Monday, April 03, 2006

Canadas

Every morning we hear the geese high overhead; many times they are hidden as they fly through the dark storm clouds yet their calls ring through the stillness. We have a few geese throughout the year but during the fall and the spring migration we enjoy the larger and more frequent flocks passing by. Even when I cannot see them I can follow their progress along the river; their continual calling becomes fainter and fainter as they move over the hills. I am nearly always drawn to the window, hoping for a glimpse (and perhaps a chance at a photo) as the strings of birds stream past. One of the closest places for me to actually see them on the water is at the dam.
We regularly drive past Rio Dam and have been watching the water levels. I think I mentioned that the water is being kept very low while repairs are being made upstream at Swinging Bridge Reservoir. There have not been as many birds or animals around the dam this winter and I assume it is because of the low water level. Very few Bald Eagles nested in the refuge this winter, most of them went back down along the Delaware River or over to the Lakawaxian River.
A few days ago we passed the dam at a moment when the sun was shining, the wind was nearly calm and there were lovely clear reflections. As I was snapping pictures, I noticed a group of Canada Geese moving out of the deep shadows where they had been feeding along the shore.
There is something majestic about the Canada Geese as they glide across the water. They look so graceful to me sailing into the quiet water with the wake streaming out behind them.

Canada Geese Branta Canadensis
Waterfowl Family

“They knew where they were going, for they didn’t circle even once. They came right in, big wings cupped, long necks outstretched, webbed feet splayed, and struck the water with a rush of spray. There were more than a hundred of them. Canadas, with white chin-straps gleaming and heads and necks jet black. We watched as they spread out and set their sentinels, two big old ganders, and we listened to their chatter, for it was chatter, not the gabbling flight talk you can hear a mile away. Maybe they were talking about the lake, old ones telling youngsters that it is off-limits for hunters, so they could relax. Or maybe they were swapping gossip with the dark little bob-tailed grebes --- we cal them hell-divers --- that had put an end to our perch fishing. Whatever they were saying, they settled down as though they had a three-months lease.” - Hal Borland, Homeland p.109

10 Comments:

Blogger Pam in Tucson said...

Oh, endment - How elegant they are! I love the pattern of their wake as they glide across the water, with the quiet reflections, purples and greens, of the trees at the edge. Beautiful!

10:52 PM  
Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

I love to hear them calling overhead also; it is a very evocative sound, especially late at night during the fall.

Nice to see the Borland quote!

12:10 AM  
Blogger Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Very peaceful. Very lovely. I really enjoy coming here.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

There is something about their sound, as Laurahinnj says, so beautifully evocative. When we hear them, we always run outside to see if we can spot them overhead.

They do look lovely moving across the water like that. Peacefully in their element.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

Your website is like a little journey to a peaceful place. You seem so wonderfully connected to the natural world.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I've only seen geese like this in Minnesota and Michigan when I've visited. We've got seagulls and lots of wild green parrots.

2:46 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Unwinding ..... lovely, thank you.

4:56 PM  
Blogger MB said...

I like the blue trails...

5:08 PM  
Blogger Nan said...

Some Canada geese winter with us here in the Pacific Northwest, but there is still an influx in spring and an exodus in fall. I love their arrival, but feel betrayed when they depart. You've captured some beautiful images, Endment. I love the one with the blue trails the best. Hope your Internet is fixed soon!

12:49 AM  
Blogger kerrdelune said...

Magnificent, and thank you for sharing these beautiful moments - the Great Canadas are one of life's true pleasures, and you captured these moments wonderfully - I felt as though I was right there with you.

6:55 AM  

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