Sunday, May 1, 2011
Hook, Line and Sinker
(Photo: One of the mated pairs of geese at Harlem Meer, all of whom, have now fled.)
Most of the few geese at Harlem Meer are being replaced by fisherman.
I counted a total of 8 geese (one pair and the group of six) at the Meer yesterday and almost as many young, "yuppie" type guys fishing.
Seemingly frustrated by the lack of fish they were catching, two of the hook and liners walked towards an area of the lake where the group of six geese were casually swimming.
They cast what had to be 30 foot fishing lines out on the water within mere feet of the then scrambling geese.
"What the hell are you doing?" I yelled, walking up to them. "Can't you see there are birds here?"
"We're not bothering the birds!" one of them answered.
"The birds get entangled in the fishing lines!" I replied sternly. "Last year, there were two crippled geese with fishing lines wrapped around their legs. An egret had to be rescued with fishing line."
"That's because some people leave their discarded lines on the grass! We don't. Look at that!" the fisherman then said, while pointing to the fleeing geese. "The birds move away when we cast out our lines!"
The geese were indeed moving away.
"I don't understand WHY, when you have a whole big, empty lake here, you would deliberately CHOOSE to fish in the one area that has birds! Is that deliberate?"
"No," the young man mumbled.
Then, either because he and his pal weren't catching any fish or because they were irritated with me, the two men pulled the lines out of the water and moved to a different area.
But, it didn't matter by then because the six spooked geese had already moved away.
Just like the young wise guy said they would.
And maybe that is one of the real reasons, the geese seem to be fleeing the park in recent weeks: Return of the hooks, lines and sinkers.
And maybe its because the tiny fish that live at Harlem Meer don't seem to be biting much these days, the frustrated yuppies of my neighborhood are now demanding to bring their hooks and lines to Turtle Pond. That, and the fact, they don't have to spend bus fare to go to Turtle Pond. These two didn't look like the hiking types to me.
As I prepared to leave Harlem Meer a little later, the one pair of geese still there packed up their wings and took off for the skies.
Hard to say who was more disgusted with what our parks are becoming.
The geese or I.
Wish I could have sprouted wings and joined the two fleeing geese. -- PCA