Ramble with the Lady: On track & blizzard nuggets

February 6, 2015

Dale Bowman

 

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Lady, our family's mutt.

 

 

A bird I should have recognized called from the neighbor's yard across the street as we set off. Hearing a bird calling as we set off probably had something to do with us getting off later than expected.

 

I was determined to finish up some writing before the hubbub of the family spilled into my morning, so I was behind schedule and the light of dawn, such as it was, was already filtering into the morning.

 

Overnight, it warmed from around 0 into the teens, so we stretched out the full ramble. There is still more snow around than I expected and it was a slog.

 

My brain is slow this morning. I could not come up with anything creative in fake book titles and authors for Kahn-Dishseans. Forgive me.

 

Yesterday, as a weather nut (Hello, Tom Skilling), I was reading the National Weather Service breakdown on the historic storm/blizzard over the weekend--fifth worst in Chicago history.

 

A couple nuggets stuck out to me in the comparison table at the bottom: the length the snow from the other big storms stayed on the ground (52 days in the 1979 storm) and the amount of liquid equivalent (2.4 inches in the 1967 blizzard). That last one may explain why the 1967 storm is considered the stuff of memory, the one that sticks. No other big storm is even close in liquid equivalent.

 

It was the first time in a couple days since we reached the town pond, so lots of tracks around, mostly rabbits. But I also saw lots of mouse tracks. If you wonder what red-tailed hawks are hunting when they are floating low over seeminngly endless fields of snow,

 

I am pretty sure the hawks are hunting mice scurrying hither and yon. And if the hawk spots them, it is dither and gone. My brain must be waking up.

 

No signs of ice fishing on either old clay pit. I assume because of the 4 inches of fresh snow on Wednesday. There was fresh snowmobile tracks on the east side of the south pit.

 

Once again, a woodpecker hammered away around the old boat launch. I could not find it, could not even tell for certain which tree it was in.

 

Otherwise, not much signs of life. Until we reached the trail, formerly a side rail, above the south old pit and around the pile of rails as we came out of the wilds by the town pond, where all sorts of tracks, especially rabbit tracks lined the snow.

 

Out there, back on the edge of town, I paid my daily homage to Charles Demuth as the sun sorta rose behind the grain elevator. (Photo at the top.) It made for a good image in terms of structure. At least I thought so.

 

Downtown, the bank thermometer read 20 degrees. It was colder than that. The chef/cook with the food truck for migrant and nursery workers had already left.

 

Back home, it was late enough and light enough, such as the light would be, for the sparrows to be singing and the starlings mewing from trees and rooftops.

 

Back on track.

 

 

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