Mulling things on my morning ramble
with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
A low, but perfect, V of two dozen Canada geese came, honking all the while, past as the meathead and I stepped down the front steps.
A blue jay squawked from the neighbor's gnarled old elm. Robins raised their usual racket and hopped around yards all over. Mourning doves cooed an undercurrent of tone. Blackbirds dotted the morning.
What a morning, birdiest one I remember in years.
Maybe it was just the joy of a nearly perfect early spring morning. Frost coated lawns and wind shields white. More of a winter sky, high and blue with the sun just coming up, blinding even, with a straight shot from the east down Beaver Street.
I was a little late getting out this morning--trying to crank out my deadline day work on outdoors for both the Post-Tribune and Sun-Times before going fishing with Mike Lynch at LaSalle Lake--and that might explain the sun blaring down Beaver Street.
May also help explain all the birds.
A pair of Canada geese flew over, as did a ragged string, before we even walked out of town.
As we neared the side rail, the unofficial boundary for crossing over to the wildness of ``The Town Pond,'' two disorganized V's of maybe 100 or more geese flew low on the horizon to the west.
I assume heading out to the fields to feed, though I am not sure how much waste corn there is. The warm and dry fall allowed farmers to plow or disk in October and November.
Red-winged blackbirds trilled all around the north old clay pit. At least two woodpeckers hammered on trees. I could not sight either one. A mallard lifted off the north end of the north pit. Multiple wood ducks flushed from the south pit. I only spotted one of them.
Skim ice had formed overnight on the east end of the north pit and the ditch to the east.
One of the Canada geese pair was on their nest on the island.
The floating ice shanty had migrated, or should that be drifted, toward the east shoreline of the south pit.
About the only thing missing was other wildlife like rabbits or squirrels.
And I was half hoping to flush another woodcock. No luck on that. Nor did I see the pair of Eurasian collared doves, which have been around town most of the fall and winter.
I do know the finches, both goldfinch and house finches, are back. The seed in the thistle feeder on our front porch is going down every day now. But I have yet to see a full-colored goldfinch this spring.
One of those mornings so perfect that I stopped before going into the house and muttered a heart-felt ``Amen.''
This winter has dragged on long enough.