Friday, August 27, 2010


Among the splendid things to watch while fishing are the Canada Geese. The practice flights in small groups are practical as one after another take the lead and form a V in the sky above.

My sweet Thomas hunted wild life in his youth. Recently, while fishing a flock was in flight above us. “They are setting their wings”, Tom said. And sure enough, they indeed landed on the water near us and disappeared into the wild rice patch.

There is a magazine my children read when young. One of the articles was on observation. Let’s say, in the case of the geese, you said to me, “The geese have been here”. I would know that because the wild rice has been reduced to stubble. If you asked the same question near a dock, I would know because of the poop on the deck. Or if you said to me, “Watch you step, I would know what littered the ground.

There are restaurants with docks for boaters to come to dinner by boat rather than by land. A young man on crutches was having quite a time finding clean areas to set his crutches. The rest of the family were doing the goose step.

It is said that geese have become so over populated they are raising the bag limit. In the state of New York, they are killing them off, last year 14K birds were killed.

It's hard to believe, but a little over 100 years ago, over-hunting drove Canada geese close to extinction. New York State officials decided that the birds needed help if they were to survive and, starting in 1958 and extending to 1963--only five years, wildlife experts released scores of geese into the state's forests. Before long huge flocks were settling throughout the state. Today, officials face the opposite problem: There are more than 200,000 geese in New York, and they have begun endangering public health by soiling parks and lakes, stripping farmers' fields and getting in the way of airplanes.

It is said a geese caused the plane crash named, The Miracle on the Hudson.

Yet all the poop and problems caused by this over population, they remain one of the most beautiful of water fowl. We like to watch how one or two are on sentry as the others eat. They preen and bath and go tail feathers up to eat off the bottom of the shallows in the lake.

They care for their young in groups. It isn’t unusual to see 25 or so ducklings of different stages of group following an adult while another adult brings up the rear of the long line swimming in the lake.

And there markings? Magnificent. Once you see one you always will know them again just like you would loons.


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