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Fish Or Cut Bait

Canadian Geese
by Bob Ciminel

February 14, 2005

I got a laugh when I saw Carl Thompson's photo of the Canadian Geese in Ketchikan. Oh, don't get me wrong; it was a great photograph, as Carl's photos always are. But, gee whiz, seven geese? That hardly qualifies as a gaggle in my book. Let me explain.

The slow-moving Chattahoochee River is about two miles from my home. The Morgan Falls reach, a shallow lake formed by the Morgan Falls dam, has become a haven for Canadian Geese. Well, to be perfectly honest, they have become pests. It's hard to walk in any of the riverside parks because you will step in something unpleasant - with every step you take.

jpg Canadian geese

Canadian Geese
Photo by Bob Ciminel

The geese have no natural enemies around here because the area is completely developed. Almost every subdivision has a manmade lake, and the geese migrate to and from them on a daily basis. All I have to do is step out in my backyard at sunrise and sunset and there will be a flock of geese going over at relatively low altitude. You see, they have to fly low because of the large number of aircraft operating in the area. We are on the approach patterns for two large general aviation airports, one to the east and one to the west. In fact, if I turn on my handheld GPS and pick McCollum Field as a waypoint, it is directly west of my backyard. The geese know that too, which is why I never see them flying east and west, always north and south.

Don't get me wrong, the air traffic is not a problem, noise-wise. These are all small planes, with a couple of corporate jets thrown in to make life interesting. The planes do not drown out the honking geese as they fly over the house at treetop level.

One thing that amazes me is that I have never seen a dead goose on the road. Either they are smart enough not to walk in the streets, or scavengers are cleaning up the mess. There have been reports of coyotes in the area, but I haven't seen one, and would probably mistake it for a dog anyway.

But, getting back to Carl's photograph, it reminded me of one I took over Christmas when we took the grandson down to the river to "see the ducks" - he's only two, so we don't need to differentiate between geese and ducks yet. I took the photo, and as you can see, we don't get too excited about al couple of geese around here.

Bob Ciminel lives in Roswell, Georgia, and works for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.  Bob is also a conductor on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.


Bob Ciminel ©2001 - 2005
All Rights Reserved

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