Chicago Sun-Times
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Ramble with Storm: Divining earthworms

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

As I pulled out of my mulling of clowns, bridge jumpers and three-point jumpers, I noticed earthworms on the road by the ball park. I bent down to pick some up, then decided against it.

That's a sure sign of early spring: earthworms on the road after a rain.. A sure sign of full-blown, true spring is when night crawlers are on the road. When that happens, I make the meathead wait while I pull out a plastic bag and collect a couple dozen.

I wonder what the difference is between earthworms and crawlers when it comes to early spring. From digging in my garden, my educated guess is that crawlers stay deeper until the soil warms more.

It was truly a morning for robins, but I did not see any robins actually yanking a worm from the ground. That's always a treasured sight.

The usual cooing of mourning doves came on all sides, in town and out. Again, a plethora of red-winged blackbirds trilling around the town pond.

The red-winged blackbirds trilling reminded me I saw some in downtown Chicago yesterday morning while waiting for the Shamrock Shuffle to begin. And I included it in the final graph of my story of the Shuffle for Sun-Times sports. And the editors left the nature graph in.

Two ducks swam in the distance on the north old clay pit. I figured common mergansers, but that was not a sure guess or even an educated one. Considering my lousy eyes, I really should bring binoculars on morning rambles this time of the year.

A great blue heron coasted off the north end of the north pit. A small diver, my educated guess was it was an American coot, dived and popped up, again and again, just off the bridge over the neckdown between the two old pits.

In an interesting side note, American coots are not ducks, as noted in

Interestingly enough, the YouTube video above was taken in one of the most famous waterfowl spots of Havre de Grace, Maryland.

Canada geese swam in singles and pairs on both pits. One was on the nest on the island on the south pit.

Another great blue heron flapped off from the west side of the south pit.

Then the rain started lightly. By the time we were back in town, it came hard enough that I pulled the hood up my rain coat and bent my head.

So much for my divining radar before setting off.


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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 8, 2013 8:02 AM.

Radio Waves: Schreiner and Flack on elk was the previous entry in this blog.

Illinois outdoors: Open houses on deer management is the next entry in this blog.

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