Saturday, September 26, 2009
Last Call - Geese Going
Since I was a little kid, I've had a one sided love affair with Canada geese. I know a lot of people who hate them because they are prolific poop machines. They quickly foul up small ponds and shore fronts and turn golf courses into land mine fields. Each goose lays a breakfast-link size roll of dark green doo amounting to one to three pounds a day. The droppings carry bacteria harmful to humans, so keep your hands out of your mouth. Additionally, the droppings are very slippery. Stepping on it can result in a broken ankle and you know where you'd be falling if that happened. Things would no doubt, go from bad to worse. Populations of the Canadas are growing enormously, too. They are protected under the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), so it's a felony to kill them. If they take a shine to your golf course, you're cooked, not your goose. All you can do is drive your golf cart around and scream and yell. Keep in mind when you do that, that when geese are alarmed, guess what? They poop. Many flocks of them no longer hede the urge to migrate, either. Here in Totman Cove resides a flock that now is about fifty strong, nearly double that of a year ago. There is open water here all winter, so they stay. I still think of them as harbingers of spring, though. I listen, as my father taught me to do when I was young, for their calls and think, "Ah, spring at last!" There is still magic in hearing them far above me, often in spring fog which seems to hold their sound. And in the fall, I feel sad when I see the skiens rippling across the sky headed south. A V-ribbon undulating away in advance of snow makes me hunch my head into the neck of my jacket and shiver, even if it's not yet cold. These geese weren't flying out of town, though. They were just headed to the local golf course.