Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just Something About Canada Geese

(Pictures: Sweet reunion. Binky's family, now at Harlem Meer. Daddy, front goose facing water. Easily recognizable by his limp. Presumption is that they returned to Harlem Meer to possible reunite with other family members? "Grandparents," aunts, uncles, grown kids from past matings?) All the resident Canada geese seem now to be concentrated in the one area.)

This morning, I took the dogs to Harlem Meer to spend time with the geese as there are seemingly no (or, at least very few) Canada geese anywhere else in Central Park these days.

There are at least 8 or 9 different families of geese at Harlem Meer now. One of them, I am quite sure, is the family that used to be at Turtle Pond. -- "Binky's" parents and siblings.

How do I know this?

I recognize Daddy's bad left leg. He limps profoundly.

Several of the goslings recognized me this morning and came up to me. They ate some cracked corn from my hand. But, the parents maintained their usual safe distance. Its definitely the same family.

I am relieved to know the family did not fly to Prospect Park or anywhere near the airports.

However, there are a couple of things of which to be concerned: 1-- That Central Park Conservancy might employ the Border Collies to chase all the geese away. 2-- One of the goslings had a fishing wire entangled around one of his feet. (I wonder if this is how Daddy's foot was injured?) Even though the gosling came up to me, I could not get close enough to try and remove the wire nor did I have anything to cut it with. I was upset with this.

As soon as I got home, I called the Park Rangers and Dana Discovery Center. to complain that they are not properly monitoring the people "fishing" at Harlem Meer. Since the so-called "catch and release" fishing started in spring, two out of three of the white ducks disappeared. One swan died of Botulism (probably from the dead or dying fish that are routinely thrown back into the water), the other swan disappeared and now the gosling with the fishing wire around his leg.

The next time I go swimming at the pool at Harlem Meer, I will bring scissors with me and hopefully if I can get close enough to the gosling, I will cut the wire. I know the little guy trusts me, though something like this could be tricky and difficult. Its one thing to pet the geese. Its another, to try and hold down a frightened animal long enough to cut a wire.

I realize many people enjoy fishing. But, what goes on in our public parks is disconcerting and I am sure, nothing comparable to those who might fish for "food." The other day I saw two dead fish floating on top of the water at Harlem Meer at the spot where most of the people fish.

Now, I think I know how the female swan died of Botulism. The swans sometimes ate fish.

Still, it was wonderful to see the geese. -- Especially, the family from Turtle Pond!

I sat on a small rock and took pictures. Another woman took photos with what looked like a professional camera. A group of young people parked their bikes and sat for a while, just enjoying the geese and taking photos. There were even three cops who stopped to stand for a while, watch and chuckle about the geese.

There is something unique about Canada geese. This sense of peace and serenity they engender in anyone sitting and watching them (including the ducks who like to hang around the geese). The way they come up to you. The way they keep their family units together. The ways they communicate with each other. The beauty of them flying across the lake and landing in the water like human water skiers. Their regal and majestic ways. -- Especially, the magnificent ganders -- always on watch.

I just love these birds.

Canada geese are very special. I hate the ways they are being so maligned, persecuted and killed these days.

For the life of me, it is something I will never, never understand. --PCA


No comments: