Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's that time of year

We had snow the other day - just a bit on my deck, enough to leave its imprint, but about an inch up on top of the "mountain." It's that time of year.

The geese have been flying south regularly - the true migrants up high, in huge vees, like the one here, with only the occasional call. The southern Ontario group which a biologist friend of mine calls the Ontario residents, and comprises at least 50,000 Canada geese, flies from farmers' fields to the river, to a local pond, out to the lake and back. They have a set routine it seems and hang about wherever there is open water.

Of  late Georgian Bay - which used to freeze solid in this part of the Bay, and right around the whole south end up through the east side and north around Manitoulin - doesn't do that anymore - we have open water pretty much year round. Global warming we've been told. That the waters are receding and the Bay is becoming quite shallow revealing all kinds of rocks and shoals fascinates and sort of alarms me. I've heard that it's because they dredged Lake St. Clair on the Detroit River and made a huge hole for the water to spill into. I've heard that the US has an agreement to divert water from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi River - an agreement that has stood since the late 1800s. I've heard that a sink hole that is bottomless has developed in the lakes. And I've also heard that its part of a natural cycle. Hmmm. Who/what to believe?

Whatever it is - in the fall the geese flying in formation signal - to me - the end of summer and the approach of Jack Frost. Last year we didn't get any kind of snow other than a dusting until mid-November and then we got three feet over a couple of days. The geese remind me to stock up, bring in the wood for my woodstove, get some water into big jugs in case of a power failure and make sure the leaks around the windows are sealed.

And the geese also remind me, with their haunting cries, that they are traveling - I wonder where they go - those that fly so high up and hardly utter a sound? They catch wind currents also heading south and often hardly seem to have to move their wings. That ignites my wanderlust. It also makes me wonder what others think or feel when they see a flock of high flying geese. Do they see them at all? Do they wonder where they are going too?

Lots to think about on a gray fall morning.

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