Monday, April 2, 2012


B is for  Bird
who can be heard
all round the block — 
our alarm clock.

Geese on the River

The Geese are moving on the river. And stopping, too. The sure sign that spring is upon us. Or around us.

These are Canada Geese.

They're getting territorial, thinking of setting up house. They have long conversations about these things every morning. And the more that arrive, the more conversations they hold. Family planning by committee. Good grief!

Did I mention they make great alarm clocks? They are not quiet. Not even close.

Is There a Problem?

These Canada Geese fly north and south across the Canada-U.S. border without passports. Without border checks. Without the permission of the Canadian Border Services Agency, the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization, or Homeland Security. They break all the laws. They do not conform to the norms, the social conventions.

And, frankly, they don't care. They were here before the laws. They think the laws do not effect them. 

And they are right (more or less). 

We have laws to keep society organized. Thinks like deciding on which side of the road we will drive. Humans need these, so we don't kill each other — intentionally or accidentally. Or something just as bad.

Geese, and other birds, tend to take life in stride. They eat when they are hungry; they raise families when it seems appropriate. They move with the weather, so they've got something to eat wherever they are. They live on a much simpler basis


We Humans seem to spend a lot of our time doing fairly complex things. Like working at jobs. And going to school. Such things are appropriate for us, because we are more complex creatures than birds.

But if we sat and watched, and thought about what we are seeing, maybe we could live a simpler, bit more relaxed life.

Which would be good for us. Even with, and within, our social conventions.


Anonymous said...

lovely post :) for B
check out mine too at GAC a-z

Lydia said...

I loved this essay. Geese are among my most favorite things in nature. When flocks of them fly over my head I always say a prayer for their safe journey.

DJan said...

That gave me a funny image in my mind of geese lined up with passports going across the border.

ReformingGeek said...

Geese and cats are taking over the world.

It's the slippery poop. They are trying to kill us.

Rob-bear said...

® Paul Hafalla: Thanks for visiting and commenting.

® Lydia: I enjoy seeing flocks of geese, too. We get lots of Geese landing on the river.

® ReformingGeek: "Are taking over" or "have taken over"? We don't call it "Goose Grease" for nothing.

Changes in the wind said...

love the little verse....they can be loud and wouldn't want to be woke up by them.

Rob-bear said...

® DJan: If Geese had to line up with their passports to cross the border, they could tie up border crossing points for weeks, if not months.

Is that the terrorist threat the American government thinks might be coming from Canada?

Rob-bear said...

® Changes in the wind: I wonder if alarm clock makers could somehow capture Geese calls for their wake up sounds. That would be . . . interesting. And effective. Probably too effective.

Julie Daines said...

We get Canada Geese flying overhead every spring and fall. You're right, they are not quite creatures. But I love them anyway.

Rosaria Williams said...

Have you noticed how we humans are becoming more and more like birds? We tweet, we flock, we leave traces of our presence here and there and everywhere, across oceans, across political divides.

I come to visit you all the way up here without a passport, nay without any extra layers of anything.
(I see you like a challenge, like writing every day!!!!)

Christie Wright Wild said...

I'll definitely vote for a simpler, more relaxed life.

Christie Wright Wild said...

I'll definitely vote for a simpler, more relaxed life!

Stephanie V said...

Another thought about geese is that they don't have elections. They just take turns leading the V-formation with smooth transitions. Humans could take some guidance there, too.

It occurs to me that maybe those meetings aren't all about family planning. Maybe they're party conventions?

Helen said...

Looking forward to traipsing through the alphabet with you, Bear!

Manzanita said...

Good post. I like to think or is it day dreaming? Right away I could see geese flying to the border check point with their little passports in the beaks. Naw.... I love the thought of "flying right over" and thumbing their beaks at the border patrol.

I wonder if geese mate for life like ducks do.

A Lady's Life said...

I agree. I love Geese. They make for great guard dogs as do roosters. Ducks are sweet. They just waddle around looking beautiful.
With so many people around, can you imagine the mess they'd make living the life of free animals?
I think animals know better about life than people do. We always learn from them.

Rob-bear said...

® Julie Daines: Glad you like the visitors. I wonder if anyone is going to complain about the "noise pollution"?

® rosaria williams: People — more like birds? I would think less like birds. We could learn a lot from the way birds do things.

® Christine Wright Wild: thanks for visiting. "Tis a gift to be simple" is the way the old Shaker hymn began. something which would benefit all of us, as you say.

Anita said...

Oh, that's nice. So often, I need a reminder to slow my brain down; not to worry about every-little-thing. Thank you.

Have fun with the challenge!

Golden Eagle said...

Very true!

Jeremy Bates said...

I knew those were Canadian geese because one of them had a Calgary Flames sweater on! lol

I like when the geese fly south then eventually return.

Nicki Elson said...

Sign me up for that simpler life. Please!

I was just in London and guess who's even managed to cross the ocean---yup, Canadian geese. I guess some king brought then over long ago, thinking they'd make lovely ornaments.

DL Hammons said...

I wonder if Arlee enjoyed this post? :)

ain't for city gals said...

I try to live like my dog...moment by moment. Then again she does not have to worry about where her next milk bone is coming from or an empty food dish...somehow it just magicallly appears...for the last 12 years anyway. BTW...I think blogger is eating comments again..I have left several and don't see them...

Violet said...

I love birds. Canada geese are so graceful and elegant. I was watching a smallish flock land IN UNISON last week and i was in awe!

Violet @ Revolution ~ Evolution

susan said...

I may be wrong but I tend to think life used to be a lot simpler for human beings too.

Jessica L. Celaya said...

A simple life is a good life. there is much we can learn from nature. Thanks for the post!

Beth Stilborn said...

Good thoughts. Simplicity is something I pay lip service to, but often fall short of.

Rubye Jack said...

I was told the geese stop by here on their way up to see you, but I haven't seen any yet. They tell me they were flying overhead a month ago but somehow I missed them.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Geese were lured here to my town in Northern Colorado and now they settle in all year round. They're aggressive, dirty, and noisy, but I love them anyway.

Patricia Stoltey

Rob-bear said...

® Anita: A little while ago, we got a slow cooker. It makes great meals. And, more and more I'm trying to walk to the places I need to go. When the good weather comes to stay, I'll be taking my bike.

® Karen Walker and The Golden Eagle: Thanks so much to both of you.

® Jeremy Bates: One in Calgary Flames; the other in Toronto Maple Leafs. Canayjua, eh?

® Nicki Elson: I'd sign you up if I could, but it might be a great idea for you to commit yourself to a slower life.

Canada Geese have arrived in Europe naturally, though they also have been introduced in Britain, France, and a number of other Northern European countries. (I didn't know that until researched it in relation to your comment.) Thanks.

Rob-bear said...

® DL Hammons: I can't answer your question. Perhaps you should alert him to it.

® afcg: Oh, Boo! Hiss! Blogger.

But you've hit on the complex differences between you and your Dog. Simplicity isn't as easy to work out as it might seem, or as we might want it to be.

® Violet: Yes, those Geese can be very beautiful. Sometimes I see them swimming down the river; one parent at each end of the line, with balls of fluff swimming between them.

® susan: I think we make life unnecessarily difficult, particularly by saying "more" when we really mean "enough."

How's the story board coming along?

® Jessica L. Foster: We can learn a lot from nature. Especially about simplicity and enough.

® Beth Stilborn: I think that simplicity in practice is much tougher than we imagine. I think that has to do with our prevailing social mindset. Once we change from conventional thinking, we have a chance.

® Rubye Jack: Sorry you missed the Geese when they came. There may be more; they tend to come in waves, so keep an eye and an ear out.

® Patricia Stoltey: Sometimes people don't realize what's going to happen until after it has happened. Those Geese are noisy, leave fertilizer all about, and do get territorial. I'm afraid we see them so often up here that we can get a bit blazé about them.

Diana said...

It's a wonderful thought Bear but wouldn't work for me. I'm one of those people that when sitting, trying to relax, see's even more things that I need to do.
Yes it is very herd to live with. But I suppose it keeps me moving!
I love Geese. So therefore I believe they should be allowed to cross borders without inconvenience. Yes that should be their right!
Love Di ♥

Tara Tyler said...

simpler is always better!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Even though I'm a country girl, geese are a little scary. And when they chase--I run. Yes indeedy.


Kayla Yow said...

Amazing post! It is so true! I love to sit and watch birds of all kinds, especially when they are carrying on conversations!

Rob-bear said...

® Diana: Oh, dear; this is serious! I used to be like that, once upon a time. Then, one day, I didn't do everything — and I found I still survived.

® Tara Tyler: Yes! Thanks for visiting.

® Journaling Woman: I suppose there could be problems. But since I'm a Bear, the geese tend to move away when I arrive. Thanks for dropping by. I promise not to chase you. Really!

® Kayla: Have you ever been able to translate those conversations from Bird into Human language? I haven't. So glad you came by!

Irene said...

But geese poop on our meadows and crops and when there are too many of them, they make our farmers very sad. There is such thing as over population. I'm afraid the geese are too successful. xox

Rob-bear said...

® Irene: I understand what you're saying. One of the problems in the fall is that the geese and ducks get into the farmers fields and pick up grain that is lying in swaths waiting to be harvested. Waterfowl can cause a significant financial loss to farmers.

Too successful is one way of putting it. Indeed.