Thursday, August 26, 2010

"We Are Family!"

(Pictures: 1-- A confident and somewhat brazen, Joey coming on to the grass at night now that the Canada geese have returned. 2-- A young boy taking delight in the geese and ducks. 3--A female goose with a mallard swimming closely by.)
The water at Lasker swimming pool in Central Park was icy cold last night, but the action in the surrounding Harlem Meer was hot!

Several families of Canada geese have returned to the lake in recent weeks from wherever they went to breed or molt over most of the summer.

The presence of the geese has brought about a sense of celebration and brazenness, particularly among the lake's normally shy and retiring mallards who now routinely come up on the grass and even sleep on the open embankments near the geese at night.

Even "Joey" the lone white duck on the Meer now trots confidently on the grass at night as opposed to swimming constantly and aimlessly on the water. So brazen is Joey now that he will even chase and harass some of the younger goslings, as if to say, "Hey, don't overstep your bounds! I was here first!"

But, then the two dominant ducks of the Meer, "Brad and Angelina" will quickly put Joey back in his subservient place. He may be "above" the Canada geese, but he is still "below" most of the other ducks.

There is, in fact a lot of jockeying for position at the Meer among both, the geese and the ducks, but it is all in good peaceful fun, no matter how ornery or crazy it may appear at times.

The return of the geese has also prompted and brought out the nature lovers once again to the Meer. People shooting pictures with cameras or cell phones. The wide smile on a young boy's face as he tossed some treats to the birds and delighted in their coming up to him. As noted, even the ducks are far more outgoing and trusting towards people now that the geese are back.

The entire atmosphere of Harlem Meer has, in fact, radically changed over the past couple of weeks since the return of the Canada geese.

To describe in just a few words: Celebration, vitality and energy, confidence and just a wee bit of posturing and feather pecking.

Guess you can't have everything, but what we do have right now is really, really good for all.

Like the cheery old rock song, "We Are Family!"


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