NW Indiana in September.
“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.”
– Aldo Leopold
I’m visiting the parentals in Chicago-land. Keeping up with my mamala who can actually, truly, for real talk to the animals (and they talk back to her) is a hoot. This morning she insisted I snap a couple of pics of the morning sun while we were enjoying our coffee. I got this one.
And this one.
Of course she made over them, how I’d captured the changing leaves and the light just right. Even though all I did was point, then shoot. She gives me credit for capturing the beauty. And she assures me I could become a high-paid photographer if I wanted to.
She believes in me. *sniff
Then she noticed, as we were gawking at the morning sun through her back door, about 60 or so geese out on her back lawn, just in from the woods, where the trees meet the grass (“the line” as she calls it). She grabbed her camera and out she went to take pictures of them.
So I grabbed mine and out I went to get pictures of her.
She circled around and whistled in their language while their leader squawked back at her.
She’d get too close and the geese elders would quack out some instructions and the whole congregation of them would move a ways.
My mom got a little too bold so they meandered to the front yard complaining the entire way.
They continued feeding. And feeding. And feeding.
And I was thinking, I’d sure like to see them fly away. But the difference between my mom and I is that she’ll just go enjoy them and watch and wait. However, my coffee was inside getting cold. I tried to communicate to my mom with wild arm swinging from across the lawn: Let’s charge this bunch and watch ’em fly!
The geese were not fans of my arm swinging and I think they even interpreted its’ meaning, as 2 or 3 of them started talking very badly about us loudly enough for us to hear. Shameless.
Finally the leader squeaked and squawked and barked some orders. The geese split into two perfectly orderly groups at the instruction.
Except for two in the middle. They popped their heads up from their morning forage. “What? Are we leaving,” the first asked? “Im not sure,” the second answered as they both looked back and forth not sure what the big deal was.
The two groups lined up like little soldiers and got very still, while the two stragglers waddled toward one group with befuddlement. They were facing opposite directions and once each of the birds was in place, the lead gave out the call and just like that – boom! They took off, one group heading north, one heading south.
But I knew the truth. They were meeting at the rendevouz point. What? Did they think I couldn’t hear their plans?
Anyway – soon enough they took off. Back to my coffee. :)
Just being silly with my sweet mamala.
“It is warm behind the driftwood now, for the wind has gone with the geese. So would I–if I were the wind.”
“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.”