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Ramble with Storm: Jeffrey Leonard, geese, dying ice & lively morning,

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

Just out of habit, in mid-January, I pulled on gloves and a wood cap.

Didn't need them.

In fact, by the end of the ramble, I had the gloves sticking out of my back pocket like Jeffrey Leonard's one-flap-down home-run trot in the 1987 National League Championship Series.

Hello, fellow baseball geeks.

Stunningly warm morning near 50.

A ragged V of 13 Canada geese flew over as the meathead and I walked out of town and crossed the bound of the railroad tracks dividing town from the other.

A virtual racket came off the lake to the west. It sounded like hundreds of geese. They must have it nearly swam open. I will check later today.

It felt good to stretch out an extended ramble again. I think Storm appreciated it, too.

Yesterday morning, I left too early at 4 a.m. to give him a ramble and left the job to my wife, who wrote up her own Ramble with Storm afterward.

The meathead snuffed his nose eagerly into the foxhole by the north old clay pit.

Even the last patches of snow are gone.

The ice is disappearing rapidly. There's still a thin shell, but if we get any wind today, I suspect most of the ice will disappear. As late as Thursday morning, I could still walk on the ice of the town pond.

For the second year in a row, we are having virtually no winter.

I heard a woodpecker, but couldn't pick it out. A pair of mourning doves flitted around the trees on the back side of the south pit.

Right below the doves several hedgeapples were splattered about. My guess is squirrels pulled them up from the ditch and chewed them open. Or maybe some kids took advantage of the warmth yesterday and smashed them in a frenzy of kid energy.

I suspect part of the reason for more activity on the wildlife front was the incredible warmth. But I also think the fact I was out later, starting after dawn, made a difference, too. Even the songbirds were out.

As the meathead and I came back into town, a string of 14 Canada geese came over downtown.

Then the rush was on. A loose string of 16 flew over, then a ragged V of 18, followed shortly by a clump of 24 morphing into a ragged V over downtown, then a pair.

Across the street, as Storm and I neared our porch, a gray squirrel skirted a neighbor's elm while farther down the block a black squirrel climbed a huge venerable elm.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 12, 2013 8:29 AM.

WWW Chicago outdoors: Shows, changes, & radio waves was the previous entry in this blog.

Buck of the Week: Sparring on Chicago's North Side is the next entry in this blog.

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