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  • Dale Bowman

Ramble with the Lady: Antics of geese, The Noble Savage & really warm ice

As the Canada goose cupped to land on the ice of the north old clay pit, I could not help but watch it land and skid.

One of the things that most irks me about the outdoors is the idealized view too many disconnected folks hold of the perfection of wildlife. Something like the idealized notion of ``The Noble Savage.''

Nature is far from infallible. I have lost count of how many squirrels I have seen knock themselves out when falling while trying to jump between trees.

Sure enough, the goose went skidding. Then another goose came over, it's neck outstretched, honking all the way to chase it.

Here's basic notion of ``The Noble Savage'' from Encyclopedia Britannica:

``Noble savage, in literature, an idealized concept of uncivilized man, who symbolizes the innate goodness of one not exposed to the corrupting influences of civilization.

The glorification of the noble savage is a dominant theme in the Romantic writings of the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.''

I have an idealized concept of uncivilized man, and a not-so idealized notion of the corrupting influences of civilization.

But I digress.

I knew something was up with geese when three came flying off the town pond before we even crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond.

Sure enough, I could hear geese honking on both pits as we approached. One pair was on the north pit, soon joined by the one flying in mentioned above. Five geese were on the much smaller south pit.

I found it amusing, because though it was been warm (50s yesterda), even this far south, we still have a ton of ice, probably close to a foot left. But geese are pushing it, wanting to get to nesting, later than usual.

I thought we might have open water under the bridge over the neckdown between the two pits, but no. Might even be another day or two.

Snow cover is down to piles, drifts and shaded areas. Once that completely goes, the warm-up can really kick in.

But the birds at least believe the spring change is here.

Red-winged blackbirds trilled around the north pit. Two mourning doves whistle-fluttered off from the trees around the bridge.

I am pretty sure I heard a cardinal calling, but I could not find it.

Back in town, more mourning doves flew off from the alley behind the bus barn. A couple days ago, I saw the Eurasian collared-doves, which I have not seen in months.

Lady flushed a gray squirrel up the last bur oak a street over. She even leaped up and barked at it.

Even our family mutt, thinking she is a nabole savage, has the spring umph.

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