Journal3-Geese Flying North

I had a great moment with these geese, who were flying north yesterday, in beautiful Cherokee County at my mother-in-law’s house. I couldn’t believe that I managed to hear and see them flying directly overhead, and I just so happened to be getting my husband’s phone from the car, so I took these photos with his camera.

Geese1The first photo I took just after I heard them coming and they appeared over the trees. The sounds they made talking back and forth to each other were unmistakable. I scrambled to get the camera ready in time to capture them. Honks of varied tone, depth, and complexity came from different directions and locations in the arrangement. They really seemed to be communicating with each other. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to see them after just reading Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac. His descriptions of the geese as they return to Wisconsin’s lakes in March are great. He writes, “One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.”

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I realized as the chatter of the geese, which Leopold describes as “a general shouting by the onlookers of a vehement controversy,” ¬†swiftly moved through the sky that there were two groups of geese. They were on their way north to the thawing March lakes, maybe even Leopold’s Wisconsin lakes. I thought they were trying to merge and become a larger group or had possibly fallen apart and were trying to repair their perfect flight pattern. Maybe that was what all the communication was about. They moved so swiftly and were out of sight in a minute. I could still hear their calls to each other. Then after they were gone, I thought writing about that short moment and how it made me feel connected to the “geese that proclaim the seasons” that Leonard describes would be the perfect journal post for my Environmental Literature class. The timing for the reading assignment of A Sand County Almanac and the geese flying through Georgia was interesting.

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Nature Observation II

RobinThere was a lot of bird activity in the backyard when the snow was starting to fall last week. This robin was one of many who seemed to be foraging for frozen food under the leaves. His camo is perfect, but some birds are just plain outrageous, like this cardinal, who was striking and beautiful against the brown woods and white snow.

cardinalI was happy to finally capture these two. They move around so fast. The woods here are full of all kinds of birds. I consider myself a very amateur birder. I have a list and am always on the lookout for birds I haven’t seen before. They are beautiful to look at, and I love listening to their songs. The woods are alive with bird conversations, if you have time to listen. Even though it was so cold, I stayed out listening and watching awhile.

My sweet husband gave me these beautiful roses for my birthday. I am thankfully enjoying their beauty and fragrance. It is amazing to me that I can enjoy these in the heart of winter. Lovely.

roses