I was just sitting down with my second cup of coffee to watch the morning happenings around the pond when I saw them again. Five little dots outlining the sky, making their
wav across the valley, high above the now-yellowed corn fields,
higher even than the trees, dressed in their blazing autumn colors. Closer and closer they flew,, and when I heard their low, gutteral honking there could be no mistake, the Canada Geese were back.
What a sight they were as they made their awkward landing in our pond, ducking their heads under the water and splashing about as if they hadn’t had a bath in a long time. Then, all grace and beauty again as they lined up in a perfect army, they showed off their dark, rich colors. They turned in unison and looked straight at me as if to say “Hi, We’re back.”
We were delighted early this spring when these five first came to visit. They became so tame that my husband and I, and even our bouncy sheen dog, could walk close to them without
disturbing their swim. For over a month they shared the pond, the wild grass, and the corn with our domestic geese, who were none too pleased with these visitors. The shrill honking of our geese let them know they were on another’s turf.
The Canada Geese were undaunted by this, but did learn to wait their turn for the corn, or our old grey drake, with his head down, hissing, would make a big production out of chasing them away.
I knew, when they came in the spring, their stay would be
short, for they must make their way north to a more distant summer home. We were sad to see them leave and talked of a return visit this fall.
This time they stayed only two weeks, then without a backward glance, they were gone. I can’t help but wonder about other stops along the way, with friends welcoming them as we did.
Now, in the long, cold winter, when the pond is frozen over and our geese are cooped up, we will have a new hope for
the spring. Besides the early crocuses, the daffodils and the greening of the trees, we will be watching for the return of
our five Canada Geese.
From the journal of elizabeth “Betty” Garrigues
Photo by Cheryl Cook