• Dale Bowman

On the wire: Ramble with the Lady

It has been 41 years (and a few days) already since Philippe Petit walked a wire between the World Trade Center buildings. The walk was Aug. 7, 1974.

Let that sink in a bit. I said World Trade Center buildings.

A 2008 documentary on his walk, ``Man on Wire,'' won an Academy Award. I think it was well deserved. It is a helluva film.

I think that human push to test the edges is important.

On the wires.

Yesterday, I collected my usual batch of late August images of doves on wires. It has become an annual tradition the week before dove hunting opens on Sept. 1.

Doves on wire.

Good thing I did that on Monday. We saw dozens. This morning, I did not see a single dove or even hear one cooing.

Explain that to me. It was not that cold last night. And I do not think anybody anywhere within a couple hundred miles is harvesting corn.

Holding to the theme, a gray squirrel ran down the wires behind the bus barn. The coincidence just made me smile.

Squirrel on wire.

A rabbit lollygagged around the yard with the evergreens south of the bus barn. Lady bum-rushed another rabbit under a car outside the garage downtown.

I do not know why it bugs me so much, but crossing the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond seems a much less defined separation now that the south end of the south old clay pit was clear-cut.

Civilizing influences take out the wildness that makes us fully realized humans.

Gets us off the edges and brings us back to where it is safe.

Yes, I do think the edges are where we are most alive.

I was happy to see the brilliant purple flowers of a thistle in full bloom just before the bridge over the neckdown between the two old pits.

(Hello, Larry Green.)

Green is a wonderful artist/photographer and a few years ago did the image of a goldfinch (right) from a scene he saw around Humboldt Park in Chicago. I think it is a plant other than a thistle if my memory is right.

The classic scene of a goldfinch on thistle is a print by John James Audubon. Even as a kid I was drawn to that image.

A pair of belted kingfishers rattled off on the south end of the south pit. I could hear them easily enough, but could not find them.

Not a single dove even whistle-flew off from the grit area back on the edge of town by the grain elevators.

The chef/cook, who runs the food truck for migrant and nursery workers from his place downtown, was finishing loading up as Lady, our family's mutt, and I rambled past. But I could not smell any of the goodness.

Maybe the stiff west winds had blown it all into history, out past the edge.

2 views0 comments