Saturday, July 23, 2011

From the Frying Pan into the Fire -- Odds, Ends & Just a Little Bit of Fluff

Last night, when walking my dogs, the heat was steaming up from the pavement, as well as spewing out from the exhaust engines of motor vehicles.
The sun had long since set, but it seemed nonetheless that NYC asphalt had turned into a frying pan and we were all quite literally, being "cooked" -- like lobsters slowly boiling in water.
Today, it is not much better.  Currently, the temperature outside is 99 degrees.
As I write this in a small room without air conditioning, I feel my brain melting (like the rest of me) but, at least the floors aren't yet steaming like a frying pan.
I haven't been to the boat lake in a few days to check on the "family" of geese there or even the goose family at the Reservoir.
That is odd coming from someone who, even during the blizzard of last winter, went to check on my birds in Central Park.
But, the temperatures and humidity have been so oppressive -- even at night over the past couple of days -- I have felt I could neither subject myself nor my dogs to long, dreary walks in the park at this suffocating time.
The last time I checked on the families of geese at Central Park (Wednesday night) they seemed to be all doing well -- though my visit with the lake family was cut short by (what else?) a woman allowing her dog to run into the water and chase the geese off the rock where they had come to greet me.
As said previously, it is really hard to understand dog owners who seem to have little or no respect for nature and other animals.
When I did in fact, protest to the woman about allowing her dog to harass wildlife in the water, she accused me of "hating dogs" even though my two dogs were sitting peacefully by my side.
I then answered that I had no problem with the woman's dog (who actually seemed like a nice dog).  I had a problem with the owner.
"The park doesn't want these ducks here anyway!" the woman answered angrily, apparently not knowing the difference between a duck and a goose.
A young bystander to the incident agreed with me after the woman finally left with her dog.
"She was clearly in the wrong!" the young man proclaimed. "People have to learn to respect the birds in the park!"
I was grateful for the moral support, but would have appreciated the young man speaking up earlier.
I sometimes feel like a lone warrior in this cause.
If the merciless sun and soaking NYC humidity hasn't been enough to add to human and animal woes over the past few days, news that a fire in a sewage treatment plant was certainly nothing to feel good about.
Millions of tons of raw, untreated sewage have spewed into the Hudson and Harlem rivers:
It is daunting and despairing to think that while we have spent hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to round up and kill geese in New York City, we have apparently neglected important infrastructure like sewage treatment plants to allow for a calamity like this. We continually whine about "goose poop" while not seeming to realize the ecological damage millions of gallons of sewage (even when treated) cause to our waterways. 
This is almost like nature's revenge on our very screwed up "priorities."
The vitriol and hateful (or downright crazy) diatribes against geese that the media sees fit to publish these days seems to have no end.
The latest is this little "gem" from a guy who is apparently "terrified" of peaceful Canada geese and refers to the birds as "bullies" who "scare the bejeezes out of" him.
A few days ago, a published Editorial from Oklahoma practically blamed geese for the current heat wave around the country:
I am not sure why the media seems to love to publish drivel like this.   These diatribes are neither well written, informative, funny or even when accompanied by photos, the photos are not up to the level of what a first grader would take with a disposable camera.
But, the press seems to go for this stuff on a daily level.
All we can do as advocates for the geese is to respond with comments and facts.
We indeed, have our work cut out for us these days.
Nevertheless, not to end these frying pan, odds and ends on a grim note, there is a little good PR news today for the geese.
New York One is running today, as its "Picture of the Day" this photo taken yesterday of the new geese at Harlem Meer:
The new geese just returned to the Meer must indeed be the "lucky" geese as they have already made the news and in a positive light!
I trust Martin Lowney and Lee Humberg of the USDA will really appreciate and love this photo.  ;)  --- PCA

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