Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reservations for the Geese?

Just when you think matters cannot get any more irrational and insane, there are columns like the one below out of Birmingham today:
This "city" guy left the city and bought a home close to a lake. He then built some kind of big pond in his yard for kids to "fish in." 
And surprise, surprise!  Geese were already on the lake and some showed up to the artificial pond created in a yard!
And now a supposedly "reputable" newspaper allots this guy (and many others like him) the space to rant and rave ad infitum  about the "nuisance" of geese.
The oft repeated scenarios like this remind one of when the white man first came to and settled in America. 
In those days, it was the Indians who were considered "in the way" and an enemy that needed to be "gotten rid of."
Presently, the few Indians that survived our onslaughts against them are forced to live on reservations.
But, its doubtful that we will establish reservations for the geese.
Rather, the credo seems to be, "kill, kill kill -- or "get rid of" in any way possible.
As mentioned earlier in this blog, there haven't been Canada geese at Harlem Meer for anything more than a few days since last winter.
There is a reason for that.
A couple of months ago, when walking around the Meer, I heard what sounded like honks from a very sick or injured goose.
I searched all around the marshes and plants in the water, but could find or see nothing.
But, then I noted the same distress sounds coming from other parts around the lake.
It finally dawned on me that Central Park (or a hired company) had installed "Goose Distress Sound" effects around the lake.
The distress calls must work quite effectively as unlike last summer when 9 geese molted at Harlem Meer, there are none today.
I did not write of this previously because I personally have mixed feelings about it.
Since geese are still present in other areas of Central Park where so far, the sound effects are not being heavily used, I did not feel personal need for protest.
Moreover, due to the heavy fishing at Harlem Meer in the warm weather, it is actually not the safest or most ideal area for the geese to molt.   I am guessing that due to their longer legs, geese tend far more often than ducks to get ensnared in fishing line.  It therefore seems better for the geese to be at the Reservoir or Boat Lake because there are far fewer dangers and almost no fishing.
But, the other night when searching for the Boat Lake geese, I discovered that the Goose Distress Sounds are also being used in the area near Bethesda Fountain.
(Obviously, that explains why all the geese at the Boat Lake are typically around the northern side of the lake.)  
But, the sound effects used at the Boat Lake are disturbing because it is forcing all the geese (almost 20) to congregate in one fairly small area.
Moreover, this is obviously not for "safety considerations" of the geese, but rather and presumably due to some perceived "nuisance factor" to the large crowds of people that typically gather around Bethesda Fountain.
Why Central Park would think that the hoards of tourists and others around the Fountain are somehow "bothered" by geese, I have no idea.
The exact opposite is true for most of the tourists and others observed around the Boat Lake, virtually all of whom adore the geese and love photographing and even feeding them!
(Then again, there was probably some malcontent or "battle-ax" who whined about geese and of course, the complainers always seem to get their way as so many recent posted columns and articles have proved.)
Earlier this week when visiting "my" geese on the rock at the Boat Lake, a group of finely dressed tourists wandered by and stopped for at least a half hour to admire and take photos of the geese.  "Ah, so beautiful!" the women said in broken English. And two of the men, dressed in elegant business suits stopped to hand feed a couple of the geese.
None of the 8 or 9 tourists cared about any "goose poop" on the rock despite looking like they had all stepped out of fashion magazines.
So why is Central park seemingly worried about geese "offending" tourists around Bethesda Fountain?  If they paid any attention, they might actually plant geese there!
I am past the point of trying to "figure" what those who run our parks are actually thinking.
I just have to hope that Central Park Conservancy is not in cahoots with the USDA and city agencies to "limit" the geese to small areas in Central Park to make it easier for a potential roundup to occur.
Rather, I have to hope it is paranoia about those few whiners and complainers who, although going to a public park (or moving to a lakefront property), "hate geese" -- just like the early white man settling in America hated Indians.
Its ultimately not about who was here first or what naturally belongs. Its about who are the biggest bullies and who have the loudest mouths.
But, still the question remains: 
Will we eventually create reservations for the geese like we did the Indians we overpowered and displaced?  -- PCA

No comments: