Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Some small towns have those seasons when tourists arrive in droves.  They buzz like noisy bees, poke into nooks and crannies like rude in-laws, and then, they disappear just as quickly as dew on the morning grass.  They come for the spring colors, or the summer waves, or fall leaf changes or winter skiing.   Thank goodness they only stay through the peak because they are not shy in revealing their presence.  They actually act as if they were the owners and not the visitors!

Well, my small river has its tourists as well -  the geese from Canada.  The "early birds" arrive just as fall winds get cold and the rest of the mob crashes in ahead of winters nor'easter.  They laugh and call to each other and generally fill the river with discord as the sun sets.  They are nightlife zealots and the party lasts until well after midnight.  The males in the center of the river and the gals swimming around the edges.  Then in what can only be called a drunken stupor, they finally sleep it off muttering gently through their night dreams with heads tucked under wings until the sun reaches the horizon.

Once morning is pale pink this cabal begins again a noisy cacophony that only a dysfunctional family reunion could mimic.  The noise carries for miles across the water on the cold air.

"Move over!"
"My side!  My side"
"Wake up you sloth!"
"We are going this way!"
"Your mother wears army boots!"
"Your mother doesn't migrate!"
 And on and on they call and honk until finally the noisiest one begins a chant that seems to resonate -  "Your left, your left, you left, right, left."

And, as the sun reveals its golden glory, there is much slapping of wings on the top of the water and increasing noise and bellowing and with much effort they leave the surface.  They move like low flying cargo planes or heavy laden bombers skimming the water, gaining elevation only over time, heading in the direction of distant dormant corn fields.

They leave behind tufts of white floating on the glassy surface and cast against the shore.  An unbelievable quiet fills the air as if the river has just sighed...until the next evening when it is repeated all over again.


  1. What a nicely observed and amusing description. I love to see migrating birds.

  2. Nice to hear that my noisy gals and guys made it that far! We've been singing them farewell now for weeks. They do make a ruckus, don't they?

  3. Be nice if I could magically tag along on their flight and be a full-time tourist.

    I'd promise not to squawk too loudly when I got to your place :)

  4. haha playful description of the conversation...lovely to see them crossing the skies...

  5. Tabor, Unfortunately we live in such an unbalanced world. Were there more swans, ducks and birds like the Eurasian Spoonbill or the Lesser White-fronted Goose, then the numbers of Canada Geese would dwindle and the cacophony would be more varied and interesting. Were there a few less golf courses and subdivisions, there might be more ponds and wetlands to handle over populations of migratory birds. Your observations are always thoughtful and fun. Thanks for sharing.

  6. So that's where they all went, they by here quickly. Tourists indeed.

  7. You are so clever! I love the way your worded their "noises".

  8. Enjoyed the 'bird talk'.You understand them so well.

  9. Holy cow! I know tourists like that! I bet "feathers" were not the only thing they left behind. :)

    His Mother doesn't migrate because she can't get off the ground wearing those army boots! LOL!

  10. What fun observations!! I could hear the sounds!!

  11. A beautiful image and a text to augment it. Both stir the imagination.

  12. made me smile. congrats on your POTW!

  13. A well-deserved POTW! Love the description - you might have been writing about the geese on my pond!

  14. poke into nooks and crannies like rude in-laws...

    Heh, heh.

    Funny with the geese, I know the situation.

    One winter, I watched two swans making their way through our river, frozen, by rising up and crunching through the ice with their breastbones.

    After a while i couldn't take it anymore. I went out on the porch and shouted "YOU CAN FLY!"

    They didn't take my advice.

    Congratulations on your potw.

  15. I will b outside and here the honking. Look up and there will be 30, 40 or 50 flying overhead
    What a wonderful sight. Always
    makes me smile...

  16. This is absolutely wonderfully well written and quite enjoyable. Who knew that you could translate fowl language:)

  17. A delightful description of 'family doings'. :D

  18. Ah, one thing I miss about the Midwest was the geese flying over. We don't see that here in California.


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.