Sunday, September 25, 2011


Earlier tonight when heading to Harlem Meer, I noted a few ducks swimming in the Reservoir. I tried to take that as a hopeful sign that perhaps a few geese might have returned to the Meer. 
But, "hope" is not something to entertain these days insofar as the geese -- unless one is a masochist and thrives on letdowns and disappointments. 
There were of course no geese at the Meer as there have not been since August (with the exception of the one night of the Turtle Pond goose family who were apparently chased out the next day.)
Since I seem to be the only one "upset" about the banishment of the geese in Central Park these days,  I sometimes question if I am in fact, "crazy?"
If this is really happening, why isn't anyone else noticing?  Why isn't anyone else distressed about it?
But, the conversation with Caroline Greeleaf of Central Park Conservancy some weeks back in which she informed me of ongoing goose harassment since July was not my imagination.
Nor is this video that I took a year ago today at Harlem Meer my imagination:
There were at least 60-75 geese at Harlem Meer a year ago today.
There are now zero -- a figure that has not changed in more than a month.
Nor are there geese apparently anywhere else in Central Park.
I say, "apparently," because I personally have not been to the other areas of Central Park in weeks, (but other people have reported not seeing any geese in other areas).
It is simply too painful to go to the Boat Lake or Turtle Pond or even walk entirely around the Reservoir now. 
Too many goose memories.
Harlem Meer is painful too, but at least the mallards and Brad (the domestic duck) are still there.  If they weren't, I wouldn't go anywhere near Central Park.
I have in fact, changed my routine substantially since every last goose was chased out of Central Park.  (I suppose to cut down on the stress and disappointment of the walks.)
I only go to the park at night now (fewer people). I only go to the Meer and I never bring a camera anymore. (no geese to document.)
I still cannot get over the fact that CP would ever stoop to the level that it has. 
And I cannot comprehend that no one else seems to care about this.
The latter is what has, I suppose caused me to feel a kind of "separation" from and disappointment in other people (and even at times, questioning my own sanity).
I never used to care, for example about how many people were running, cycling, playing ball or whatever in the park.  
On the contrary, I thought all the activities added to the liveliness and spirit of Central Park. I took photos of people running at sunset, kids playing ball and lovers boating on the lake. 
I thought it hilariously amusing that the Turtle Pond goose family seemed to enjoy the concerts and plays from the Delacourt Theatre.  "These geese appreciate culture!"  I even wrote in this journal  many months ago.
(Indeed, how can I take pot shots at sports lovers now when I spent the last three summers swimming at Lasker Pool in Central Park?)
But, everything seemed so in balance then.  
The park was a happy place for runners, cyclists, picnickers, families, lovers, ball players -- and wildlife.  
Central Park was a happy and safe place for Canada geese.
But, in the space of a few weeks everything has changed.  
Now, I seem to somewhat "resent" all the human activities because a part of me perceives it is all the human activities that ultimately pushed out the geese.
But, I realize that is mostly an incorrect perception, as it was and is really jaded and callous politics more than anything else that is responsible for the endless persecution and decimation of the geese in NYC.
Most people are simply unaware of the eradication program.   And if they are aware, it is apparently unimportant to them.
But, why isn't it "unimportant" to me?  Why am I seemingly the only one to take the goose killings and banishment in our city so seriously and so personally?
Does this make me crazy?  Or, is everyone else just tuned out?
I don't know.
But, its not a real comfortable feeling to be questioning one's sanity when realizing the rest of the world is not in sync with one is feeling and experiencing.
Yesterday, I had an inquiry from a college student who wants to write a paper about USDA roundups around the city and country.   I promised the young woman to send her information links, photos and videos.
When scouting around YouTube for goose roundup videos, I came across something that, while not seemingly a USDA roundup, was nevertheless disturbing:
The above is a ten-minute video shot June 19th of this year showing a lakeside community that apparently could not tolerate a family of NINE (yes, 9) geese living on a huge lake.
It seems the whole community was out on the lake with motor boats, kayaks and nets to round up this ONE PITIFUL FAMILY of geese!  (It is obvious which is the gander of the family because he keeps straining his neck trying to figure out an escape route or how to protect the family.)
Eventually the dozens of people (including kids) corral the geese and drive them to God knows where.   It isn't clear at the end of the video whether the geese are being driven some place for slaughter or some "resort" with a "million" other geese.  Whoever took the video did not give a location, though the people seem to speak with southern accents.  (Notice all the homes built right up to the banks of the lake.)
It seems unbelievable that a lakeside community could not tolerate even one family of geese on its large lake for the few weeks of the year that the geese go through the molt and are flightless. Instead, they conducted this monumental operation, involving practically the whole town and presumably a bunch of bucks to "rid" themselves of a few waterfowl on a lake.
After watching this video yesterday, I became convinced that its really not me who is so much "crazy" as the rest of the world.
This appears to be sheer madness -- just like chasing 20 geese out of 900 acre Central Park was sheer madness. 
What has happened to us?  -- PCA

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