Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Ramble with Storm: Remembering Jack Kaiser, first bullfrog and flowers galore

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

townpond05-18-13flower.JPG

Todd Sirois was mechanically raking the ball fields on the edge of town with a small tractor.

I love the sight of ball fields being raked, by hand or tractor.

For some reason, it brought back memories of the late Jack Kaiser, the Hall-of-Fame baseball coach at Oak Park-River Forest High School.

It was early in my sports writing career. I was covering the Oak Park regional and a typical May rain delay came. But I was already there and wasn't about to drive all the way back to the North Side of Chicago.

And Kaiser was there, waiting out the rain. Then beginning to spread quick-dry lime. For some reason, probably he recognized me from covering a lot of baseball and because I was the only other one there, we began talking about lime.

My dad worked much of his life in stone quarries some for crushed stone, but much for ag lime, too, in Pennsylvania. Kaiser pointed the quick-dry came from New Jersey.

It was a baseball moment.

``Nice morning,'' Sirois said.

It was.

Half an inch of rain and warm temperatures do amazing things.

It brought the cooing of mourning doves on all sides, and had robins all over lawns again.

I had hoped it would pop more morel mushrooms. My daughter and her friend found some last night. But I found no fresh morels on our extended ramble.

Red-winged blackbirds trilled all around the north old clay pit. And the vegetation had grown so thick on the trees that I walked up on many.

The best news was the bullfrog that croaked along the west side of the north pit. Another frog jumped in off the east side of the south pit.

The rain popped flowers. The one at the top I hoped my wife could ID, but she first thought Columbine, then thought no.

Honeysuckle is spots is already on the downturn of flowering, while others are just starting to flower.

A lone Canada goose sounded a warning as we approached the bridge over the neckdown between the two old pits. But I did not see any of the goose families and their goslings. But they must have been around.

Near home, a rabbit brazenly eyed Storm and me. I checked the meathead from charging across the street.

But I left him chase a gray squirrel up our neighbor's gnarled old elm.


stormtight.jpg

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/57621

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 18, 2013 7:48 AM.

Turkey of the Week: College friends was the previous entry in this blog.

Ramble with Storm: That's a meathead & record goslings is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.