• Dale Bowman

Door Morning: Ramble with the Lady

No, I don't mean Door County. Though if my wife or I could find full-time, year-round work, I think we would be there. Or at least think about it.

I digress.

What I mean by ``Door Morning'' is that this morning is the one where I truly felt the door to spring opened, at least by the bird sounds that surrounded us.

A red-headed woodpecker hammered away a block south as Lady, our family's mutt, and I rambled off.

It was a sign of more spring signs to come.

We are fortunate to live near one of the higher concentrations of red-headed woodpeckers remaining in Illinois. And we occasionally get what I consider spill-over redheads.

Speaking of red, multiple cardinals called from the tops of trees as we walked through town.

As we neared the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, a lone crow cawed overhead as he flew north. Just a lone crow, something of a rarity.

We only live maybe an hour and a half from Illinois' big winter crow roost in Danville. Not sure if that is related in any way or not to the lone crow.

That YouTube scene to the right is from about five years ago in Danville.

It is kind of scary in a Alfred Hitchcockian sense of ``The Birds.''

As a contrast-comparison, here is the final scene from ``The Birds.''

That is still one of the scariest movies just in the sense of the unnaturalness of the attack from the natural world, a natural world in revolt or turned upside down.

Given my work in life, I tend to think of ``The Birds'' as being emblematic of something deeper and richer in the sense of what we are doing to the natural world.

I digress.

Robins hopped around by the side rail.

Robins. Yesterday, my wife and I took a break during the two-hour layover between band contest performances by our high school daughter and went to one of our favorite parks, Riverfront Park in Bourboannis. There were hundreds of robins hopping around there off the Kankakee River.

I digress again.

Red-winged blackbirds trilled around the town pond. Several pairs of Canada geese honked on the north old clay pit.

Three muskrats swam on the north pit. I did not see the trapper at all this winter, which may explain the growing number of muskrats I see around the town pond.

I looked hard, but the pair of geese that normally nest on the island on the south pit have not built a nest yet. The pair was swimming quietly along the east side of the south pit.

Soon, they will be nesting. As will the six or so pair tht normally nest around the north pit.

A freight train rumbled toward us, speeding north, as we walked out of the wilds around the town pond and back to the edge of town.

When the racket of the train had passed, I heard the cooing of mourning doves coming from all sides.

A block from home, the lone gray squirrel of the morning taunted Lady by jumping across branches, just high enough to be out of Lady's leaps.

Birds scattered from below the feeders on our front porch as we bounded up the steps.

Yes, there was a spring in our steps. (I can't help myself.)

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