• Dale Bowman

Hedge-apple bowling: Ramble with the Lady

Time to take our youngest boy and his buds hedge-apple bowling.

Dozens of hedge apples fell since yesterday on the east side of the south old clay pit. I suspect the frosts on Saturday and Sunday mornings, coupled with the winds yesterday, freed the hedge apples from the trees.

Hedge apples are the green-dimpled, softball-sized fruit of the Osage orange, a non-native brought in decades ago to make windbreaks and fencerows in Illinois.

A couple years ago, I had a blast taking our youngest and buds on a walk around the town pond. When they found the hedge apples, they began, as kids will instinctively, doing a form of bowling with them. (Hello, Carmen Salvino and Bill Spigner.) Or maybe more like bocce. (Hello, Umberto Granaglia.)

Lady, our family's mutt, and I set off this morning in near dark, even though it was after 6. Sunrise is now well after 7. So not much shaking.

Well, we did have some sandpipers sound off at the north pit. Once I heard a Canada goose far in the distance. That was about it for wildlife.

Back on the edge of town, I noticed two morning stars in the east. I thought it made a good contrast through the lines of the electric wires and the sharp lines of the grain elevators.

On, I found that it is probably Venus on top and Jupiter. Savor that one and let it sink in. In a day or so, should also be able to see Mars. Click here for details.

In checking at, I also found that tonight should be the peak of the Orionid Meteor shower. Click here for that info.

Downtown, the chef/cook who runs a food truck for migrant and nursery workers, was nearly finished loading. His truck lights burrowed into the predawn.

Two rabbits hopped across the alley behind the bus barn. Lady strived to reach them. I aimed toward home and pulled her away.

I had plants to water before winter truly arrives. And a lawn to mow, hopefully for the last time. Like I said, I hope.

Dawn was still in the distance, but light nudged in like the nose of a love-needy pet.

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