• Dale Bowman

Fadings & beginnings: Ramble with the Lady

One of those mornings where time feels like the water rushing through the chute on the Fox River at Yorkville or over the Kankakee dam on the Kankakee River.

A rush to get somewhere, anywhere.

Our second son starts college this morning.

Can't quite wrap my head around that. It only seems a few years ago I held his new-born undersized body in my hand and he wasn't much bigger than the hand I proudly held him in.

And this morning he will start an adult chapter of life.

Good God.

And tomorrow our daughter starts high school.

With all that, and the usual family and life worries, I was up earlier than usual, which is why Lady, our family's mutt, and I rambled off nearly right at dawn.


It is already time that I am keeping my eyes open for my usual collection of doves on wires. Got one decent shot this morning of a lone mourning dove in the alley behind the bus barn.

A pair of rabbits, both of different sizes so there must be multiple nests, froze in hiding then hopped off to the yard with the evergreens south of the bus barn as we came down the alley.

A free-ranging house cat roamed the yards across from the ball field on the edge of town, looking for something to slaughter.

As we crossed the side rail separating the town from the wilds of the town pond, I turned and did an extended ramble. Partly for my health. I need the extra exercise, and partly because we can again.

With all the rain in June and July, I did not do the extended ramble because water puddled so deep and wide in that area. Deep and wide, I remember a church song like that. I have started trying to remember to get back into the habit of doing extended rambles again.

Good habits are hard to pick back up once you lapse.

It was so early that the sun barely cleared the north old clay pit as we turned on the extended ramble. But it was beautiful and I took the time for the photo at the top.

As we came down the south shore of the north pit (now starkly naked, cleared, sanitized), multiple big carp rolled on the shoreline surface.

In a moment to remember, Lady gave chase to a moth that flew off, sometimes just inches ahead of her snapping jaws.

As we came out of the wilds around the town pond and back to the edge of town, only two doves whistle-flapped off from the grit area by grain elevators.

Only a couple squirrels this morning. Must have been too early.

The chef/cook, who runs a food truck for migrant and nursery workers, was loading up, but I could not smell anything. Maybe with the hot weather, he is only doing cold food today.

At the bur oaks a street over from home, the acorns continue to pile up. More time signs.

As we came up the sidewalk by our neighbor's, I heard the odd screeching the juvenile Cooper's hawks make.

We had a pair of Cooper's hawks fledge a pair of young about a month ago from a nest in a maple in the church yard across the street.

The sound they made when fledging sounded remarkably like mewing.

They have caught the interest of most of the neighbors. The young hawks sit in the top of trees, old antennas, roof peaks and generally any high point around the neighborhood.

This one was sitting in the bare branches at the top of our backyard maple--the two drought years a couple years ago were tough on our maple and killed it back some--and the rising sun caught hawk's breast rather vividly.

It caught my eye.

Somebody else's kid is being schooled.

Summer fades.

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