Ramble with Storm: Surprise birds & rating feast of the bird

SHARE Ramble with Storm: Surprise birds & rating feast of the bird
SHARE Ramble with Storm: Surprise birds & rating feast of the bird

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

Apparently, I was right yesterday, there was a belted kingfisher. I definitely heard it on the west side of the north pit this morning.

Not sure why it continues to hang around. Both old clay pits are completely locked in. I heard geese honking on the lake to the west, so I am sure they are keeping a good hole swam open. Some winters they keep a hole open all winter there.

Spectacular winter morning as we set out in the predawn.

A sliver of the waning moon was in the eastern sky, and it was a winter sky, a nearly unfathomable deep blue. Even in the predawn.

Cold enough, I didn’t think we would see much wildlife, but we had some odd birds, beginning with the kingfisher.

After the meathead and I milled around on the ice (a good three inches along the edges) on the north pit for a bit, just to relish being able to do it in November, I spotted a robin on the east side of the south pit. It was close enough I could easily ID it.

Seems a bit odd, but I guess not unheard of.

Yesterday was odd for me.

Usually on Thanksgiving, I have something hanging over my head in terms of work:Either my Sunday column for the Sun-Times outdoors page or my outdoors column for the Friday Post-Tribune or a lead-in article for the beginning of contest week for Beat the Champs, the charity bowling event.

But I had all my interviews out of the way earlier in the week and only needed to put finishing touches on my work Thursday morning.

So for the first time in something like 20 years I could completely relax and I did and enjoyed complete chill down.

And here is my ranking of ourThanksgiving feast this year, a ranking I like to do.

mashed potatoes; mashed sweet potatoes (brown sugar, butter, pecans on top); green-bean casserole; deviled eggs; dinner Riesling; gravy;pre-meal mimosas;roastedturkey (dark meat)ham steak;baked corn pudding;cranberry sauce (jellied);cranberry sauce (whole berry);relish tray (ranked in order of preference):pepperconcini, stuffed olives, carrot sticks, celery sticks, dill pickle spears,bread & butter pickles;roasted turkey (white meat);oyster stuffing (in-bird);oyster stuffing (out-of-bird)

Not a big fan of stuffing, in or out of the bird.

Back on the edge of town, 32 barn pigeons (rock doves) wheeled in wide circles around the grain elevators. They almost looked like homing pigeons coming back to land in the roost.

A gray squirrel, inexplicably loped across both streets by the tavern downtown.

I had 11 degrees on the thermometer behind the garage. Did not feel that cold, but that might explain the ice firming up so quickly. A lone blue jay squawked a yard over.

The morning of the bird, here and there.

The Latest
The City Council voted 43-7 to approve a map with 14 majority Hispanic wards and 17 Black wards. But veteran mapmaker Frank Calabrese said the map is highly vulnerable to a legal challenge.
“He said there are a lot of things that happen in Chicago, you see so many kids lose their lives at early ages ... He couldn’t even make it to 17,” the boy’s mentor said.
The pop superstars have added kinetic dance floors and energy-storing stationary bikes to their latest world tour, encouraging fans to help power the show as they dance or spin.
The man was inside a vehicle in the 7000 block of South Maplewood when someone stepped out of a dark-colored car and opened fire Monday morning, police say.