Ramble with Storm: Routines, life, geese & blue jays

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

Routines come back naturally.

Naturally as ducks and geese return to their favored nesting spots, if they have survived the winter.

After eight days away for a trip to Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota, I find myself and my family returning to our normal routines.

As I refilled the bird feeders–finches must have been in good, the thistle feeder was down the most it has been in a year)–a few Canada geese honked to the east. They were too low to see.

As the meathead and I set out–I do think he was grateful to be back into the morning routine of our long rambles, too–a blue jay squawked down the block.

Not quite as exotic as haunting call of a loon on Lake Vermilion, but the jay brought some comfort and the feel of home to me.

Normally, I find their insistent squawking grating.

A black squirrel hopped around behind the backstop at the ball field. A couple geese honked and waddled into left field.

Those simple regular features of the morning rambles solidified the sense of routine returning.

Only a few mourning doves fluttering around on the far end of the extended ramble. It being the ninth morning since the meathead and I rambled off, there was a lot of change.

I could not believe how many leaves had fallen. It has to be related to our localized lack of rain. My wife said we missed most of the big rains again last week.

And it must have been exciting for Storm to catch up on all the scents. He was sniffing everywhere.

A flock of seven geese came up the east side of the town pond and a flock of eight up the west side. Both continued past the town pond, I assume because of Storm and me.

Then three peeled back and landed on the north end of the north old clay pit. But they soon splashed off.

Tom the Fisherman’s pickup was near the bridge over the neckdown between the two old pits, but I did not see him. He is a real fishermen, so he might have been tucked in somewhere by brush or over the steeper banks along the north pit.

I believe we will not get any hedge apples this year. Apparently the little ones I saw in mid-summer were the aborted fruit of Osage orange, most likely related to the drought last year.

I photographed a blue flower I cannot ID. I do not know if it is a wild flower or a feral garden flower from the distant past of the clay pits.

I could use some help on the ID. Yes, the photo is not very good. Thought I had taken a better one, but my good camera is in the bottom of Frazier Bay on Lake Vermilion.

Back on the edge of town, only a couple doves fluttered around the wires and the gravel by the grain elevator.

Downtown is alive with scarecrows, a cool part of the town’s Pumpkin Fest next weekend.

At the bus barn, many doves fluttered around and sat on the wires. A gray squirrel hopped across the alley, then, even though the meathead never saw it, the squirrel hied it up the transformer pole by the bus barn.

A pair of gray squirrels ran around the big elm a street over. A pair of jays squawked. A gray squirrel ran up the back side of our neighbor’s old gnarled elm.

Back home.

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