• Dale Bowman

Contrasting styles, the edge: Ramble with the Lady

The pre-dawn stripped red and rainbow colors across the sky as Lady and I rambled on down the alley behind the bus barn, adding hints of color to the near-dark.

It was an eye-grabber, at least for me. At least in part because the dark man-made straight lines of building edges, wires and poles made the photo as much as the color on the eastern skyline.

(Yes indeed, hello Charles Demuth.)

It was a morning for contrasting styles, something dear to my heart. The natural vs the unnatural.

This morning, it was brought home, so to speak.

A robin dodged across the road by the ball field on the edge of town, then landed in a tree. As we crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, there's that natural vs the unnatural again, I could hear Canada geese honking on the lake to the west.

Once again, for the second time this week, I heard a red-winged blackbird trilling on the north side of the north old clay pit.

Then five geese flew in from feeding in a harvested field (sounds of combines working on all sides of town hummed in the near night) and splashed down in the north pit.

With that I focused on the sunrise, as seen through the natural ragged lines of trees and branches.

As much as I would like to say I liked it better than the shot down the alley, I truly like the alley shot better. i find it more visually interesting.

But I much prefer the natural world over the unnatural world.

Give me ragged lines, not straight ones.

Another group of eight geese swam on the north pit. There's something about the cold northwest wind has the geese on the move. Could be a good sign for the opening of waterfowl seasons in Illinois' north zone tomorrow and the youth zone in the central.

On the east side of the south pit, I found five hedge apples had come down since yesterday morning. The cold is bringing change. I grabbed one hedge apple to bring home to my wife, an act of love.

Nothing as naturally says love quite like a hedge apple by the morning plate of eggs and brown mug of green tea.

On the southwest shore, one of the two shorelines denuded by machinery in the last month, 19 geese huddled rather oddly. Not sure why they were up on shore there. Nothing eat or do. Now that I think about it, maybe just to get out of the wind.

Back on the edge of town, no vehicles for gandy dancers (track workers) were parked in the grit area near the grain elevators. Only three trucks from Conrail I think were in the parking lot.

The grain elevators are working hard with this likely to be one of the fastest harvests in years.

Downtown, the cook/chef who runs the food truck for migrant and nursery workers had already left. But the comforting smell of fillings for tacos and burritos lingered, even with the stiff cold northwest wind.

38 degrees and felt every bit of it with the northwest wind. There will be a hard freeze tomorrow morning.

As we neared the corner by our house, a small bird I could not ID chipped from the bare top of the maple in our backyard.

The faint light thickened by the time we reached the porch. Ever so slightly.

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