• Dale Bowman

``Beware, there's an evening bear'' & AT memories: Ramble with the Lady

The greening of the trail this morning pulled up memories of hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Walking down the trail, formerly a side rail, above the south old clay pit reminded like hiking down the AT in the spring in Georgia and North Carolina.


The difference between the trail that Lady, our family's mutt, and I rambled down this morning was bracketed by invasive honeysuckle rather than laurel and rhododendron typical of the southern AT.

Hiking the southern portion of the AT after college was one of those life events that changed the direction in my life, one of the reasons I do what I do: write about the outdoors.

Hiking and ruminating on the AT steeled my resolve to find some way to write about the outdoors. It took me more than a decade to get that opportunity, but it made my life.

Back in the early 1980s, I even helped Tim Hogeboom with his film project, ``North to Katahdin on the Appalachian Trail,'' which is still available on Amazon.

The AT was on my mind because the kids begged last night at supper for a telling of ``Beware, There's an Evening Bear,'' a tale of an encounter with a less than happy sow black bear while backpacking through the Great Smokies.

Some day, I really need to make that story into a kids book, before my mind and memories go.

Another damp morning. We have had so many damp mornings in the past week that I have even become selective on what night crawlers or earthworms I pick off the road. I have dozens now in the coffee can in the basement for our daughter and youngest son to use if they want to fish the town pond.

As we set off, Lady gave a free-ranging dark housecat, those slaughtering machines, the bum's rush from the feeders on our porch.

A rabbit bolted down the alley by the firehouse. Robins everywhere this morning. My guess, considering how many crawlers or worms I picked, is that it was easy pickings for them, too.

Red-winged blackbirds, as usual, trilled around the north pit. A pair of small divers popped up and down on the north pit.

The Canada geese swimming on the town pond are acting like there is goslings around. Or maybe their body clocks tell them it is time for goslings. I have not actually seen any goslings yet, but generally this is the week for them to begin showing on the town pond.

Back on the edge of town, five barn pigeons wheeled around west of the grain elevators.

Back home, three mourning doves and a handful of sparrows and finches flushed from the below the feeders on our front porch.

Back from memory, back in the now.

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