Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas geese

photo of a flock f flying waterfowl
© harrington
Today, on my drive home from work, I got an early Christmas present. For 5 minutes or more, as I approached Forest Lake, the sky was filled with flock after flock after flock of Canada geese. (They would be Canadian geese if, and only if, I knew they came from north of the border of My Minnesota.)  Seeing them made my heart soar. The marshes and smaller ponds have frozen. Larger water bodies, like Forest Lake, are open, for now. There is still food in the harvested fields. The geese will be here for at least a while longer, and I may get other thrills seeing that many of them trading north, west, east and south in flocks large and small. Years ago I hunted geese at Lac qui Parle. Seeing and hearing 60,000 to 80,000 geese all at once was a phenomena. I've also been lucky enough to be driving through the southwestern regions of My Minnesota when the flocks of geese decided it was time to head south and filled the sky most of the afternoon. Aldo Leopold, in Goose Music, wrote But to those whose hearts are stirred by the sound of whistling wings and quacking mallards, wildlife is something even more than this. It is not merely an acquired taste; the instinct that finds delight in the sight and pursuit of game is bred into the very fiber of the race. I am one of those for whom wildlife is not merely an acquired taste. My Minnesota is home not only to wildlife but to many who share my love for wild creatures and places. I hope your Christmas season is filled with whatever brings you as much pleasure, for as little cost, as today's geese vision brought me.