Yay! The geese are back! There are two pair so far. We used to have the same 11 every year. Five pair and one lone goose. They came seven years in a row. They tried rearing young each year, but there has been less and less water, so they were successful only one year. Each year we see babies, and are hopeful.
Last year we watched the mama on the nest, and the male keeping vigilant watch – just far enough from the hidden nest to draw attention away.
The babies are yellow when they hatch. Right away, the parents bring them to the meadow by the creek.
It seems like the day they come out is the same day the yellow dandelions start to bloom. Perfect camouflage. After a couple of weeks, they turn a fluffy gray, just at the same time the dandelions grow their fluffy gray seed heads.
Geese are such solid parents. One watches, while the other eats and teaches. Then they switch roles. If a predator nears, there is no panic in the goose parent’s stride. They just round the goslings up into a line – one parent leading, the other heading up the rear, gently urging the little ones along, who suspect nothing. With calm, skillful determination, they get them into the safety of the water, without scaring them into a scatter.
Geese talk about everything. Everything.
“ Honk, aaawww, aaawww, honk honk ticlic aaow”
“Huuumph, aawwww. Oooooh honk, ewwup….”
“ Should we go to the other pond?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“ Yes, let’s do it. I am becoming annoyed by all these ducks!”
“ But, the other geese. They may take our spot.”
“Well, we can come back and chase them away.”
“Ok, lets go!”
“Alright. I am ready. Let’s go then.”
“Now? Right now.”
“Yes, let’s go now.”
“OK!! Let’s go!”
“Let’s go now!!!!!”
“OK!!!!!!! LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!
“We are going!”
“We are flying. We are flying. We are flying.”
“Yes, yes, yes, yes!”
“Let’s land. Let’s land.”
“We are landing, we are landing.”
“Other geese are here.”
The other geese start talking too and there is a big chase, and one pair comes back making a beautiful water ski landing in perfect synchronicity. They have a lot to say about it all.
Fortunately for us, we love the sound.
One spring day, when the 11 were here, one pair flew over to some flat rocks on the other side of the pond. Even though they argue about territory all the time, the other pair in the pond was not having it. They just thought it was wrong, wrong, wrong for that pair to be on those rocks. They started barking at the pair on the rocks. “Honk! Honk, honk squeep! Mutter mutter, squeep! Honk, honk!”
I know, I know…just a little more anthropomorphizing. Please just indulge me for a moment longer.
“You can’t be over there!”
“Yes, we can!”
“It’s just not right! Geese don’t sit on rocks on the other side of the pond! Get back in here where it is safe!”
“Oh brother! Honk, honk! We are fine. Leave us be, mutter mutter,”said the pair on the rocks.
“No, no honk, squeep! Don’t make us come over there!”
“Nah, we are fine, mutter, mutter honk.”
The arguement escalated with no you can’ts and yes we cans for about 45 minutes. Finally, the pair in the pond flew to the rocks and chased them back to the pond.
“Ok, ok…whatever! Jeez…mutter mutter aaww.”
Then all was peaceful again. Soft chirring, clucking, errrup, aawww sounds, then graceful silence.
Until… “Let’s go eat in the field.”
“You want to go eat in the field?” etc. etc. Talking, talking, talking, louder and louder, the four flew to the field, and then had to talk for a while about their exciting 50 ft excursion to eat alfalfa and dandelions and grasses.
Another aspect that I find interesting, is when there is a common enemy, they all come together. They can be in the middle of a territorial disagreement, but the second another goose is in some kind of danger, it is all for one and one for all. United we stand. My dog and I were crossing the field, and all 11 geese formed a line and started slowly marching toward us until we changed our direction.
I once saw the 11 chase off a herd of 30 elk. Shouting and dive bombing. The elk finally gave up. Even toward coyotes, I have seen them take a stand.
We haven’t seen the 11 in three years. They must have given up after losing their young so many times. I don’t know if these four used to be part of that flock, or if these are new ones that don’t realize the water often dries up.
It is snowing as I write this so, maybe, maybe, maybe we will have water through the summer. Hope. I love hope, but it can be a little mean.
There are a lot of predators here: coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, snapping turtles, raccoons, bears, weasels, snakes, hawks and owls. If the water dries up, the geese don’t have a chance with their babies.
I know and trust that Nature knows what She is doing, but I do believe climate change is at least 75% human caused. Sometimes I feel hopeless becaues I don’t see us changing all that much. Coal and fossil fuels. Why are there not solar panels on every commercial building, and on every covered parking structure? Why are new houses being built without even passive solar capacities? Why are we still using gasoline? I do in my own truck. Why are there green golf courses where water is scarce? Ok…soap box. Sorry, but I struggle with this. I am happiest when there is enough water to keep the creek and valley alive. It is mostly out of my control. I am doing all I know how to do.
This is my biggest happiness challenge. I can’t bear what we are doing to our Mother Earth. The greed! It hurts me. I have talked a lot about true Happiness not being affected by “upset because.” Here is where I flunk at this. I do get upset because of all this, yet I continually try to keep my inner Peace and Happiness through it, though it breaks my heart. The prediction is that our creeks here in New Mexico will dry more and more. That is not ok with me. Today, however – and I am big on being in the moment – today we have water in the creek and the geese are here. Yay! Love, gratitude, trust and happiness.
Geese are loyal animals, and mate for life. They communicate profusely. They teach us about communication, especially through story- telling. They use sky, water and land each day – the elements of earth, air and water. Air symbolizes the mind, thought, wisdom, freedom and breath. By working with our breath, we can mitigate our stress, and also learn to empower our thoughts. Air separates the Earth and the Heavens, a realm in which prayer and visualization can become manifest.
Water is the environment of the emotional, the creative, the unconscious, dreams, and intuition. Geese fly from both water and land, encouraging us to rise above our thoughts and feelings, above our struggles, to lift ourselves up; also to develop higher forms of intuitive discrimination. We can rise to new heights, where there are endless possibilities, and be grounded while doing so. Geese also wade in the water. Their heads are in the air (wisdom), legs in the emotional/intuitive realm, and feet in the grounding mud.
Their eyes are on opposite sides of their head, giving them great range of vision. They have keen eyesight both close and far away. This can remind us to be mindful of vision in all directions, including past, present and future, physical and spiritual.
Their necks are long and flexible, a bridge between body and mind – head and heart. A link between physical consciousness and spiritual consciousness.
They are very graceful on the water, as we can also be present in our emotions with grace and compassion. They put their heads under the water to eat roots growing there. We can also nourish ourselves with our feelings, creativity and intuition.
They are migratory birds, and use natural currents to gain altitude. They know when to start, what route to take and where they are going. We can learn from this for our own migrations (inner and outer). When they travel long distances, they shift formation, creating wind drafts that make it easier for those flying behind. They take turns to conserve their energy. The ones in front pay it forward. When one of us makes a quest in life, or we heal or shift something inside, it becomes easier for others to follow suit. The healing energy is added to the collective.
The birds don’t fly directly behind one another, so all can see. They offer us greater vision, both physical and spiritual. The V formation reflects an aiming to new possibilities, like an arrow. Let your imagination fly, and feel the joy as you manifest your dreams. Feeling it will raise your vibration. Make your creative visualizations fun!
In the newness spring, with the equinox upon us, we can learn a thing or two from the geese. As we let go of the old and open to the new, may our lives be happy! May this be a new birth, awakening and renewal for all of us in this time of balance between light and dark – in the water sign of Pisces.
Happy Spring Equinox everyone!
Happy Autumnal Equinox to those in the Southern Hemisphere!