Ramble with Storm: Wood smoke on a fall morning

SHARE Ramble with Storm: Wood smoke on a fall morning

Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

In the middle of town, thick wood smoke lifted from the chimney of a house, the one with another Lab who sometimes gives Storm the business in passing.

I find incredible comfort in wood fires. Certainly some of it is primal, well, at least my idealistic side wants to believe that.

When my dad, my younger brother and I had a primitive hunting cabin, my greatest joy there wasn’t the bears, deer, trout fishing or deep woods views. It was the work of building the wood fire in the old stone hearth and chimney.

The old cliche about wood warming you twice–once in chopping wood and again in burning wood–is true.

But in truthfulness, wood fires are more romantic than either practical or environmentally sound. If we all burned wood fires, the world would be in even more of an ecological wreck than it already is.

Doves were out again on the crispiest, coolest morning in five months. Saw two in town as the meathead and I set out. Several more flew out by the town pond.

I hoped to time it right to catch the morning at its coldest just after dawn with the idea I might see the first patches of frost in the fall. But there was none nor was there any slush on windshields.

Air temperature was 35 degrees, which should have been cold enough to lower areas to have patchy frost, but not by us. I suspect tomorrow morning will be a better chance for frost.

Three Canada geese lifted off the town pond before we arrived. A couple blue jays squawked by the ball field. When we moved here 13 years ago, blue jays were a common bird around our feeders and around town.

Then West Nile Virus came and they virtually disappeared for a few years. In the last several years, they are beginning to show up again, but nowhere near the numbers we once had in town.

(For the scientists among my readers, please, I am not implying a proven causal link, just an observation from 13 years of daily watching.)

As much as blue jays drive me nuts when I am deer hunting, I love them at my feeders. There is something about their vivid colors and crest that sticks with me.

A pair of black squirrels, stealing at the bird feeder, skittered off the porch as the meathead and I returned.

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