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Ramble with the Lady: Technicalities of beginning

Dale Bowman

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Lady, our family’s mutt.

A multitude of rabbit tracks crisscrossed the sidewalks and roads in town as we set off

before dawn.

We got something of a surprise snowfall overnight, something less than an inch but enough to coat everything white.

It was one of those overcast dawns, filled with uncertainty of whether or not light would actually shoulder aside the darkness.

An uncertain beginning to the day.

It kind of reminded me of straycasts.net.

Obviously, if you are reading this, you know the redone web site is up and going.

Here is the difference between myself and Bobby Bergren. He was playing around most of Monday getting the site up and going, and figuring out how everything would work.

And loved doing it.

I, on the other hand, was just getting frustrated because I could not get the redone site to boot up until this morning.

I am a Luddite. I find the technological side of my work, well, work.

But it is work we need to do in the 21st Century, no matter how much my leanings are toward the Luddite side.

And it is a wonderful beginning. I am excited about where we are headed with Stray Casts, not just with the site, but with all it will eventually do and mean.

The big excitement in town this morning was mechanical, a sort of offshoot of the technical. One of the town’s snow plows crapped out in the middle of an intersection.

A town worker was hitching a chain to the other truck to pull it off the road. I asked if he needed help and he said no.

Once Lady and I crossed the side rail separating town from the wildness of the town

pond I only saw one set of rabbit tracks.

That may have had something to do with a couple sets of coyote tracks I saw

meandering around the town pond this morning.

I have a theory. For regular readers, this is not a shocker. The winter has been mild

enough that I think the town has been more of a haven for prey wildlife, such as squirrels and rabbits, rather than a draw for predators.

Last winter, with its months of heavy snow cover for months, was a completely different matter. We had every predator--owls, hawks, coyotes, feral cats (those killing machines) and, I would even bet, weasels--all over town by the end of January.

I think it is one reason that our population of black squirrels in town took a major hit. We only have a few left in town after last winter. I think black squirrels were easier prey,

black squirrel on white snow background.

We did the full ramble this morning, one of the few during January. We were rewarded with a woodpecker hammering away at a tree leaning over the ice by the old boat launch on the south old clay pit. As much as I tried, I could tell if it was a redheaded woodpecker or not.

Back on the edge of town, it was still dark enough that the pole light at the grain elevators shone brightly enough for me to at least acknowledge in my head, ``Hello Charles Demuth.’’

Back in town, the bank thermometer read 27, sounded about right.

Near home, at the house with the bur oaks a street over, fresh squirrel tracks crossed over the tracks that Lady and I made on the way out.

I guess that is kind of how life is.

It keeps moving, adding on.

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