A Conversation for Canada Geese

Congrats

Post 1

Ginger The Feisty

Hey JTG, not only accepted but the lead article. It just goes to prove that sometimes it is worthwhile fighting back after rejection and rewriting an article!


Congrats

Post 2

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Yer darn tootin', sister!smiley - winkeye

JTG


Congrats

Post 3

Jimi X

Cheers JTG!! Sorry I missed it when it was on the front page, I was out from work celebrating my daughter's birthday! smiley - smiley

A fine article!!

- X


Congrats

Post 4

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Thanks JimiX. May I wish your daughter (belatedly) a Happy Birthay.smiley - smiley

JTG


Congrats

Post 5

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Apparently not... my spelling's getting worse.

Happy Birthday!

smiley - smiley

JTG


Congrats

Post 6

Jimi X

smiley - winkeye

You're allowed the odd spelling mistake. 'Tis the Season...


Congrats

Post 7

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

The mantra 'Tis the season' seems to be useful for nullifying all kinds of shortcomings... very useful.smiley - winkeye

JTG


Congrats

Post 8

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Ah... almost forgot. A goose-related tid-bit:

I watched two Canada geese battling to the death this morning. It was quite a spectacle.
They grappled each other by the neck and slugged away with their wing... Frazier-Ali
style. Eventually one got the upper... er, wing, and tried to drown the other.

The most interesting part was the way the other geese reacted (hundreds of them): nearly
all of them paddled over to from a rough circle like kids in the playground. One could
easily imagine them chanting the goose equivalent of, 'Fight! Fight!...'

It was hard to tell if the vanquished goose was actually killed, but both combatants were too water-logged to fly; and, if the temperature had been as cold today as it normally is at this time of year, I imagine both would have died of hypothermia.

JTG


Congrats

Post 9

Ginger The Feisty

Well there's a cheerful thought! smiley - smiley


Congrats

Post 10

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

As Spock might have said,

"Cheerful? No... but fascinating."smiley - winkeye

JTG


Congrats

Post 11

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

... And as McCoy might have replied,"

"Dammit Spock! What's the matter with you? The goose is dead for heaven's sake!"

JTG


Congrats

Post 12

Researcher 76535

i have never seen Canada geese fighting. We live in Luther Marsh, north of Toronto,
Canada. to Quell his menopausal desire for a small british racing green MG,
my husband decided to dig a pond instead. The pond is 50 by 100 and 10 feet deep.
Some friends gave us a muscovy duck, who is named Chuck the Duck to go in our
pond.

Chuck has not read the book about what ducks are. He is afraid of water, yes,
a completely hydrophobic duck. He will look for little puddles after a rain to wash in,
but he will not go in the pond. He was raised in the laundry room by our friends,
until they could no longer cope with the duck droppings. He greets them with a
formal katow, when they come to visit, and he still remembers them after three
years.

Chuck has a limited understanding of what I say to him when I am gardening.
He likes to be with humans, and failing their appearance outside, he stands at the
back door, calling to us,with his strange clearing of the throat. When we are not
there, he goes and sits with the dogs. We have three or four. Chuck eats dog food,
and he is supposed to eat mosquitoes.

The dogs would cheerfully kill Chuck as a group, but he is part of their pack, and
the male dog and Chuck are great friends. When the dog barks, so the duck makes
his aghaghahg. Chuck fluffs himself up, and struts the property. He has established
his territory exactly on our property lines. Smarter than the dogs, he never goes on
the road.

Which brings me to my point, and I do have one, and if you say that I digress,
well you don't have the ability to think divergently, perhaps you don't even think. At
least, that is what I think, whenever some person rudely says."Get to the point" as
though what they had to say was so much more important, or perhaps they have to
pee.
Last Spring, two wonderful Canada Geese came to out pond. We saw them fly over,
look down and almost comment"Hey, there is a new place." We know that we see
the same geese, year after year. The Canada geese, by the way,likes to live in the
same places that man does, on rivers, and at the edge of a lake. As Toronto and
other cities put more and more cement around the waterways, the geese have less
place to live, so they move up to where they feel they can raise their young. They
always try to go back to where they were laid to have their own babies, but when it
has become a housing development, they just have to as best they can.

So these geese were probably some of the babies which had survived the flight
south, and north twice, without ending up on someone's table. The pond, our pond,
looked inviting, and they landed, floated around the island in the middle. They liked
the bullrushes and the beach area. So Mrs. Goose flicked a little water at Mr. Goose
and Mr. Goose flicked some water back, and the game of water flicking involved ever
greater amounts of water. When the time was right, Mr. Goose climbed on Mrs. Goose
sinking her under the water, and made babies. Soon after, they went back to
flicking water at each other.

Through all of this, I was lying on the ground with my video camera, attached to the
outdoor plug and an extension cord., and still not quite close enough. Chuck the
duck had taken up the position of lawn ornament at the top of the drive. Lawn ornament is the opposite of on guard,
the head is pulled down, and he does not move. When my husband let the male dog out,
Chuck blew himself up, strolled over to the pond with the dog.

Mrs. Goose said to Mr.Goose. "This place does not seem to be so peaceful."
and they both flew away.

Personally, I think the Canada Geese are smarter than most Canadians.
They leave when winter comes.


Congrats

Post 13

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Bravo. What an interesting story. My compliments to you duck, dogs, and husband (in no particular order).smiley - smiley

Never let it be said that I was one to tell anyone to "get to the point". In my experience, there often isn't one, at least none more interesting than the circuitous route to it.

I've seen a lot of relatively harmless goose squabbling, but two serious attempts to do goose murder, neither of which could be mistaken for kinky goose foreplay. As I think I noted in the goose Entry, it's remarkable how much like people Canada Geese often seem. They really do have distinct personalities; and, as you point out, there's not a lot to choose between geese and people in any number of ways.

JTG


Congrats

Post 14

Researcher 76535

We put three pond fish, and 48 feeder fish in the pond four years ago. They have
multiplied to the millions. Consequently we have great blue heron visit regularly for
dinner. If you think a Canada goose is big, you should see a great blue heron. Sometimes on
foggy nights they wander on the road.

I like the geese, but I would never go near any wild animal. Chuck the duck has
done battle with a fox, and lived. He can be very fierce when on guard. Ever so often
I must remind him, that in spite of it all, his neck is long and vulnerable. His natural
target on humans is the crotch, and he is not shy.

My dogs insist on being fed. Thanks for reading my story. Happy Holidays.
I just want people to stop killing the geese.


Congrats

Post 15

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

I love great blue herons. If I had a totemic animal it wouuld be a great blue heron. Do you ever get any sand hill cranes in your neck of the woods? Southern Ontario is on the edge of their range I think, but they are spotted every once in a while. They too are magnificent things.

Tell Chuck to watch out for those foxes. There are a lot about these days. Quite a few people in the GTA area have lost their kitties to them.smiley - sadface

JTG


luther marsh

Post 16

Researcher 76535

Many years ago in Montreal I worked for the Canadian Council of Resource and
Environment Ministers, and filed a pile of stuff on the beginnings of the plans for
Luther March. It was meant to be a restricted wildlife sanctuary with limited acess.
It is the most southern boreal marsh in Canada. Several towns were flooded out,
and the water level raised. As farms around the marsh came on the market, the
government was to buy them, and seed bird friendly crops such as the local small
sunflower to attract the birds.

For some unknown reason, the government decided not to keep on with the plans.
As locals we used to go and swim in the artificial pond created by the dam flooding.
It was a nice place to be, and cost nothing. Usually the swimming pond would be
closed unoffically when the coliform rate reached unsafe levels. The water was
warm, so this often happened in July. We still took picnics there. Then, apparantly
the cost of insuring an unpatrolled beach became too high, and the gates were
closed to everyone for several years. The park rangers were decimated.

Now Luther Marsh is on the map for tourists. Before if you followed the signs to the
marsh from the Orangeville side, you would spend miles driving around little gravel
(if you were lucky) roads, and go in the east entrance. At first it looked like a boring
country scene. The wildlife would freeze when they sensed your presence. If you
could just keep still for five or ten minutes (hard for some of my children), the vivarium
would come to life. We take nothing but memories and pictures, and leave nothing
but hushed footsteps. The gates on the west, where I live have been closed.

It is a pity that the original plans for a restricted wildlife sanctuary were obviated.
There is a lot of that around. I understand that the "howling" wolves in Algonquin were
shot by hunters just outside the park limits.

It appalls me that someone would put oil on a goose's egg. My concern for the
geese on the golf courses and perfect lawns is longterm teragenic damage due to
all the chemicals. I have a friend who has two sisters who grew up next to a perfect
bug free, weed free golf course, and they all have breast cancer.

I haven't seen sand pipers but I don't look for birds, I just admire the ones I see.

Too bad for the kitties in the foxes GTA. Happy New Year.


luther marsh

Post 17

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Thanks for the information about the Luther Marsh; it sounds like a beautiful place. Perhaps the best service the government could have done was leaving it alone.

Believe it or not, I share your concern for the environment. But it has to be said that the geese themselves are something of an environmental problem in urban areas, just as much as people are in places like the Luther Marsh. I'm certain that there are many waterfowl species that would share that view.

Perhaps you misunderstand the egg oiling program. The oil used is mineral oil. It does not poison the embryos; it asphyxiates them. Even so, it is not a job I enjoy doing.

Best wishes for the NewYear. Let's hope we humans can learn to be a little more accommodating.

JTG



luther marsh

Post 18

Researcher 76535

We live in an old stone farm house, on 1.9 acres of land. When this was a working farm of 200 acres, there
were nine people in the house and it used 13 bush cords of wood to heat. I have a septic tank, and "grey"
water from the heat pump. The point is that we live very
nicely on our land. When I moved here, I had a dream garden which cost so much money, and did not finish
before the first frost. Now I have grape vines (cataba and concord) which we have just made ice wine from
18 lbs of grapes made 48 litres, or something like that. I am pleased because this has been a long
prposition, especially as we ran over the grape vines with the scaffolding for the windows, which was hard.
The trick is not to cut the vines, just let them grow. I have also had a full vegetable garden but I honestly
cannot listen to one more person comment that they don't like what is for supper when I grew it. And peas
are too much work. Anyway, it is possible for the family to eat for a year, off this land. I could free range
chickens, and probably have a pig, but it is not enough land for livestock, and I don't do chickens because
my neighbour has nothing living in his fields, not a dormouse or a bug or an errant weed, and I think
anything I grow is contaminated with the agricultural poisons which get spread around.
My grapes were watered from the well.

If you took all the people from Pickering to St. Catherines from the lake to 10 miles above the 401, and
gave them each an equal share of land, it comes out to about 1.9 acres per person. They would have to
be as careful with what goes down the toilet as I am, and the need for huge sewage plans would disappear.

So, John the gardener, are you a gardener, because I have been fighting burrs for 14 years, and loosing.
We even had agent orange when it was legal, and Round-up is only effective at the right time and very expesnive.
I have about 1 acre of burrs and the lawn mower died this summer.
Happy New Year.


luther marsh

Post 19

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

That sounds like a beautiful place you have. I'm quite green with envy.smiley - winkeye My wife and I have been on the lookout for a small place of our own, but that might be a while yet in coming.

Agricultural pesticide use is a thorny subject (fertilizer too, for that matter). Traditionally there has not been anything like adequate regulation or training measures for the folks who apply the stuff.

Yes, in fact, I am a gardener. I've made a living at it for getting on twenty years. I have been battling with burrs too... and that bloody nuisance Japanese Knotweed, develishly difficult to do away with. I read recently that swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on burdock, so I'm going to relent a bit there. I've found that Roundup is most affective if you chop the first growth down and spray the regrowth. I've also been direct sowing wildflowers, which put on quite a good show (after a slow start) last year. I hope that they will attract more butterflies.

Your description of your bountiful garden and your comments about the folks around the golden horseshoe going back to the land reminded me of an excellent book (very inspirational), you may be interested in:

'The Holy Land' by Liberty Hyde Bailey

The basic premise is that human nature is only fulfilled when it is in contact with nature. It saddens me to think how far from that ideal most urbanites are. The utter disregard that many show for the living environment is depressing.

Best wishes,

JTG


weeds

Post 20

Researcher 76535

In Quebec, wild carrot is called Queen Anne's lace, in Ontario it is a noxious weed
which causes colic in horses or something like that. A neighbour can bring in the
professional weeders and have you billed if you have wild carrot.

Well, my house is surrounded with wild carrot, and now that the department of
highways is spending less on chemical weeding, the roads in Ontario have been a
riot of wild carrot. I was so impressed that I knit my sister a sweater to commenorate
the profusion. To my delight, it was even better this year.

When we moved here,14 years ago, the house was surrounded with wild pinks.
I have the choice to mow and have fewer burdock or not mow, and have more pinks.
The dandelions are also wonderful. Unfortunately I am allergic to dandelions, so have
to be careful, but mine are huge, two or three feet tall, and make a nice salad for
those who are not allergic to them. I think dandelions will be the only flower which
survives. I saw one at the Eaton Centre growing out of an invisible crack in the
sidewalk.

Burdock is the basis of some really fowl tasting natural medicine. Naturally it is the
root which is valuable because it is some much work to dig up. It is also part of cassiac
the questionable natural cure for cancer. Sometimes I fancy cutting them down, spray
them gold and sell them. Othertimes, I fancy a blow torch to get them all at once.

My collie is getting old, and suffers with each burr. They seem to get into her skin and cause irritation
. The sticky bits hae been tougher for a few years, perhaps by breeding, perhaps by water.
I shall read the book you suggested. Thank you.

i had tons of butterflies this year, and planted some recommended plants for them,
but they seemed happy with anything of colour. My pin cushion plant did not really get
serious until I brought it inside. If my daughter's dog had not dug it up ( what a mess)
it would still be blooming.

My christmas cactus is just finished blooming, and my aloe is putting up a funny looking flower again.
I have to figure out the nice little smiles you do. Happy spring. I just bought tomato seeds.


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