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Ramble with Storm: Corn & Air and Water Show

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

When I was a kid, the Amish neighbors knew I was a good trapper, so I was called in the summer a band of raccoons raided Mrs. Blank’s cash crop, her big garden of sweet corn.

i was reminded of that this week. On the path coming out of the field to the east of the south old clay pit, several ears of corn were scattered about. One was husked (leaves and silk strewn about), another was just flopped on the path.

Now I don’t know whether it was squirrels or raccoons lugging around the ears of corn. I tend to think it was squirrels since it was field corn, which is more to the liking of squirrels.

Raccoons tend to favor sweet corn and can ravage a garden. A couple years ago, they completely destroyed our daughter’s garden in one night. And I mean destroyed. Raccoons just go along and pull down stalks and ears, husking ears and trying them for the sweetest ones.

That brings me back to my Amish neighbor asking for my help one summer. In one night, the raccoons wiped out a bunch of what I assume was a good source of money for her. So she offered me a good price to go after the raccoons.

I am not sure she officially had permission to trap the coons in summer or not for crop damage, but I was more than happy to trap them.

Trapping raccoons is absurdly easy. I just set traps below stalks of corn I smeared with grape jelly and peanut butter. I caught raccoons left and right, saved her garden.

Unfortunately, I told her son Jake, my good buddy, how I did it, and the next time they didn’t pay me to trap the raccoons but did the trapping themselves.

So it goes.

From the distance of 40 or 45 years, that seems like something prehistoric.

It was country. We were country.

Today was a morning for rabbits. The first one bolted across the alley from the bus barn.

Two more rabbits scooted around and into brush as we started on the extended ramble.

The piercing squawk of a belted kingfisher came in the southwest corner of the north pit, but I could not sight it.

Small fish dimpled the surface of the flat calm water on both pits. Might think about taking my daughter out for some topwater fishing tonight.

Another rabbit bolted across from the south side of the south pit and into the brush. Back in town, two more rabbits bounded around the alley. One sat still close enough to grab a photo as the meathead anxiously sat, eyeing possible quarry.

I believe that is an unofficial record, a six-rabbit morning. That is not to be confused with Three-Dog Night. Don’t know why I went there, but my mind went there and naturally to “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog,” which is really titled “Joy to the world.”

I do know bullfrogs have been scarce at the town pond this summer.

Near home, I found a blue jay feather on the sidewalk and picked it up for our youngest boy. A blue jay squawked from near the peak of our house roof.

It flew.

This morning was my kind of Air and Water Show, or should that be Air, Water and Ground Show?