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  • Dale Bowman

O Tannenbaum & picking worms: Ramble with the Lady


For the third morning in a row, I picked earthworms and night crawlers on the morning ramble with Lady, our family's mutt.

That would be Dec. 13, Dec. 14 and Dec. 15. I pound the dates because of the absurdity of picking crawlers in mid-December in a northern clime.

Fishermen who did not put their boats away look like the smart ones now.

Lady has finally figured why I am stopping when I see a viable worm or crawler and tries to step on them.

I rescued the one in the photo to the left before she stepped on it.

Even so, I only stuffed three worms in the pocket of my camo coat.

Another gray morning with spits of light rain. It is the kind of weather that forces me to stretch out extended rambles for the exercise and to battle my tendencies toward Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The only wildlife of the morning came when a gray squirrel sprinted off by the ball field on the edge of town.

At least the rain eased by the time we crossed the side rail separating town from the wildness of the town pond.

Back on the edge of town, the aging railcar from the Klemme, Iowa Grain Co-Op in its fading pink still sat on the side rail by the grain elevators.

Downtown, the town workers had righted the big town Christmas tree by the Village Hall. The tree had toppled over in the high winds Sunday night. A few ornaments still littered the sidewalk here and there. The tree listed a little.

And of course I went to my German roots and pulled up ``O Tannenbaum.''

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