Ramble with Storm: Homing pigeons & St. Francis of Assisi

SHARE Ramble with Storm: Homing pigeons & St. Francis of Assisi
SHARE Ramble with Storm: Homing pigeons & St. Francis of Assisi

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, our family’s mixed Lab.

A great blue heron flapped off as we came down the east side of the south old clay pit.

That’s not unusual.

But there’s a first time for everywhere.

Usually, they do a wide circle out over the water and flap languorously off to the north pit.

Not this one, it simply went far enough to sit in a tree just off the side rail, now a trail, above the south pit.

One of those mornings, vastly different than the one dominated by 100s of Canada geese yesterday.

Kind of morning where my mind wandered.

Went to the birds.

When the feeder on the front porch runs low, the sparrows and finches get quite riled and bold when I fill the feeder. To the point where they will fly right next to me.

It always reminds me of raising homing pigeons as a kid. I built a wire and wood coop on the north side of the garage and learned to calm the pigeons enough that they would eat grain out of my lips.

I started out raising barn pigeons (rock doves). Once I got good enough training them to home, I talked to the local racing pigeon club and one of the old members gave me a pair of old breeders to start my own flock.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you look at those things, I discovered beer and girls shortly after that and my career in racing pigeons never took off.

On a whim, I looked and found a decent number of clubs listed for Illinois on speedpigeon.com.

When the sparrows and finches are swirling around me, I think of the famous art of St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds.

I found this passage from fisheaters.com:

Having finished his sermon, St Francis made the sign of the cross, and gave them leave to fly away. Then all those birds rose up into the air, singing most sweetly; and, following the sign of the cross, which St Francis had made, they divided themselves into four companies.

This was a morning for birds, other than geese, of which I just heard a few on the lake to the west.

As we neared the side rail separating the town pond from the town, I heard a belted kingfisher on the south pit.

In something I had not seen in weeks (other than flying off some of the harvested fields when driving around), a mourning dove noisily flew off as we came off the extended portion of the ramble.

Usually, I have doves at our feeders year round. The past month, I just have not had them.

Back in town, the meathead hustled two gray squirrels up the decorative fruit trees a street over.


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