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Ramble with the Lady: Dueling Doppler Effects & Johnny Cash

By Dale Bowman

As Lady and I came off of the wilds around the town pond and back to the edge of town, two trains passed each other by the grain elevators.

Hello, Johnny Cash. Hello, dueling Doppler Effects.

It took me to Doppler Effect, because it hit me with engineers to the north and the south blowing their train whistles.

From HyperPhysics comes this explanation:

``Movement of the source alters the wavelength of and the received frequency of sound, even though source frequency and wave velocity are unchanged.''

This morning provide a good example of that.

It also took me to the classic opening lines of ``Folsom Prison Blues,''

I hear the train a-comin'

It's rollin' 'round the bend

And I ain't seen the sunshine

Since I don't know when

A stunningly beautiful winter morning. I needed one. I needed the full ramble. ``I ain't seen the sunshine/Since I don't know when.''

Well, that is not strictly true, but February wears my ass out. I found one of the best things for me is to force myself to do physical stuff. Reconnect to the world, rather than burrowning inward toward winter depression.

The free-ranging housecat, one of those slaughtering machines, again ran off from the yard across from the ball field on the edge of town.

As we crossed the side rail separating town from the wildness of the town pond, a pair of crows cawed in the distance, a different sort of haunting sound.

So cold that it was quite easy walking on top of the snow. Yes, naturally, it took me to ``Good walking: Higher sun, Colder Nights,'' by Feb. U. Airey-Daze.

Downtown, the bank thermometer read 1 degree. The chef/cook who runs the food truck for migrant and nursery workers was wheeling a dolly stacked with prepared meals that smelled deliscious.

Back home, only a dozen or so sparrows and finches scattered from the feeder on our porch. A lone starling mewed on the neighbor's roof.

Not much in terms of birds, but I guess I should still file an entry in the Great Backyard Bird Count.

My thermometer behind the garage read 3, first time I remember it being warmer than the bank thermometer.

Winter drags on.

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