• Dale Bowman

Primal art, picking worms: Ramble with the Lady

The first earthworm stretched across the street a block north by the house on the corner with the bur oaks.

To all my bait shop friends, forgive me, but I love the primal art of picking my own crawlers.

And to be able to do it in mid-December is absurd, but I enjoy it. The last big rain a week or so ago, I picked a dozen nice worms by the ball field on the edge of town. I put them in a small cup of soil, which was not frozen, in the basement.

So I picked up the earthworm, fully expecting to stuff the coat pocket of my camo hoodie with worms. Not that I needed any coat this morning. Good Lord, it had to be in the low 60s.

What an odd December, make that an odd fall and winter (meteorological winter is December, January, February).

I awoke this morning to thunder and lightning to the south of town. So I lollygagged in bed for longer than I usually do. It was light, such light as it would be on an heavily overcast morning with spits of rain and drizzle, as Lady, our family's mutt, and I rambled off.

The only wildlife around the town pond was a bird I should have been able to identify by its call on the east side of the north old clay pit, but could not.

Back on the edge of town, the dryers were blowing hard at the grain elevators.

The sight of a grain car from Klemme, Iowa on the side rail by the elevators caught my eye. (Hello, Charles Demuth.)

For some reason, the town name rang a bell. Maybe I hunted near there years ago. So I googled it, but on Wikipedia the only thing really interesting is that the grain co-op was noted for its pink rail cars.

They are striking.

Downtown, the Christmas tree is up by the village hall.

The only other wildlife this morning was a couple dozen starlings clotted on the radio tower at the bus barn downtown, just a rattling and calling. Annoying buggers.

Rain picked up again by the time Lady sprinted up the front steps.

Good thing I typed up a ramble this morning or I would have forgot to pull the worm from my coat pocket and put it with the others in the basement.

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