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  • Dale Bowman

Verdant & fertile: Ramble with the Lady

Rabbits do what rabbits do. That's one of the eternal truths of the natural world.

Quite naturally, rabbits repopulate or reproduce on a regular basis.

They are doing it, so to speak, quite successfully this spring. Rabbits are everywhere.

I suspect it has something to do with the dampness. There is more places for them to hide, so predators are having a harder time eating them. Because of the recent rains, vegetation has exploded and is thick, so thick there is more hiding places big enough to hide rabbits.

Speaking of doing it, a couple days ago as Lady, our family's mutt, and I rambled off, I watched two squirrels doing it across the street on the neighbor's sidewalk.

In all my years of watching squirrels, I have never seen the actual deed being done. Oh, I have watched plenty of ``Let's chase Mama around the tree'' antics by squirrels, but not the actual deed of love.

I seem focused this morning.

For the last week, either the rain or traveling to do stories has forced me to truncate or abbreviate our rambles to only a few blocks. Not sure which is more accurate, truncate or abbreviate. I lean toward truncate, but for no good reason other than a gut sense.

It was good to stretch out a full ramble again on a stunningly beautiful morning, other than it being absurdly cold for the second day of June. For God's sakes, I had to wear a black stocking cap and gloves. The gloves came off after a few blocks, but the cap stayed on until our return.

Lush or verdant are the word that come to mind for this morning. It might have something to do with 3.5 inches of rain that we had spread over the weekend. Everything is growing.

As we crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, I noticed how much the cottonwood fluff has come down in the last few days.

It littered the edges of the gravel and dirt roads around the town pond.

On the back southeast corner of the south old clay pit, the howling north and northwest winds of the last few days had piled the cottonwood fluff so thick that it looked like snow-covered shell ice.

Mulberries and raspberries both are rushing toward fruitfulness. It is coming much quicker than I expected.

Flowering plants, from bushes to ground plants, busted into bloom in the last few days.

A woodpecker hammered the hollow tree by the old boat ramp on the south end of the south pit.

A heron squawked off unseen.

As we came out of the wildness around the town pond, doves exploded from picking grit by the gravel near the grain elevators.

In the gravel by the garage downtown, two sparrows did the eternal dance of desire in the dirt.

Full circle? Circle of life?

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