Today was Day # 1 wandering about my neck of the woods In New York State. This area where I live is widely referred to as "The North Country."
In need of some trees and other treasures of nature's bounty, today I chose to visit a wooded section just a few miles south of the city. Within this area is a large pond, known for its wildlife. As I drove the winding road to the pond, I saw a car pulled to the right with a guy coming out of the driver's door. He was an older gentlemen (aka about my age), and shuffled as he crossed the road to the pond. I pulled over behind him by about 30 ft. and watched as he threw crusts of bread to the assembled Canadian geese. I sat there for quite awhile and soaked in the relaxation given by the view of maples, evergreens, and water.
After he left, I pulled up to his spot. Apparently one family of geese expected food from me because one set of Mom and Dad and their six babies began to toddle across the road in front of me. Just as they'd get to the edge of the road, however, a car would pass by and they'd shuffle back toward the pond. I was getting concerned for their safety as cars from both directions were certainly travelling faster than the posted 20 mph posted limit, in spite of my having my caution lights blinking.
So, I hopped from my car and slowly moved toward the brood and their parents. The geese seemed to garner a sense of safety from my presence and were eventully able to hobble fully across the road and down into a nestled area. I saw how Dad was leading the group while Mom was surrounded on three sides by the goslings. As she walked, the babies maintained their positions, as if stuck to her with super glue. This bundle of gray fluff were not newborns; they actually looked like gawky teenagers with legs too long for their bodies.
It saddened me that I had forgotten to bring my phone as I was having some great photo ops. This group explored the area at the foot of the hill for quite some time before they began to advance back toward the road. From the sandy edge of the road, they started their attempt to once again cross the paved road.
The small gaggle would barely get onto the pavement when another car would speed by, causing them to scurry back down the hill. They continued their advance and retreat for a number of times. I began to be really concerned for their safety and walked to the other side of the road to act as a crossing guard.
As a car would approach I moved my hands in the appropriate manner to signal the message to slow down. Which the cars did. But each time this happened, the geese would again retreat. Eventually, they maintained a spot in the sandy section next to the pavement while I retained my crossing guard position. One lady slowed way down, smiled directly at me, and I called out "My conscience just won't let me go home until they are safely across the road." Still smiling, she nodded her head and waved, then slowly went on her way.
It wasn't much longer until the family of geese eventually made it across the road to the edge of the pond. It was almost uncanny that at this point they and the five other sets of parents and gosslings -- which gathered in clumps at the edge of the pond -- all headed to the water for a swim. It was almost as if there was a timed- schedule for this event,
Heaving a big sigh of relief and a smile of wonder, I looked to the right where wooden steps led down to a bench beside the pond. There on the bottom step, stood a slender egret. In front of my eyes, he collapsed his skinny long legs and neck into pencil shape and flew off.
Today was a wondrous day for me. It definitely helped relieve the fear and anxiety I've been feeling about the scary status of our country and the world as a whole,
In closing, I have a question for you: Where did I go to find this magical pond? To a park, perhaps, or maybe to the zoo? Or....??