Friday, April 22, 2011

(Avian) "Singles Bars," Freedom Celebrations and "Telling It Like It Is"

Harlem Meer appears to be the trendy, singles bar site for the young, unattached Canada geese of Central Park these days.
A couple of weeks ago, I counted only 9 geese at the Meer almost all of which, appeared to be the older, established couple pairings.
But, that number has climbed to 24 as of yesterday.
One cannot be sure of course, but I suspect that the new, (freedom clelebrating) geese are the yearlings and their unattached pals from Turtle Pond.
Mama and Papa goose now have Turtle Pond all to themselves once again.  The site is again ripe for the new anticipated family, as Mama sits on her eggs and takes afternoon breaks to frolic and romanticize with her forever devoted mate.
Meanwhile, all was peaceful, shiny and whimsical yesterday at the Meer.
The established pairs of geese kept to themselves in their usual spots.  Bozo and Bonnie near the entrance to the Meer, Ralph and Alice in the area close to the Dana Center, the diving pair of geese doing their usual "bottoms up!" antics in the center of the lake.
The newer "singles" geese however, traveled mostly as a group either swimming around in the lake or nibbling on some grass near the sandy part of Harlem Meer.   Though they too, appeared to be in pairs, it was more like the "pairs" one might see in a human singles bar or club.  Convenient, experimental, comfortable for the moment, but not necessarily permanent.
All that was missing was some, "Get Down Tonight" or "You Spin Me Round, Round" for one to imagine being back in some dance club of 70's or 80's! 
Meanwhile, Brad and Angelina (the two, flightless, domestic ducks and long time residents of Harlem Meer) have once again claimed their home turf around the Dana Discovery Center as their own.  They swim around together and often sit peacefully under the big willow tree and watch the forever changing bird scenes around them.   At this point, Brad and Angelina have seen it all and nothing seems to faze them too much -- other than the lake freezing over in winter.
But, for the moment, the living is easy, food is plentiful and the springtime is a a good period for Brad and Angelina to finally catch up on the sleep and relaxation they were so deprived of over the long, grueling winter.
As for the rest of the flighty ducks at Harlem Meer, well, "flighty" is indeed the word these days as the mallards are constantly flying around and checking out all the little romantic hideaways in Central Park.  
Not a whole lot of mallards at Harlem Meer (or Turtle Pond) these days.   Most seem to be either off on new adventures or some of the females may be nesting and have dumped out their male partners. (Mallards are not at all like geese in the "commitment" department!)  One does seem to see a disproportionate number of drakes swimming together at the Meer or Turtle Pond.  (Again, not too unlike the scenes one might have seen in the popular human single spots of years past where the guys usually outnumbered the women.)
Spring is certainly a fascinating time for avian life, though not without its challenges and sweeping changes.
Meanwhile, advocacy for the wildlife in our city parks, particularly the much maligned and scapegoated Canada geese took on a whole new dimension today with this absolutely  brilliant, truth smacking, Editorial from The Brooklyn Paper:
Wow, talk about, "telling it like it really is!"
That may be another familiar catch phrase from decades past.
Then again, the past couple of days have been like a little trip back in time.
Singles bars (though avian this time around), freedom celebrations and "Telling it like it is!"
Thank God we have at least one media source willing to do the latter.  -- PCA

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