you ever watched Canadian geese flying around?
the past few years, Terry and I have been treated to their presence
more than ever. (Treated is a funny word in this case. Most people
with any type of real experience around them will tell you two
things: geese poop everywhere and they are mean.) Still, that
flying-v overhead, especially when the numbers get larger, can
be an attention-grabbing thing.
the skies about us will be filled with geese. I mean, it is not
unheard of to see, quite literally, thousands in a single moment.
And the part that always strikes me is how groups seem to be headed
in different directions.
suppose that shouldn’t stun me. If I suggest migration patterns
for birds… or even vacation to warmer climates for people… we
don’t always arrive at a specific place. There’s no address to
pop into a GPS or app that would guide the geese, or us, to Main
Street of the Florida Keys.
it’s more than that. I seem to notice them flying off in all the
directions. North, south, east and west. Weren’t we taught cold
weather arriving, birds go warmer? Shouldn’t that be south around
here? These are all Canadian geese, what has some of them pointed
toward Orlando while others seem intent on heading to Toronto?
I do know is that every so often, the calls (or, more precisely,
the honks) of one goose can be heard. And up in the sky, if you
are so inclined as to look, you will see a single bird flying
along. And the feeling, for me at least, is that this goose is
trying to catch up with the others.
can identify with that lone goose.
so often, I feel like I’m flying alone, honking away at nothing,
trying to catch up with something unseen when in reality maybe
I’m just chasing myself. (All while moving in what would appear
to be the wrong direction.)
that goose—and me—actually isn’t quite that lost after all.
are lots of stories about geese and why they fly the way they
heard that often the wrong direction concept is a complete misunderstanding
by those of us on the ground. For instance, the geese might not
be moving some tremendous distance, and instead could simply be
looking for food or water. What appears to us to be a gaggle of
geese heading the wrong way could actually be the group headed
to a corn field they know is off that way. Plus, depending on
your specific location, the geese may not really migrate at all,
meaning their flight is more of a slight movement and not some
massive travel plans.
that honking? Yes, obviously, communication. But more specifically,
it is widely accepted as being a team building kind of exercise…
the honking is, by this thinking, encouragement and cheerleading.
more about geese.
flying wedge? It’s efficient. The shape creates additional lift
and support for the entire group, while requiring less energy.
It also allows for better visual cues to be exchanged, as the
geese can more readily sense the direction and movement of their
seen studies and reports that say geese will not leave members
of their group behind. If one drops out, those results claim a
few will stay behind to offer support and protection until the
one that is tired, ill or injured can fly again.
all the pieces, and perhaps that lone goose isn’t really so lonely