Sunday, September 2, 2012

Choices of Rocks and Hard Places

Change of Routine or Family Acceptance?

The first thing noticed last night when arriving to Harlem Meer, is that there did not appear any geese.

This was not surprising in terms of the new goose family who were observed a couple of nights ago.

The assumption even then was that Harlem Meer was merely a brief stop-over for the two parent geese and six goslings who were apparently "pond hopping" and calorie loading this time of year in preparation for the challenges of winter.

But, what about Danny, the "loner" goose?

I did not see Danny last night and that was a bit of a surprise.

It doesn't necessarily mean Danny wasn't there.  The lake was dark after all and it is not possible to see every bird resting on it at night.

However, in recent days, Danny had usually been observed hanging out with the ducks along the south embankment at night.

Did not seeing him at all mean that he had simply altered his routine?

Or, did Danny take off with the new goose family when they left the Meer?

The latter is possible even though Danny kept a respectable distance from the new goose family a couple of nights ago and there was little interaction between the family and Danny. 

However, since the family appeared to be fairly youthful and the lead gander not particularly aggressive or territorial, it is certainly possible that they accepted a new goose among their ranks as long as the newcomer was not challenging to the family order.

I have noted this phenomenon several times in the past.

Late last summer, there was an established goose family who accepted two "loner" geese into their flock (as long as the new arrivals kept respectable distance).   And this past spring and summer, Papa and Mama accepted several new geese into their family unit, including Ruffian, following the summer molt.

I would like to think this is the explanation for not seeing Danny last night.

But, the actual fact still remains to be seen. 

Presumably, much will be learned over the ensuing days. 

It is too early to merely guess.
The Mean Season

If we think the summer is cruel in terms of USDA goose roundups and killings, the season is nothing compared to the fall.

Of course, fall is technically not here yet.  But, "early season" for goose hunting is.

Virtually, all articles on geese now are to depict them as targets for hunters.  

Today, for example, there is this piece out of Ohio:

What is truly shocking in this article is that last year, out of an estimated 147,000 resident geese in Ohio, hunters shot 112,000 of them.

The only reason some geese survived at all, is (according to the article) "bunches of the birds will hide out in suburban and urban settings where they are out of bounds to hunters." 

Once again, we have actual reason and explanation for resident Canada geese trying to survive in urban parks and golf courses (to the complaints of so many ignorant and intolerant people) and once again, it appears to be without question that the real goal for resident Canada geese is complete eradication.  

Apparently, we humans are only able to view the purpose of Canada geese in the web of life as targets for human guns.  -- Something that (to me) says something far more alarming about our own species than it does Canada geese.
Choices of Rocks and Hard Places

The Republican Convention ended this week and the Democratic Convention is about to begin.

I am one of those undecided voters that both parties are supposedly out to attract.

I am undecided not because of a "failure to pay attention" as one liberal political pundit charged this past week (an allegation I personally took offense to) but because of profound displeasure with the choices in extremes.

It is certainly difficult to be pleased with Romney's choice for VP.  Paul Ryan is a social extremist and an "avid hunter" to boot.

Nor do I understand some of the last lines of Romney's speech this past week.

What exactly did Romney mean when declaring sarcastically that Obama had promised to keep the oceans from overflowing and to save the planet?

First of all, I don't recall the President ever making any such promises.   

But, even if Obama had made such lofty declarations, he has certainly failed to keep them.

I personally view this administration as being one of the very worst in terms of destruction of wildlife and lack of respect for nature and the environment.

I in fact, view the last two presidents (both Bush and Obama) as being the worst presidents of my lifetime in terms of lack of leadership,  wasteful economics, engagement in self-destructive wars and representing political extremes.

But, what exactly does that leave to choose now?

If one cares so much about "families" then surely one has to care about the health of the planet those families are living on.

We may be able to send rockets and cameras to Mars, but that doesn't mean humans (or any life) is able to survive on Mars.

Yes, I will have a very hard time this November.

But, it won't be because I am a woman, a senior citizen or "haven't been paying attention."

It will be because I have a hard time pulling levers down for those responsible for carnage and inability to foresee the future. -- PCA


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