the wires.

Twenty-five Canada geese came low straight over downtown. I have become quite good at counting geese.

An odd number always intrigues me. Was one mate shot and the other survived? Is one of the geese a third wheel in an unseemly, unnatural relationship?

More geese all over. Three groups of about eight each sailed out into the fields as we approached the town pond.

More than a dozen swam on the far north end of the north old clay pit. A belted kingfisher again called along the east bank, but I couldn't pick it out. My eyes just suck.

But even my bad eyes could appreciate this dawn. A perfect start for the dawn. Another frosty morning, well down into the 20s, down far enough that there was enough whiteness to lighten the predawn.

There was enough cloud cover to paint some red in the dawn, always a nice touch.

As good as I am at counting geese, I lost track when more than three dozen streamed off a nearby lake and headed toward the fields.

The nice thing about the geese is that it helped pull me into a more natural rhythm. Setting out I had been too wound up from trying to push out some work this morning before setting off with the meathead.

Near home, Storm ran what I assume was the same gray squirrel up the same pole.

Some routines just build on themselves.

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The squirrels don't get electrocuted because they are not ground to anything. Essentially the electricity has to have a place to go, to travel through someone or an animal. It's why you can step on the third rail on the "L" all you like, just don't step on the third rail and one of the others without being insulated!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 14, 2012 8:12 AM.

Fish of the Week: Muskie from Webster Lake was the previous entry in this blog.

Illinois Hunting Report: Deer season is the next entry in this blog.

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