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Ramble with Storm: General Lee, Waylon Jennings, John Deere & Lake Michigan fog

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

Two gray squirrels chased each other around near the big oak a street over as the meathead and I set out.

They looked like they were getting frisky, if you catch my drift, with tails curled cutely in Os as they ran each other around in circles.

Good Lord, I am making myself hot and bothered.

It looked like a scene I see commonly on our rambles in February and March when squirrels are in the business of reproducing.

I guess there never is a bad time for getting frisky.

Why did the mourning doves sit in the middle of the road?

I just found the scenes incongruous.

But then yesterday was one of those odd slices of life when I think about things like that.

I had been planning on the annual boat ride with the folks from National Marine Manufacturers Association.

But as I got out of the car at Metra, my phone blew up with texts and messages. Like usual on a day like yesterday, I had the windows down and the radio blaring and had not heard or felt the phone. The captain cancelled the trip because of the fog that rolled in.

Hotter than 90 inland and a cold fog on Lake Michigan.

Put oddities together.

More oddities last evening as I picked up our second boy from his band practicing in a pole barn, where his drum kit was set up next to a John Deer 3020, a classic for tractor folks.

I just about busted out laughing.

Then “General Lee” Ponton, a storied musician around Iroquois and Kankakee counties, began telling stories while he went off on elaborate riffs on Thelma, his collector’s electric guitar.

And he demonstrated a “drop D,” which a young guy by the name of Waylon Jennings, showed him one night in a tavern in the middle of nowhere off Route 1. That was back in the days, not all that long ago, when Route 1 was the main drag between Champaign and Chicago.

Guitar players will know what a “drop D” is. I have no clue.

In the middle of telling stories “General Lee” started in on another complicated set of riffs. Then he turned to me and asked, “Do you know it?”

It rang a bell, not to be confused with the Anita Ward classic “Ring My Bell,” which is always worth a listen.

“I’ll give you a clue, a left-handed black guy,” “General Lee” said.

I thought I knew my Jimi Hendrix, but I had no clue on the song “General Lee” was playing.

The doves on the road by the fire house had been picking grit before the meathead and I inadvertently pushed them out to the road.

A woodpecker hammered the wooden light pole behind home plate at the ball field. I thought I could find it, but apparently it kept curling around.

A sandpiper, one I could not positively ID, flew off out on the extended ramble. Dozens of doves flew around any area with grit. I must have been early enough for that.

Or maybe it was the morning, one of those with the promise of coming heat.

For the second time in three days, a major hatch of something dimpled the surface of both old clay pits. Big fish exploded from the water, both on shore and in open water.

A rabbit bolted into the brush on the back side of the south pit. Shortly after a cardinal flew across the grass road.

Just a lively morning.

Back in town, two gray squirrels were so frolicking around a telephone by the bank that I had to restraint the meathead from crossing the road. While holding him back, I happened to see all kinds of doves picking grit at the gravel lot to the east of the bank.