• Dale Bowman

Dawn of machinery: Ramble with the Lady

I understand there are differences in how people want their wild, natural or outdoors spaces.

That thought was pounded home again this morning as I spotted the shovel with two buckets setting in plain view in the difference as we passed the ballfield on the edge of town and neared the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond.

Well, what used to be the wildness of the town pond.

For me, wilder is better than sculpted every day, any day, any where.

Which is why I am so pissed about the clear-cutting and, in essence, neutering of the south side of the north old clay pit and the west side of the south pit.

But I also understand that some people want their wild or outdoors spaces to look like city parks.

Some of it may come down to how each person defines wild, natural or outdoors. For me the essence of wild, natural and outdoors is disorder or order without symmetry. For others, outdoors should be as sculpted as a park.

I also need to mention the photo to my dad. He worked stone quarries for many years and knew those kind of shovels well.

Dawn comes later and later. Lady, our family's mutt, and I were circling the town pond before the sun had risen.

A few fish roiled off the south shore of the north pit. I suspect the cool down may have caused some inversions of the water. That will likely chance again this week with the warm-up.

A belted kingfisher rattled off from a tree on the west side.

Lots of yellow flowers, more than I remember. I think some are sunflowers, some may be black-eyed Susans.

My wife thought there might also be hybrids or mutations.

Back on the edge of town, only two mourning doves on the wires above the grit area by the grain elevators. Two barn pigeons wheeled high.

And the sun rise came behind the grain elevators. (Hello, Charles Demuth. Feels like a long time since I wrote that.)

By the bur oaks a block from home, Lady stalked the first squirrel of the morning. And she nearly caught it when it made a misstep cornering a wooden fence.

A black squirrel rumped in the lawn across the street. Nice to see a black squirrel again.

Far in the distance, a blue jay squawked as we neared home.

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