• Dale Bowman

Daniel Boone @ dawn: Ramble with the Lady

The runner turned the corner ahead of us in the predawn, then swung north across the side rail separating town from the wildness of the town pond.

I am used to rambling off into the pre-dawn or near dawn by myself once I reach the edge of town.

Not so much any more. For the past several months, a young woman has been running into the dawn or near dawn same as I ramble off with Lady, our family's mutt.

And she, the young woman not Lady, is a runner, not a jogger.

A couple times she has passed me and spooked me because I was lost in some natural reverie.

The ramble is my time alone with nature and my God. I'm not used to there being other people around then.

It is kinda like Daniel Boone rounding a bend on a river in Kentucky and walking up on a maiden by a campfire cooking a freshly skinned rabbit.

Feast on that image for awhile.

Spring is here.

Even if it was crisp enough this morning again to notice.

The dawn was spectacular once again. The runner was swinging through the trees and brush around the back sides of the south old clay pit. I hope she had time to appreciate what was sprayed across the sky this morning.

I heard mallards flying off, I assume spooked by the runner or the dawn, as we crossed the side rail. I could not find them. Then the four wood ducks flew off with their distinctive oo-eek.

Two dozen ducks I could not ID were swimming on the far north end of the north pit. They flew off when Lady and I neared the water's edge.

Edges will get you every time.

Only a handful of geese were swimming on the north pit, which makes me think some are nesting there already and I just am not spotting them. The pair that nests on the island on the south pit were swimming, not yet nesting. I am beginning to wonder about them.

The trilling of red-winged blackbirds filled the air all around the north pit. A cardinal flushed as we came around the south end of the south pit. It added a nice touch to the morning.

Back on the edge of town, three barn pigeons swung off the grain elevators and sat on wires by the road.

Yesterday, I had a photographic moment. I was taking a picture of the dawn by the grain elevators when a train passed and I caught it just before it blocked the sunrise. (Truly, hello, Charles Demuth.)

I want to impose some greater meaning on the train speeding into the idyllic scene, but maybe that is overdoing it.

Downtown, a Eurasian collared-dove croaked past overhead, then landed on a wire by the bank.

Robins hopped and short-flew all over town as Lady and I rambled back toward home. Cooing of mourning doves came from all sides, too.

My wife's yellow daffodils brightened the flower garden by the front steps.

Lady sprinted up those steps to give a gray squirrel, maurading below our bird feeders, the old ``Out of here Pal.''

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