Solitary Ramble: Christmas trees, Spanish & edges – Voices

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I realized this morning that this should be the weekend for putting our Christmas tree in for a crappie set in the town pond.

The north old clay pit has been wide open for two days. The south pit, the smaller and deeper one, still has thick ice cover over two thirds it But by Sunday afternoon, I bet the south pit will be down to just a small on the south end.

It will be the perfect time to plant the Christmas tree, so to speak, as fish cover by Sunday.

Some years, I have been able to put our Christmas tree in early in January. Obviously not this year.

The funny thing is that some years I forget where I put the crappie set the previous winter. So my strategy in recent years is to put them in the same place, winter after winter.

Still I don’t use them as often as you would think.

An odd bird I could not see clacked or clattered off down our street as I set out this morning. I think it was a woodpecker, but that was a guess.

So much is alive this time of year, it is hard to sort it all out. We have an absurd number of robins this spring, or so it seems to me. Mourning doves cooing on all sides. Cardinals in the tops of trees.

And a bunch of small birds I could not identify.

There are things in life I still want to learn. One of them is to identify birds by call. I have terrible eyes and they will only get worse. But I am decent at hearing, so I would like to learn that better.

I also want to become a Master Naturalist and Master Gardener. And learn Spanish well enough to hold a conversation.

I think all three are doable. The Master Naturalist and Master Gardener I can do through the University of Illinois Extension. And for learning Spanish, there are many options.

Learning Spanish I think is a necessity in 21st Century America.

I took a Gentleman’s C, my worst grade, in high school Spanish, mainly because I worked harder at catching the attention of Dottie Kreider than actually learning Spanish.

Of course, she was too sharp for me. But at least I made her laugh and if you make a woman laugh, the door is at least ajar.

One of the few pearls of wisdom I know about men and women.

Canada geese are setting up on the town pond. I counted 11 on the north pit, then three more landed to make 14 there. Another pair guarded the island on the south pit. I think it is the pair that nests there, because they became quite possessive when another pair came near the south shore of the island.

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I am surprised how much ice holds on the south end of the south pit.

Back in town, I heard a woodpecker hammering away on a big elm by the church.

The gray cold overcast hangs on, but the forecast promises change.

We shall see.

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