About a week ago, I was down at Council Point Park one morning, and, while walking through the parking lot, a very large flock of Canada Geese were flying overhead.
Their honking, while in flight, was almost deafening. In fact, the flock was so large, they were actually in two V formations; these photos shows the bigger of the two Vs.
As old as I am, there are some things in nature that continue to fascinate me and a large flock of migrating geese, playing follow the leader to parts unknown, has always made me stop in my tracks and take notice of them.
I whipped out the camera and took a few shots as they stayed in that near-perfect V formation, and then slowly faded into the distance.
Moments later I was on the perimeter path, where a few gosling families grazed nearby. Once again I marveled at how quickly the goslings had grown since the first time I spotted them at the Park in early May. When you compare the offspring of the different families, it is even easier to see how the goslings have grown in leaps and bounds.
But, even though the first family of goslings are nearly the same size as their parents, they are still far from fledging and being on their own. At this point, they can only gaze upward to the sky and aspire to one day become a part of a contingent of geese like you see in the photos above.
In the interim, try as they may, their wings, unlike the mighty wingspans of their parents, just resemble wing dings right now.
But, of course a gosling can dream big, like this little guy in the left-hand corner.
Even though the goslings do nothing but graze on the grass at the Park all day, they still need the rest of their feathers to grow in and those tiny wings to develop as well. Did you know that the average goose eats four pounds of grass a day? I think the only time the goslings aren’t eating, is when they have swimming lessons, or they are sleeping.
I was remembering about being a youngster myself, way back in the day, as I watched those little nippers toddling about, their parents never far from them.
I’ve often mentioned that my parents were very strict with me. As an only child, I knew my place and that I must toe the line, or pay the penalty for not doing so. There would be no slip-ups by little Linda or she’d get a lickin’ and there were no older siblings to have smoothed the path along the way to make it easier for me. On this Father’s Day weekend, thinking way back to my formative years, it was my mother who was the disciplinarian and not my father …
Except when it came to food and mealtimes.
I know that experts say that adults can generally recall events from the time when they were just three or four years old. I believe that to be a true statement. I vividly recall a salmon-colored plastic child’s plate that Mom used to put my dinner in. She poured hot water in the bottom portion, screwed the cap tightly, ladled my dinner into it, then placed it in front of me. There were little blue, red, yellow and green fish that would “swim” in that water. But I couldn’t see them until I ate my food. I never got to be picky about what was put in front of me either. I may have occasionally voiced my displeasure and balked a bit with the menu that night, but I knew enough not to make an issue of it …
Except when it came to peas.
I hated those *&^% things! From the time I graduated from my Little Miss Muffet spoon to a big-girl fork, I had nothing but disdain for peas. How were you supposed to eat them? It was hard enough to round ‘em up on your plate and onto your spoon, then try and make a quick dive into your mouth, before they rolled off the edge of the spoon, but balancing them on a fork … well that was a challenge that was a whole ‘nother story. And my father being European, was all about eating with a knife and fork. He’d watch me struggling with those stupid peas and trying to meet his standards of how to eat my dinner like a young lady. Sigh.
I didn’t like the taste of those peas either and occasionally (very occasionally), I’d protest a little saying “oh, peas again” and my mother would give me “the look” and then the lecture that they were “full of iron and would make me big and strong” so I’d best eat them up. “I thought you said liver did that Mommy?” my brave and impertinent little self once said. My father’s response to that comment was “just eat your peas Linda; they’ll put hair on your chest.” Mom rolled her eyes and said “oh Max – really?!” Occasionally I got the lecture about starving children in poor countries who would love to be eating peas or liver, so I just resigned myself that I’d never eat peas or liver when I was grown up. And I don’t.
While watching those feathery fellows scattered along the perimeter path, beak-deep in the tender grass, I had this flashback of the dinner table many decades ago. Eat your grass little ones and you’ll up grow up big and strong, so one day you will fly in a flock as big as this one.
Today is Nature Photography Day – if you’re so inclined, hope you had an opportunity to get out and see and photograph a few critters today!