Chicago Sun-Times
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Ramble with Storm: Tracks & radiational cooling

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

The thermometer behind the garage read -1 when the meathead and I set out just before dawn.

Amazing what a calm, clear night with a slight snow cover can do with radiational cooling.

Of course I looked up the official definition of radiational cooling in the National Weather Service's glossary of terms.

We didn't see or hear a single bit of wildlife on our extended ramble.

But then that might have been partially do to the fact that I was properly dressed for an extended ramble in near 0 temperatures--four layers, including two hood coats, a thick wool camo hunting cap, good gloves and my insulated leather boots.

But I did wonder if it was cold enough to finally freeze out the Canada geese that had been swimming open the lake to the west. I will check later today.

What I did notice was the incredible richness and variety of wildlife just on the edge of town by the tracks in the snow over the last two nights and yesterday. We got a little over an inch of snow Monday afternoon and evening; and it has hung around.

Squirrel tracks were all over town. Then lots of rabbit tracks along the fencerows outside of town

Fox tracks, not to be confused with fox trots, cut across at odd angles.

Tracks in nature are much like those of the boy in Family Circus: organic and wavy, not straight edges like those drawn by rigid architect.

Lots of tracks of cats, either those of feral cats or free-roaming house cats, both equally evil and destructive to nature, roamed here and there.

I am pretty sure that a set of coyote tracks cut in from the fields to the north of the town pond. But it was too cold to stop and try to get a good cellphone photo to confirm.

The coolest tracks were those of a muskrat near the bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits.

Plenty of mouse tracks, and I assume what were vole tracks, in any area with brush. Lots of bird tracks, too. But I would not even begin to guess what kind of birds.

The sun rising by the time we reached home only nudged the temperature above 0.

By then,, the meathead and I both had heavy frost from our breathes on our gray muzzles.


townpond_adjusted (1).JPG


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You talk to a chocolate lab? Does he say anything back?

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 2, 2013 8:11 AM.

Chicago fishing: First ice comes was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and rivers around Chicago fishing (update) is the next entry in this blog.

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