Tag Archive: nature


Goose

Goose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Pilgrim Geese

English: Pilgrim Geese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The farm next to my workplace has a small but stalwart gaggle of geese that have appointed themselves as guardians of the property. My first day of work at this new job I was startled to find myself faced with a very noisy and aggressive lineup of geese blocking the driveway. They had no intention of giving way and I really didn’t want to start my work experience here by running over any of them. That would have to be bad karma on a monumental scale. So, I rolled down my window, leaned out and discussed the situation with them at some length. Finally, an accord was reached and they grudgingly let me through.

As time has gone by I have gotten in the habit of  looking for them when I arrive at work . This spring a few baby geese arrived on the scene and I loved watching their progress from tiny bits of fluff to fully grown geese, very smart-looking and freshly pressed in their new feather attire. They, of course, quickly joined the guardians of the driveway and added their voices to the overall drama of my early morning arrivals.

About the same time as the baby geese hatched, three ducks showed up and joined the group. They mingled freely with the geese but generally napped at a slight distance from the core group. There seemed to be a cordial détente in place. One by one their numbers were reduced. A car hit one of the ducks. Then another just disappeared. Now there was only the one. I began to think of him as George.

That was about six months ago. George is still hanging out with the geese. I have been expecting him to leave to find others of his kind. But he seems to have settled in. The geese…well, they seem to have accepted him as a kind of ne’er do well distant relative. I imagine them talking among themselves about when George would realize he had vastly overstayed his welcome and take his leave. I can see the dominant male of the group sighing and muttering, “Well, you know George…” The other geese nod and bob their heads in agreement. A few yards away an oblivious George waddles around, wiggling his tail feathers and poking around in the rubble of the harvested corn field.

He seems to have found a comfortable niche for himself. They all seem to get along, if not perhaps the closest of friends, at least amicable acquaintances who are comfortable splashing around in puddles together.

I am curious though…does George know he is not the same as the others? I often see him sleeping a distance apart from the group. Did they chase him away or is this his own preference? And when the flocks overhead are migrating, do the calls of his own kind stir him?  Does he feel a pang of longing? Does he look to the sky and measure what he has lost against the scant comfort he has found among the geese?

Finding a place to call home, to be with people we love and who love us, isn’t that what we long for? Sometimes the fear that we will never find that place, those people, can push us toward accepting the unacceptable as a viable substitute. It is easy to get derailed if we let fear call the shots. Following our dreams, believing that what we have always hoped for is truly achievable , is not an easy path. It can be painful and lonely and daunting. So if we step off that path, decide to settle for what is within our grasp instead of that which is unknown, can anyone really fault us?

New Year Morning

Yesterday, the first day of 2012 dawned bright, clear and unusually warm. I really do prefer a little snow this time of year, if only to justify having a roaring fire at night to sit by. I was able to get out early for some photos. It was unexpectedly busy with lots of wildlife cruising around. Including this deer who looks like she is late for a meeting.

Then there is the rising dawn bathing a nearby hillside of trees with gorgeous golden light…

I heard geese honking and looking up saw one of the largest flocks on the wing I’ve seen in quite a while. They look like Snow Geese to me. The eastern light setting them aglow as they headed to a field or body of water somewhere.

Fascinating to watch how the flock ebbed and flowed, merging, splitting, but cohesive overall.

It was a great way to welcome in 2012, camera in hand, awestruck at the beauty around me and open to the possibilities of the coming year.

All the best of everything today and everyday…

Gazing out the window this morning I spotted two deer making their way through a neighbor’s yard. I wasn’t sure what deer clan they were part of. Generally I get to know the little groups that hang out around the house. But unless this is the remnants of the trio (Mom and two youngsters) that were around all summer I’ve no clue.

photo by amjwriter

The deer walked around the neighbor’s house, peered in a few windows and looked remarkably like they were casing the joint …watching them through binoculars I began to feel like a member of the local town watch. Finally they found what they had been looking for, a great spot protected by overhanging bushes and warmed by the sun. I’ve seen deer lying down in nearby yards before, though admittedly the first few times I was surprised and intrigued by how comfortable and safe they must feel here. No real dog threat to worry them, not at least on this side of the creek. Our dogs, I’m sure, annoy them no end, piling out the backdoor as they do, racing down the fence line, barking all the way. But they are not vicious dogs and are small enough that the deer seem to view them with amusement at times. At one point this summer there was a casual get together of a number of deer under the apple tree. One of the dogs was snugged up to the fence quietly watching them when a young fawn started over to her. We watched absolutely spellbound as the fawn hesitated, retreated and then approached again. This particular dog is very friendly and was quite likely to lick the fawn if it got close enough. In the meantime the matriarch of the group was keeping a vigilant eye on all this and was also aware of us sitting on the deck watching quietly. She apparently had our number as she paid us little mind. She  finally stepped in and intervened when the fawn got a little too close for her comfort. The group gathered round and moved up the hill. Cocktail hour was over.

Today, the two deer settled into their first-class accommodations for some quiet time. The smaller deer was curled up in a ball with head buried in its fur while the bigger one watched the surroundings for a while, ears pricked forward, listening…Gradually the ears eased back, the deer’s eyes relaxed to half-mast then closed. It was a beautiful and peaceful scene.

A short while later I glanced out the window to check on them and they were gone.

photo by amjwriter