Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Ramble with Storm: Christmas in Connecticut & Disconnect I Cut

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

storm12-27-12.JPG Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

Two of the kids bought my wife a DVD of ``Christmas in Connecticut'' for her Christmas present. So last night, after the kids went to bed, I piled up good boy points and watched it with her.

Enough snow cover--something more than a dusting but less than half an inch--to lighten the morning, even though the meathead and I set off earlier than usual.

With the holiday feeds over the last week, I stretched it out for an extended ramble.

``Christmas in Connecticut'' is a Barbara Stanwyck vehicle, with great turns by Sydney Greenstreet and S.Z. Sakall. It is just a wonderfully nuanced comedy set at the end of World War II.

With our Christmas travels, we had not done an extended ramble for a week. There was much for the meathead to sniff and catalog under the light snow cover.. And his own scents to leave.

Only the cackling of a few Canada geese from the lake to the west. They are swimming a hole open there.

There was some open water under the bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits, otherwise, the ice is building on both pits.

I am smart enough to send Storm out to test the ice. It easily held his 75 pounds, but that is a 100 pounds (well maybe a bit more than that with a month of holiday eating under my belt) lighter than I am.

The kids will be happy to know this.

But one of the things that caught my interest in the movie--OK, it is related to my being an outdoors writer--was the utter disconnect from the land and food by Elizabeth Lane, the Stanwyck character.

That thread is significant in 1945 because that great shift was well underway at the end of the great war for the United States going from being a rural-focused nation to an urban one.

As Storm and I came down the east side of the town pond, a small hawk flew in front of us and landed in a bare tree. I am pretty sure it was a Cooper's hawk, by the way it flew, but it could have been a sharp-shinned hawk, too. I am not good enough to tell in the lingering darkness.

That shift toward the urban, as I think the movie shows, led to the great disconnect from the land, from nature. By now it is so severe that Richard Louv's ``Last Child in the Woods'' continues to be a much discussed and influential book, even seven years after its original publication.

Such are the things rolling around my head on a morning like this, partially why I ramble on.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


My favorite Christmas movie! Glad to hear it is still being discovered. Never thought about it in this way. Would you say that as the shift toward the urban began, so also began the idealization of country life, as embodied in Elizabeth Lane's column, so rich in country hominess? Yet she writes in an apartment with a hissing radiator and apparently knows nothing of cows ...

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 27, 2012 8:18 AM.

Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and rivers around Chicago fishing was the previous entry in this blog.

Illinois outdoors: Perspective from Marc Miller is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.