… they’re gone! The geese that is. More about them later.
After an angst-ridden ten days, give or take a day or two, I think I’m fairly caught up here on WordPress and other social media, and things are back to normal, so I’ll take a stab at posting my usual shtick, hopefully absent a rundown of mishaps, going forward. I’m still typing with nine fingers, but thanks to some TLC and a lot of prayers, I think my finger looks much better six days after smashing it in the garage door panel. The top actually looks and feels worse than the fingertip pad and it’s still a bit colorful looking – you might even say it looks red, white and blue!
I had taken a slew of photos about three weeks ago and divvied them up to share in posts, then stuff happened. All the commotion and details as a result of the garage door debacle, left me fizzed and a bit frazzled and I decided that it is no fun “adulting” with little time to play. I tried not to miss any walks and for convenience sake, since I was missing the car a good chunk of the time, I did most of my steps at Council Point Park.
And, speaking of my favorite nature nook, the past week or so has been a little like “Dullsville” – the heat has caused everyone to lose their pep and stay up in their respective trees. Today, I even took Nutter Butters as a treat for the holiday for my furry pals, but only three squirrels timidly ventured down to ground level, so I just gave them peanuts only. I’ll save their cookies for cooler weather. I didn’t see Parker the last few days and am a little worried about him – perhaps he just strayed to the ‘hood where the pickin’s might be better since none of the berry bushes at the Park are ripe yet. A few squirrels were laying sprawled out beneath a tree, or on the pathway, their fuzzy tails stretched out behind them and four legs akimbo. I’ve seen them do this before when it is hot and humid like it was today. We are expecting a storm early evening so I’m trying to get this post done before it arrives.
It’s not only the squirrels MIA, but the Cardinals and Red-Winged Blackbirds weren’t popping down to the pathway either. Harry the Heron has been missing for over a month and there was nary a swan, nor even a mallard, as I meandered along.
The only news of note came from the Creek where the carp are chasing one another out of the water and doing belly flops on the surface. I couldn’t see them as the bushes are all leafed out, but I know the origin of the big splashes. Happily, I finally heard Jeremiah, the big ol’ bullfrog that sounds off all Summer as I walk along the perimeter path. That’s good news as I thought he might have been a goner after our brutal Winter.
While I miss the “regulars” along the walking path, the most noticeable absence lately is the Canada geese, whether they are ambling across the pathway, or gathering at the swimmin’ hole.
Who can resist this side-eye of the gander while his mate does the neck arch when they are perturbed by passersby ogling them?
Or the steely gaze I got for intruding on their respite at the cement landing where you see how the water sloshes over the top?
Bye, bye … gotta fly (or maybe not?)
Though the goslings aren’t ready to fledge, the geese and their offspring left Council Point Park this past week. They’ve not been around for a week now, and, though their presence is missed, it sure was easier to walk on the perimeter path without stepping around fresh goose poop!
Every June and July the adult Canada geese moult. They begin to lose their flight feathers in May – these photos show just a few of their large feathers I have seen sticking out of the grass the past couple of weeks, so I knew it was just a matter of time before they departed. It has been that way every year since I began walking at this venue in 2013.
So, during this time, the geese must find a safe haven away from land predators while they cannot fly and this safe haven will be a body of water. The geese families have evidently taken a water route to a place where they are safe since the goslings were not equipped to fly yet.
Additionally, this may surprise you, but Council Point Park, just like many other parks or golf courses, do not necessarily embrace the ambiance of the Canada geese during the Summer months. There are soccer fields, baseball diamonds, inline skating, a playground and picnicking at the pavilion area … and don’t forget the walking path. The geese sometimes act like they own the turf and get quite antagonistic toward anyone who gets in their way. So, once the geese and their little families have left, the rest of the Summer the Park grass is sprayed with a non-toxic grape seed concentrate. Even when the geese are able to fly again, they’ll descend onto the grass, but they don’t like the taste of it, so they go elsewhere to graze. By the way, this is all approved by the Department of Natural Resources. The goose repellent contains methyl anthranilate, a chemical that is found naturally in grape juice and gives grape bubblegum its flavor. Come September, when the kids are back in school and the days are getting shorter, the spraying will cease and the geese will be welcomed back to graze as much as they want. By then we won’t be able to tell the parents from their offspring! There are Canada geese at larger parks where they have access to graze from the shoreline, though with all the lakeshore flooding that Michigan has right now, hopefully they will be okay during their transition period.