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Ramble with Storm: The art of smelling snow & eying ice

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble,

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

Looking at the gray shades of the ice on the town pond made me realize, well, first off that the ice was bad. That is not a good shade for ice.

Instinctively or through experience, I know that. In fact, there was open water below the bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits.

Apparently, the ice fishermen, who have been moving the ice shanty around the town pond, also realized the ice is a bad shade. They had shanty pulled up at the boat launch. They left it there.

I am beginning to think, at least here south of Chicago, it might be time to concede ice fishing for the year and consider other pursuits.

The Canada geese were raising quite a ruckus on the town pond. Apparently, they have a good hole open again. I forgot to check yesterday.

That was it for wildlife outside of town.

The other thing that staring at the grayness of the ice and instinctively or intuitively knowing it was bad reminded me of was smelling snow as a kid.

I got quiet good at stepping outside in winter and being able to tell if snow was coming.

Years later I figured out why I was able to do it. It wasn't just that I had a country boy's intuition on snow.

Though I did grow up in the country.

On an overcast winter day with a south wind, I knew if would be a rain event, even if it started as snow. Years later, I realized how I knew that. A mile to our south was a hog farm. So if I smelled hogs, I associated it with a coming rain.

A quarter mile to our northeast was a chicken barn. On an overcast winter day with a northeast wind, I knew it would snow, maybe even give a real storm or blizzard.

The smell of chickens was the smell of a snowstorm, I realized that years later.

Back in town, a gray squirrel loped across the street by the corner tavern toward us like a blind idiot. Storm charged him at 10 feet and the squirrel barely escaped by running up a telephone pole.

Then near home, a pair of a squirrels played around a red maple and Storm nearly cornered one of them.

I think it is the season for squirrels to have that thing going on that is as ageless as time itself.

A good thing.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 8, 2013 8:52 AM.

WWW Chicago outdoors: An eclectic mix: watching wolves, Tinley's 20th, winter festival spearing sturgeon was the previous entry in this blog.

Ramble with Storm: Falling slush, the masked wit of weathermen & change is the next entry in this blog.

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