Saturday, November 18, 2017

Just another cruddy day....

This time of year, we see a lot of Canada geese (the most common goose around here) flying south. Or north. Or east or west. It doesn't seem like these critters always have the best sense of direction since we see them heading every-which-way, but whatever. They're cool to watch.

We were walking Mr. Darcy on the road near a neighbor's house one afternoon when we heard the telltale honking of distant flying geese, but on an unprecedented scale. Sure enough, within a few minutes enormous quantities of geese flew over -- sadly, far too many to capture in a single camera frame. It was flock after flock after flock.

The noise was so loud the neighbors, whose house we were near, stepped outside to watch as well.

I'd never seen so many geese flying together at one time -- there were definitely hundreds, possibly thousands.

Even more beautiful than the geese are the swans. These are tundra swans, which breed in the nearby lake each March.

We don't see them fly over in the sheer quantities as we do geese, but there's something magical about swans flying overhead. They're easy to distinguish: Geese honk, swans hoot.

A few days ago, early in the morning long before dawn, I stepped out on the porch to get some firewood. Everything was silent, and the sky was clear with stars and a half-moon. Suddenly I froze at a noise: the sound of swans. I stood in the darkness, listening to their calls echoing through the black forest as they flew overhead. Their voices gradually faded as they moved farther away. It was one of those magical moments, a brief glimpse of heaven, to hear swans at night.

As Don likes to say, "Just another cruddy day in Paradise."


  1. Just be sure you aren't directly under them. My sister leaned that the hard way with flocks of sea gulls. She said she didn't know a bird that size could hold so much! - lol

  2. This sight must have been absolutely Amazing.

  3. Wonderful photos. Mr. Darcy must have been thrilled. I know Ari the English Setter would of been. We get Canadian geese here also. But not in the large numbers you did.

  4. What a sight to see, but also to hear. With all the water and wheat fields in your area, these big birds really have it made. They can clean up this past years fields or feast on fresh planted fall wheat.

  5. Is the large exodus a sign of an early, intense winter?

    1. Hard to say. I've never seen a "sure" sign of a hard winter, which is why we try to prepare for a hard winter every year -- just in case.

      - Patrice