Friday, June 21, 2013

The Heaven and Hell of Nature

Paradise Lost.  Nesting geese, Reservoir.
Wiggly and Romeo last week, Harlem Meer.
Molting Reservoir geese welcome the childless couple this morning.
"Animals run no risk of going to hell.  They are there already."  -- Victor Hugo

 It was only a few days ago that I planned to write an upbeat blog entry. 

One that would, for example, talk about the funny and exceedingly romantic relationship between Wiggly (a domestic, Khaki Campbell duck at Harlem Meer) and her "lap dog" mallard drake boyfriend, Romeo:

"Romeo follows Wiggly around like a love sick puppy! He hasn't left her side since last January!" 

I had also planned to write about the Canada geese currently going through the molt at the Reservoir in Central Park:  

"There always seems to be one adventurous goose who strays from the fold. Last night, while the rest of the family was roosting, one goose was lost on the water and honking loudly and frantically!  'Where are you? I am LOST!'  But, the family members answered back in kind. 'Over here!  Over here, you ninny!'   Eventually, the wayward goose made his way back and all was forgiven, peaceful and quiet again."

And I planned a cheerful and hopeful update on the pair of nesting geese at the Jackie Onassis Reservoir in Central Park: 

"The anxious gander patrols the water constantly even at night.  Other geese at the Reservoir respectfully keep their distance and stay to the east side of the watercourse as the expectant parents (and apparently, the rest of the geese!) eagerly await the hatching of the one egg -- now due any day!"

But, oh how everything changes in just a few days.  As the saying goes, "Life is what happens when you've made other plans."

Instead of funny and amusing, recent blog postings have had to focus on the vile and barbaric:

And if the annual USDA goose roundups and slaughters are not enough in NYC to feel horrible about, there are also the individual acts of mayhem and cruelty carried out against  geese as this news video describes:

But, even the cheerful observances cited at the top of this entry, would have had to be dramatically altered just a few days later.  Truth is, when it rains, it pours:

The Romance is Over at Harlem Meer

The romance is lost at Harlem Meer.  But, not because Wiggly threw Romeo overboard or Romeo tired of being Wiggly's "lap puppy."  Its over because Wiggly suddenly vanished and is no where to be found.

"Wiggly," the second Khaki Campbell duck at the Meer for more than a year disappeared -- just like Honker (her breed twin),  two weeks ago.  

There seems little doubt that bad people are out for the (flightless) domestic ducks at Harlem Meer. I feared Wiggly would be taken as Honker was and now suspect the four remaining domestics at the Meer are also very vulnerable now (especially, the light colored ones).  

Wiggly's mallard boyfriend, "Romeo" must be beside himself as he was so totally devoted to her -- seemingly joined at Wiggly's hip in fact.    But, I could not find Romeo either last night or this morning. Since he looks like the other mallards there, I have to hope that Romeo simply joined up with them and is in the process of healing and adaptation. --(Or, Romeo might be off by himself somewhere, dealing with loss. Fact is,  I have no way of knowing for sure.)

What is painful is walking by the two locations where Honker and Wiggly always stayed with their mallard drake lovers only to find now, empty spaces.  

Wiggly and Honker were my favorite ducks at Harlem Meer.  Honker because of her always, cheerful, upbeat, devil-may-care independence. And Wiggly because of her leadership qualities in organizing the other ducks of Harlem Meer though a difficult,  past winter.

These ducks knew how to survive everything that nature could dish out. But, ultimately, they could not survive what humans had to dish out.  

Funny how Central Park puts up signs "not to feed wildlife."  But, they fail to put up any signs "not to harm or take wildlife."

All the domestic ducks at Central Park (and other parks) are quite literally, "sitting ducks" this time of year -- just like the molting geese are sitting targets for USDA death squads.

And finally, speaking of the geese......

No Goslings This Year at Central Park

The one lonely egg of the remaining nesting goose pair at Reservoir has failed to hatch. (Addling is suspected as occurred with all other Central Park goose eggs this spring, but cannot be proven.)

The egg apparently was unviable and the parents have now abandoned and seemingly joined the other geese.  Interesting that when the pair was nesting at the west side of Reservoir, other geese, in deference, stayed to the east side.  This morning all the geese were to the west side. 

Geese apparently welcome and offer condolence and comfort to geese who have lost their offspring -- even when those geese are not part of their families or flocks.

Then again, considering what happened to the family of geese at Inwood Park whose eggs were allowed to hatch and become goslings, one might be compelled to think of the lost and addled goose eggs at Central Park as blessings in disguise.

As sad and deflating to lose unborn offspring, nothing compares to the sheer mayhem of an entire family -- parents and babies -- rounded up and massacred.

In this new and grotesque world, "The (goose) family that stays together is slayed together."

God have mercy on us who do such destruction on this planet.

If ever this world comes to end, we will know that if we failed to create a heaven on earth for humans, we succeeded in creating a hell for animals. -- PCA


1 comment:

Missy Pound said...

Oh no. My heart is breaking for Wiggly and Romeo.