• Dale Bowman

Theories of the Viceroy of Verbiage: Ramble with the Lady

I have theories.

I know that may come as a shock, but I do.

Many of them.

With the rains yesterday and last night, I expected to stuff the pockets of my camo hoodie with dozens of night crawlers and earthworms this morning as Lady and I rambled around.

But no, just found maybe a dozen small worms on the roads, some of them too small to even bother picking it up.

Ergo, I had my first theory of the morning.

I think it is has been so cold that the crawlers pulled back deep into the earth and even the good rains and warmer air of yesterday could not pull them up and out to crawl around on the warmer roads. And I am not sure how much warmer the roads were than the ground itself after a week of snow flurries, showers and snow squalls, including an onion snow Friday night.

I digress.

While I am digressing, let to note that Pat Renwick hung "Viceroy of Verbiage" on me years ago when I was on his "Region Bass Buzz" show, where we first met.

Back to rambling.

The usual spring rush of robins short flying and hopping around while mourning doves cooed on all sides in town.

For some reason, we had dozens of ducks swimming on the north old clay pit and one lone Canada goose, the only goose on either pit. I could not ID the ducks. This is one time I wish I was in the habit of bringing binoculars.

I have no theory on either thing, the ducks or why I don't carry binoculars on the ramble.

The invasive bush honey suckle is nearly completely budded out. Invasive or not, it adds some richness of color to the early spring landscape.

A lone northern flicker flew off from the east side of the south pit, which was a swampy mess after the rains yesterday.

Coming out of the wilds around the town pond and back to the edge or town, I spotted only two doves whistle-fluttering off from the grit area by the grain elevators.

Dozens of rail cars were lined up on the side rail by the grain elevators.

I noticed another Klemme Grain Coop rail car, one those very distinctive pink cars. And again it had very distinctive graffiti scrawled on it.

So I pulled Lady, our family's mutt, and we ventured back there to get a better look.

Here is what I noticed: The main tag was "PHILS VERSA" on the bottom of the typical pink car of Klemme Grain Coop. I did a quick Google, but could find nothing on "PHILS VERSA," so no mind-blowing explanations for his graffiti.

But I do have theories on why Klemme cars draw so much graffiti.

One is that I wonder if the rail lot in Klemme, Iowa is very accessible. If I ever get by Klemme again, I may check it out. That is one of those things I just wonder about.

But the real reason that I think Klemme cars draw so much tagging or graffiti attention is the pink nature of the cars themselves. I think that the pinkness of the cars provides a natural unnatural canvas for taggers and graffiti artists.

We regularly have Klemme cars parked on the side rail by the grain elevators on the edge of town. Many of them are tagged rather vividly, even beautifully. There has to be some connect or link to the Klemme cars.

I think my theory is as good as any.

Back downtown, the chef/cook, who runs a food truck for migrant and nursery workers, was just pulling out. But for some reason, I could not smell any wonderful lingering odors of fillings for burritos and tacos.

I have no theory on that. Maybe it is "No Cook Monday."

Back home, Lady sprinted up the front steps, scattering dozens of sparrows, finches and mourning doves from below the feeders.

I have no theory on that, other than she is a young dog with a lot of life, vim and vigor.

Vim and vigor, a good way to go through life.

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