Ramble with Storm: A blooming thistle & homage to John James Audubon

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

I finally found my blooming thistle for the summer.

It was on the far end of the extended ramble. There it was in all its purple glory, rich enough in opportunity that I hoped to see goldfinch.

But I don’t think I am going to get my own photo of a goldfinch on a purple thistle flower, I had hoped to do that this summer as a sort of homage to the iconic image drawn by John James Audubon.

The reason I found the thistle is because I was working out a new camera and figured a ramble is the perfect time to test it.

My oldest brother, Jim Bowman, is a noted photographer and videographer. When I busted up my venerable but dependable clunky old Olympus early this summer, I asked if he thought it could be fixed.

Jim suggested I try a Canon PowerShot SX150. And I am trying to get used to it. It takes time. I get set in my ways and I was used to the heft of the Olympus. But I am sure getting used to the fact I can simply stick the Canon PowerShot in my pocket and go.

So I took photos of all the fall scenes I could find, beginning with the sunrise, almost to the minute over the north old clay pit.

But mainly I looked for blooms, the one part of fall I enjoy, the richness in color of the blooms.

When you start looking for color in the fall, there is some to be had among the browns and drabs of the impending end.

That pretty much describes my opinion of fall: the impending end.

But you are never too old to learn and this morning I learned to find and savor some of the richness in fall color. You just have to look harder for it.

As we started out, a gray squirrel with something in its mouth found we had it blocked from returning to the neighbor’s gnarled old elm, so it weaved back and forth indecisively enough to draw a charge from the meathead.

A lone Canada goose honked as it neared the lake to the west. That is the first goose I heard or saw on a ramble in weeks.

Storm has been interested in the fox hole on the edge of the north pit. I am just curious what he learns each morning when he roots into the brush and sniffs it.

Tom the Fisherman cast the point off the island.

A great blue heron startled us when it flapped noisily off from the southeast corner of the south old clay pit.

As we neared town, I noticed a handful of doves scattered on the wires by the feed mill along the railroad tracks.

At the alley by the bus barn, more doves fluttered and landed on wires. Like many towns on the fringes of the Chicago area, there was enough shooting yesterday to push doves into town.

For the final photo, a shot of the meathead sniffing something only he knew about in the brown dead leaves of fall.

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