Monday, July 24, 2017

my geese

The little ones are pretty much as big as the parents now.  Their coloring is still a bit fainter, their feathers a bit fluffier. Parents stand protectively on either side of their brood, or between them and any danger. Some days I would see how close I could get to them as they stood on the bit of road that extended into their lake.  Most days they waddled into the water and swam away before I could get anywhere near them.
I've seen large gatherings of geese along the river, raising their families together, braving the walkers and bikers of Meewasin trail together, parents hissing at anyone who gets too close to the goslings.
But this family has been pretty solitary. Just mom and dad and the kids.

This morning, though, it looked like a family gathering at the lake.  I wondered if it was a group passing through, or a first sign of gathering for the fall (kind of like the first yellow leaf to fall from my poplar tree long before anyone should be thinking of summer's end), or a day's outing to a cool lake on the outskirts of the city - kind of a day trip.

As I turned off the main road I saw the limp body of an adult goose lying on the ground by the tall grasses.
I've heard that geese mate for life.
Do they call the family in when there is a tragedy as well?
Do they come to surround the babies and take care of them till things get figured out?
Maybe this morning was just a coincidence.
By the time I left for lunch, all the geese had gone.
Every one.
I sure wonder what happened at the lake this morning.    

Saturday, July 22, 2017

quiet mornings

the sky has wrapped the morning in a cool blanket

dragonboat races have begun in the city
and farmer's markets are organizing their produce on corner lots and river sides

the air is so still this morning
I've picked a bowl of raspberries and sit
down on the deck, hearing the irregular
knocking of a woodpecker close by
eventually he flies over to the newly pruned poplar and methodically makes his way up the trunk, circling and searching for his food
on the ground a flicker pokes around in the grass, and robins are finding worms
chickadees are playing in the trees - birds in a perpetual good mood

I sit still long enough for birds to forget that I am here
a sparrow lands on the railing of the deck and looks at me for a moment before flying away
a crow silently patrols the neighborhood with a straight fly-by
something pulses by ... a breath above my head on its way through the yard
I can't tell if it touched my hair or just disturbed the air around it
adrenalin surges thru me at the sudden brush with sparrow's flight

apples gradually bending branches toward the ground
honeysuckle berries turning red and orange
daylilies standing at attention, an army of orange against the fence
morning glory canopy thickening and lengthening

and a second fly-by just above my head.
maybe it's a thing they like to do - skim just above something on their flight path
I just had to sit still long enough
on a morning wrapped in fog

God, you reveal yourself to us in so many subversive and unassuming ways... Unclog our ears to hear you, and show us how to get rid of the clutter of our lives so that we make room for you... (from Common Prayers for this day)