• Dale Bowman

Ramble with the Lady: Full Tilt Boogie Band & General Muck

Conditions seemed perfect to stretch out an extended ramble with Lady, our family's mutt, this morning.

And I was right. Temperatures were warm enough yesterday to finish melting off most of the snow, but it was cold enough overnight to refreeze the slop, standing water and general muck. Hey, a new one: ``Sloppy Walking,'' by General Muck. (Hello Matt Spiegel.)

So we stretched out a full-tilt boogie ramble, which naturally led me to the Full Tilt Boogie Band. I think you have to be a music history sort or as old as me to fully appreciate that. (Hello, John Till and Janis Joplin.)

God, do I love Janis Joplin. But I bet she would never make it in today's musical world as a superstar without some serious makeover.

I needed the extended ramble. The bitter cold and snow of February left me sluggish and fattening, much like a boar hog being prepped for butchering.

I am not ready to be butchered just yet.

Mourning doves cooed on all sides as we set out before dawn. The first pair of Canada geese flew overhead just after we crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond.

Northern flickers and robins called and flew around as we stretched out the extended ramble. So did other birds I could not ID easily. Red-winged blackbirds trilled on nearly all sides of the north old pit.

I was surprised, considering we have had days of 50s, but both pits remain solidly frozen. Even the shorelines and the area under the bridge over the neckdown between the two pits remains largely frozen.

Three geese stood in the middle of the north pit. Two more pairs of geese circled and landed on the ice as we crossed the bridge. I was tempted to stop and watch them skid around upon landing, but I had enough of that simple pleasure yesterday.

A rabbit skittered through the brush above the south end of the south pit.

Back on the edge of town, the sun litterally cracked the horizon. (Hello Charles Demuth. Hello Larry Green?)


Downtown, the bank thermometer read 30 degrees. But it was colder than that.

Three doves whistle-fluttered off the wires in the alley behind the bus barn.

Back home, three more doves flew over like planes on a mission.

Who needs a Mercedes Benz with this much going on one late-winter ramble?

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