Ramble with Storm: Cockleburs in snow & poison

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

I have hated cockelburs since my early days of rabbit hunting with my dad, because the areas where we kicked out rabbits in the fall were loaded with the things.

Then we had to come home and pluck each cocklebur off all our pants, coats and boots.

Yet, I will grant a certain rugged beauty to them this time of the year, as I saw along the south side of the north old clay pit this morning.

While doublechecking the spelling of cockleburs, I stumbled on a web page by the University of Illinois library, which had the cockleburs as poisonous for animals, particularly rooting pigs.

Not that I have any particular sympathy for rooting pigs, but I found it interesting.

And I just thought cockleburs were a pain in the ass.

What a weird, yet beautiful morning.

Just a few flakes fluttered down as we set off and I figured the snow was done.

But on the extended portion of the extended ramble, the snow thickened hard enough to cut visibility below a mile and is still snowing that hard more than an hour later (I took half an hour to shovel walks and the driveway before typing up the Ramble, but that shoveling might have been a pointless activity).

The kids and I will get in some sledding somewhere today.

The meathead just loves this stuff. He was rooting his nose into everything. Some of it with actual intent (mice? voles?), some of it I think just because he could and wanted to for the fun of it.

The Canada geese, who are keeping a decent hole open on the lake to the west, raised quite a racket.

He loved walking on the ice of the north pit so much that he nearly took me for a ride, like a husky mushing across the tundra.

Ours are still the only tracks around the north pit and the back side of the south pit. People just aren’t getting out in this weather.

Though there is a certain rugged beauty to it.

A pair of mourning doves flushed in a loud flutter on the trail, formerly a side rail, above the south pit.

Six more doves fluttered around the wires by the grain elevators on the edge of town.

The bank thermometer had 20 degrees. It will be far colder tomorrow morning.

Back in town, a pair of doves fluttered around the wires near the bird feeders at the house across from the bus barn.

It was a morning with a certain rugged activity and beauty to it.

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