Thursday, July 17, 2008

Canadian Geese - Strange Bird


You cant' call them Canadian Geese anymore. Someone up that way took offense, or perhaps it was someone here in Oklahoma who noticed that they don't actually live in Canada, they poop their little green mess right here in the Heartland, so they could and should be called Okie-Geese. I think it's funny to see the masses increase in the area that is my "backyard". I claim it although its a commons area, it's MY backyard you know. The geese are growing in number, and they never leave. They don't vacation - they don't wander. Then my daughter Caity pointed out that they might, but we wouldn't know if they did...they all look the same. So, if 100 or more geese trekked down for the summer and another 100 or so ventured up North no one is going to figure that one out - ever.

I say you can't tell one Canada goose from the next, but they can. I wasn't watching all that closely, but I could sure hear the honking. Honking and blasting of horns going on right behind my head - loud enough to make a girl turn and ask "What are you doing on that pond? STOP!" One goose wasn't happy with another goose and it begs the question - HOW DO YOU KNOW IT WAS HIM? Maybe it was that one over there? They bob and they dive, which is fun to watch. One tawny black mass will go under and then pop up under or behind another one, setting in motion that "Oh, pardon me, I simply didn't realize that was your feathery ass I was coming up under, my bad." Right..good move if you can make it, but again, HOW DO THEY KNOW which butt to pop up under. No wonder the boy geese get a bit bent out of shape. You can see them pointing their wings at the girl goose just in front of them - "HER, she's over there, get her butt, leave mine alone you idiot!"

They make lines. They line up and line up, and follow suit, and get in place as if they have a pecking order - I guess maybe they do. One goose may accidentally get in front of the one he's suppose to be behind and they start at the wing flapping, head butting, bobbing their little mouths open and shut over and over at each other. One group of 10 or so will try to out-line the other group. Calling out something in Goose like "Our line is better than yours" - and just to prove it that it's not, the second group of 10 or more will line up, honk and pass the first group - with that last little guy always struggling to bring up the rear - paddling his little goose butt off to make the train. Makes you wonder - are they really this boring or is it just me waiting for that next gig assignment and I've been reduced to standing at the pond in my backyard staring at the backsides of identical birds that won't leave the premises.

What's really funny, and I should get up at 7:10 in the morning and film this for YouTube, is that around the time that traffic is just beginning to get heavy in the morning, these geese, all of them, come from one side of the street to the other. Crossing over the little runoff that is on both sides of the street so that the pond can flow into the creek which is directly to the East of the backyard pond, it also flows into the creek which is just West of the pond, but a beaver lives there with his den, and the geese stay clear of him. The crane is another story, but we're talking geese for now, so let me get back to it.

When the geese are crossing the street the traffic on both sides must stop. The CITY put up a Duck Crossing sign, which OK,technically we have 11 ducks in the mix, but we have more than 60 geese crossing at that time. NO, you can't just drive through them. People stand outside EVERY DAY watching the crossing, and if you did drive through them and harm even one tiny feather on the big brown beautiful babies, you would be hunted down before you made a block! You'd be turned in, turned out, turned over, and ripped to shreds by all of those who do actually get up at 7:10 in the morning to see this event on a daily. I don't know how the geese (and often the 11 ducks)know when the time is right, but you'd think the drivers would find another route. This is not going to stop.

This past June when the ends of our street were closed off to fix a water main the geese quickly spotted a few suckers on the construction crew. They lost weight giving up their sandwiches...or made more sandwiches and brought them for the geese. City workers don't usually need much of an excuse to stop working. The march of the geese was just another way of putting in a good day's standing around - why not, it pays the same. I have to get a hobby!

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