Ramble with Storm: Fear itself & gatherings of doves

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

The early wintry landscape brings me back to managing risk. Or to steal or borrow from FDR, managing “Fear itself.”

The reason I think of this is ice and ice fishing. There is risk involved. Ice fishing is about risk management.

In my world, that risk management should be the responsibility of the person (personal flotation device, safety ropes, spikes) not of the public agency (“Thou shalt not go out on ice less than 4 inches.”) Public bodies are inherently conservative by nature and necessity.

For God’s sake, you could hold a sumo wrestling match on 4 inches of ice.


Bitter cold again, though at least manageable this morning unlike yesterday when we hit -9 and had wind.

But cold enough that I was glad to postpone the ramble whenKen Gortowskicalledas I was gearing up.

I didn’t expect any wildlife this morning and there wasn’t much, not even the racket of Canada geese from the lake to the west.

Plenty of tracks though. There were rabbit tracks all around the town pond. Mixed in with a bunch of tracks from mice, voles (I think), squirrels and birds.

Dawn came as I crossed the bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits. I had to stop and try to catch it.

Dawn in a winter landscape seems to come sharp as a knife, with definition. Summer dawns seem to come with the sort of look of a Post-Impressionist in the South Seas, say Gauguin.

I favor winter dawns, like things defined. Do not favor winter.

Back on the edge of town, a pair of mourning doves fluttered off and floated toward the grain elevators. That’s when I saw dozens of doves lined up on the lines.

The bitter cold and a pair of minor snows must have been enough to drive them into town for food and shelter.

The bank thermometer read 13 degrees. Three doves fluttered out of the bur oaks a street over, then drifted into the shelter of the evergreen on the other side of the street.

My thermometer behind the garage read 9.

Time to put my head down and back into the house.

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