As the summer of 2015 comes to an end, I find myself caught up in the
Canada geese once again. The separated couples that had goslings are now
reuniting together in colonies in order to eventually migrate south. Because
this is my first year of observing them, (I have put in about 500 hours
since March), I don't know yet when they will leave. (Sept,Oct,Nov?)
I find that I am very attached to the geese and my curiosity about them
is filled with continued satisfaction as I witness their beautiful behavior.
From arriving on the river, to separating from the flock, to building a nest,
laying eggs and having babies and caring for them, the Canada geese have had
a deep emotional impact on me. I never tire from their loveliness...
This week, I sat a few evenings for several hours along the river bank
paying close attention to a colony of approximately 34 geese of which I'd
say 2/3 are juveniles and 1/3 are their parents. The young ones hatched
2-3 months ago and are flying now. While the goslings were developing,
their parents were molting, leaving all of them unable to hit the sky in
flight. Now all the geese have wings to fly and what fun they appear to be
having ! Swimming, splashing, preening and skimming over the water to
gain speed, while flapping their wings to fly over treetops.
This particular colony honks and comes together just prior to soaring
off. They separate into 3 flocks across the river, one grouping at a time
and in different formations. Each lead gander organizes their group "honking"
and directing them. Other geese begin to honk and flap their wings, then
before you know it, the sight of them ascending into the sky makes me
want to stand up fast and clap in delight. In full disclosure, I do clap but
standing up fast isn't easy for me.
It is marvelous to experience the "wonder of it all !"
The Presumpscot "Off the beaten path"