• Dale Bowman

Crochety, crappie, serendipity & Eurasian collared-doves: Ramble with the Lady

Three Eurasian collared-doves croaked in the yards by the decorative fruit trees a block north as Lady and I rambled off this morning.

The spread of Eurasian collared-doves is something to observe as the years go on. Unlike the cooing of mourning doves, I do not find the raspiness of the calls of Eurasian collared-doves pleasing.

Maybe I am just getting crotchety with the years.

I digress.

A woodpecker hammered away a block west.

All through town, robins hopped and short-flew; and mourning doves cooed. A blue jay landed in the yard across from the ball field on the edge of town.

Another woodpecker hammered away around the lake to the west as Lady, our family's mutt, and I crossed the side rail separating town from the wildness of the town pond.

It was another one of those lively spring mornings, everything seemed to be alive and raring to go do the stuff that makes life and that makes life fun.

A pair of ducks floated on the far north side of the north old clay pit. When they flew, I could not tell what they were.

Dozens of robins hopped around the town pond and nearly as many red-winged blackbirds trilled. The only pair of Canada geese was on the south pit. They still have not nested on the island. Not sure what is going on with that.

No other Canada geese, other than some flying and calling on the lake to the west, were around this morning.

On the east side of the south pit, I noticed the blue trash can had floated into the drowned and downed wood in one of the best panfish and crappie spots.

Some kids, exercising the vandalism that comes too easily to the young, had thrown the trash can in a year or so ago.

Now, nature will use it as fish cover. I suspect it will only make that fishing spot better.

In a moment of serendipity, a white pickup pulled up and parked in the turning circle by the old boat launch as I finished taking the photo above. A guy in a classic beige coat, the kind outdoorsmen and farmers have worn for decades (the best ones bought on Farm and Fleet excursions), walked out and checked the water on the southeast corner of the south pit.

As Lady and I walked by his truck, he was pulling on shoes and getting his rods ready.

As a crappie fisherman (I asked), he had smelled or seen something right in the water. Good fishermen or women, good outdoorsmen or women, can sense, smell, see or just know when things are right.

Sometimes I think it is accumulated knowledge from years of being outdoors. Sometimes I think it is a gift. It is probably both.

Back on the edge of town, a freight train approaching from the south spooked three barn pigeons and one mourning dove from the grit area near the grain elevators.

Back downtown, the faint smell of the cooked fillings for burritos and tacos, that aromatic comforting smell, lingered in the morning air, even though the chef/cook who runs a food truck for migrant and nursery workers had already driven off.

A block from home, I again heard the croaking of an Eurasian collared-dove. They must be setting up a nest there. The last couple years a pair has nested two blocks east on that street.

Either their population is expanding or they are moving nesting spots.

Lady bounded up the front steps, flushing a pair of doves pecking waste grain below the feeders on the front porch.

Last day of spring break for the kids.

Normalcy awaits, such as there is in the newness of spring.

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