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Ramble with Storm: The silence of the geese

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

Some 65 Canada geese--I counted them as the meathead and I circled the north old clay pit--floated eerily silent in the southwest corner of the town pond.

Even when Storm and I passed within maybe 30 yards, they kept silent.

It's the third morning in a row like that.

On Tuesday, I stopped counting at 100. That's a lot of geese for a little body of water, even though the north pit is bigger than the south one. And a lot of geese to float silently.

They looked smaller than the resident geese. Most seasons about seven pairs nest around the town pond, so I have a good handle on the size of our resident geese.

I am pretty sure these are migrators. It reminded of a group of visitors to a new church the way they floated silently as though not to draw attention or do anything out of line.

Another 25 floated on the southwest corner of the south old clay pit.

Three things struck me.

Well, they struck me after I made sure to carefully walk over the frost-coated bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits.

One, why the odd numbers? I might have miscounted on the 65, but not on the 25. My guess is that some of the partner pairs were dropped by hunters. These geese acted like they had been hunted.

I have not heard, but I suspect a push of geese arrived this week.

Second, why were both groups in southwest corners? It was nearly flat calm this morning, so I don't think it was the wind. But there was skim ice in patches around the east side of both clay pits, so maybe that was it.

Third, why didn't the groups join into one large group? Are they the geese equivalent of Baptists or Anabaptists who splinter into smaller sects over something like the length of men's hair or black bumpers?

Brother, maybe you have to be from my background to understand that last crack.

The ground was froze hard underfoot. The air smelled like snow.

The season change finally arrived.

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In the two minute walk down to the Fox River from my house, hundreds of geese have been coming and going.

I can always tell which are the migrators.

The locals talk too much, even at midnight a few fly and squawk while others down on the water never seem to shut up.

Then there are those V's of 10 to 20 geese that fly overhead and never make a sound. Kind of eerie. All you hear is the wind in their wings. I've even heard them go overhead at night.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 8, 2011 8:32 AM.

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