• Dale Bowman

The nature of wild: Ramble with the Lady

The neutering of the town pond goes down.

And it gives me the willies almost on a primordial level.

The south shore of the north old clay pit has been stripped, scaped and cleaned. Then soil and gravel was and is being back-filled on the bank.

The brush and trees scaped off the south bank are now piled in the southwest corner of the north pit.

I just bet the dumb-asses sitting in their clearing machines did not even realize that they had piled the brush on top of the fox hole for the family of foxes.

I am not alone in my anger.

As I was taking pictures, one of the workers from the historic Catholic church in town (I think it is the priest) and I began talking. Every week or so, we cross paths in the morning, both seeking our own form of meditation in the rising sun.

He was even angrier than I was.

He justly pointed out how many birds used the trees, especially during the migrations. During migrations, both of us have spotted many birds we have no clue on.

A clean well-cleared bank.

Is unnatural.


I told him in my 16 years of walking the family dog around town--first Flash, the mixed collie who came in a package deal with my wife; then the late Storm, a mixed Lab; and now, Lady, our young family mutt--I always anticipated crossing the side rail that separated the town from the wildness of the town pond.

He nodded, then said, ``At least some of us are still human.''

Humans need wild, untamed and free.

As Lady and I set out this morning, blue jays called back and forth. Mourning doves cooed on all sides.

Then we crossed the side rail and I was rattled. So rattled I did not even check for blackberries this morning as we went down the east side of the south pit.

Back in town, an eastern chipmunk, of all things, ran around downtown on the big sidewalks. Where in the world it came from I have no idea. Lady trapped it in a doorway, but I pulled her off and the chipmunk made its getaway.

Back home, my wife's garden grows almost obscenely wild. Ripe with color.

The lush yellow cup flowers reach close to 10 feet. There's more yellows from the black-eyed Susans and evening primerose.

The yellows are counter-pointed by the obiendance plant and purple coneflower.

And even the weeds flesh out some color.

We should strive for that kind of free-form wildness in our every-day lives. Throw off the shackles of straight-line bush trimming.


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